A number of you have mentioned in the past that you have problems with insomnia, and use various sleeping aids. I too am a long-term insomniac. Part of that stems from physical discomfort (and mental anxiety) over my Crohn's disease, some marital problems (again with attendant anxiety), and now (possibly, but not certainly) my recent experimental use of naltrexone. Anyway, whatever the cause, I have more trouble sleeping now than ever before.
I do have a prescript
ion for Ambien, or rather, it's generic equivalent zolpidem. For me, it works fabulously. My biggest concern is its potential addictiveness. I haven't been taking it very long, and I deliberately keep the dose small, usually breaking the pills in half. I even try to take it only on alternate days, but that means that I suffer some bad nights where I don't get much rest. Ideally, I wish that I didn't need a sleeping aid, but since I apparently do, I'm wondering what I can use to fill in those days that I skip my zolpidem dose.
I've been doing some online research (thank you, Wikipedia). It seems that Ambien is one of the least addictive sleeping medications on the market, but nevertheless it's still habit forming if you take it long enough. Most of the other well-known sleeping aids are much more addictive, especially drugs classified as "benzodiazepines," including flunitrazepam (Rohypnol), clonazepam, lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam, and particularily temazepam, nitrazepam, and nimetazepam. Barbituates and chloryl hydrate are also considered addictive, make good suicide drugs and thus are seldom prescribed these days.
One drug that gets heavily advertised in the USA these days is trade-named Lunesta (eszopiclone in the USA, zopiclone elsewhere). The commercials make it sound like it's non-addictive, but the Wikipedia indicates otherwise. Also, some potentially nasty side-effects are noted:
Common side effects:
* unpleasant bitter or metallic taste
* cold-like symptoms
* daytime drowsiness
* loss of coordination
* upset stomach
* decreased sexual desire
* painful menstruation (periods)
* breast enlargement in males
* unusual dreams
Less common side effects can include:
* chest pain
* swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
* painful or frequent urination
* bloody or cloudy urine
* back pain
I'm wondering - anybody here taking it? Are you suffering any of these side-effects? Any problem with it becoming habit forming?
One more non-benzodiazepine drug that interests me is trade-named Sonata or Starnoc (zaleplon). Like Lunesta, is supposedly less addictive, but has some side-effects. Anyone have any experience with this?
Lastly there is Unisom (doxylamine succinate), which is sold across-the-counter in the USA. It's an antihistamine, often used in cold medicines. It's considered non-addictive, but not as effective as prescript
ion drugs. Since it's easy to buy, I will be trying that too. Just wondered if anyone has comments about
it? I have heard it can contribute to glaucoma, which has actually been a problem for me in the past.
All comments welcome.
Crohn's since 1988
Post Edited (ozonehole) : 10/29/2007 2:45:14 PM (GMT-6)