Interaction of medications with sleep

I used to be a great sleeper but things went bad when I went on a particular medication. I don't want to change it because it works better than others I have tried. The same thing has also happened to a friend of mine. Has anyone had a similar situation?

Posted 23 Feb 2012 at 3:40 PM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    You might want to look at this site re. possible brain problems and sleep medications. It certainly opened my eyes to the fact that weaker versions of sleep drugs are available over the counter. These are dependent on the careful usage by the patient to not be harmful. Perscription drugs are at least carefully controlled.

    http://www.prohealth.com/ME-CFS/library/showArticle.cfm

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi, I have been taking zopiclone for years, now I'm suffering rebound insomnia hence I started sleepio,my first course, now whilst doing the course, what will I do with my zop for the meantime? I really want to wean myself off them..pls help. I work nights and I cn't sleep after a nights work.

  • Sleepio Member

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    First of all welcome to Sleepio – best advice, and I am not a medic, check with your doctor. My personal view is to get through the course, stabilise your sleep for some considerable time and then slowly wean yourself off the Z at least 10 times as slowly as the Doc says. It is early days fro you Belle and I know that most folks find the weeks from session 3 onwards quite tough going so best to keep some stability with your meds. Hope it goes well for you.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks for your advice. I was quite confused at first but now I am starting to realise that I cn't just stop my medication without weaning myself off them with the help of my Gp.

  • Sleepio Member

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  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    I take a benzo called klonopin 1 hour before sleep. It makes me wake and not go to the bathroom in middle of the night. Then, I don't go back to sleep. Anyone have a strategy for dealing with this?

    1. Anyone tried taking the benzo much earlier before bed so the urination risk is less?

    2. other ideas?

    thanks

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I've been on zopiclone for 5weeks and my doctor has at first asked me to do a 1-on-1 off basis which I have done. Now he has asked me to do a 1-on-2 off scenario.
    Compounding this with week 3 of the Sleepio course will take me to a place where I can safely wean off the sleeping tablet and increase my sleep efficiency using the tools that the prof has given me.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Blumy- what I've read on here, once suggested by an expert, is to drink less liquid in the evening so you won't need to get up for the bathroom. I'm betting you've already tried that one but maybe revisit it? Also, I used to wake up during the night and couldn't go back to sleep. Around week 4 I started sleeping all the way through the night, which has continued. I think it's because my sleep is more consolidated. Maybe it's not entirely the Klonopin and as your sleep improves this situation will resolve. Hope your SR is going okay.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Cranny- good luck with the wean off. I got off Ambien around week 4 but was taking a minuscule dose by then. I think it's great that you're getting off the zopiclone because, ultimately, I think sleep meds are not what they're cracked up to be. I sleep less now than I used to on Ambien but feel more rested. It's been a great relief.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 4

    I am new to sleepio with my second session with the prof tomorrow. I have been on Amitriptylene for 25 years, going from 25 to 100 mg over time. I have a chronic dry mouth (chewing gum helps) and it has made me gain weight. The few times I tried to come off the Amitriptylene, even slowly, I would get to a point where I just don't sleep at all several nights in a row. My question is whether I am realistic in thinking that sleepio is going to finally get me weaned off Amitriptylene. Is there anyone out there who has successfully come off it after long-term use?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hi Rumeran yes that is a hefty dose and a long time to have been on them. I haven't been on the site for years as in the main my sleep has been resolved by the programme. However my GP has me at the moment on a test return of Amitriptylene as a means of enhancing my pain relief at night. I went from zero pills to 50 mg and frankly have taken it down to 10 mg and at my review in September will not be wanting to continue. I recommend that you continue very slow reduction over months as you build up your sleep confidence and follow the programme exactly as recommended. It does what it says it does on the tin. I have popped back now for the second time and I actually think the Amitriptyline and the dry mouth has disturbed my sleep rather than enhanced it. When told to reduce by 50 mg I have done by 20 and sometimes by 10 – good to have the lower dose capsules so you can choose. I wish you well with the programme.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    After two very difficult years with insomnia, I came down with a pretty severe gastroenteritis bug. I stopped all supplements. I had no appetite and ate little. I started to sleep. I've recovered (after a week+ with the bug), but I have not added back a single supplement, yet. And I AM SLEEPING--now just over 7 hours a night. Heaven! I will add back some of them. What I believe is happening is that I am sensitive to one or more, and perhaps the likely combined cross-effects, (recommended by a Nurse Practitioner). I was not taking excessive amounts of any, and my own GP okayed the list. I have been following strict sleep hygiene protocol, and this is the only thing that has made a difference. Look out for food sensitivities or all kinds.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks MLucille, that's very interesting. I'd be interested to find out if you discover the culprit! I have to take a few medications for blood pressure, cholesterol and others and I'm sure they interact in ways that are not conducive to sleep. Trouble is I can't stop taking any of these whereas with supplements people tend to think they have no adverse reaction.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hello lhobby,

    Supplements can be very potent, and people often get in trouble taking too much/many of them. I don't know the culprit yet. I have an appointment at the Sleep Medicine Department of a major hospital here, and although I've started sleeping better, I plan to run the list by them. I'll let you know what I discover, if anything.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks MLucille and best of luck with your hospital appoinment.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Hello Lindsay. I read your post with interest and note that you are medication for cholesterol. Statins, I presume? I am convinced that statins knocked me into my present insomnia. I have had occasional bouts of insomnia since my teens usually with an identifiable trigger ( exams, family worries read . Last autumn the insomnia started for no apparent reason and would not go away. Then I realised that around the same time the GP had persuaded me to go on statins. I stopped them immediately but the damage was done; my circadian rhythms were well and truly out of sync. The doctor has since given me a different statin but this time I read the leaflet – side effect No 2 , insomnia!! Needless to say I haven't taken them,
    Talking to others about this I find it is a not uncommon problem but that little is said about it.A friend tells me that her husband now takes his statins in the morning as GP says he must have them even though they were causing insomnia. He finds that helps.

    I am coming to the conclusion that many medications cause as many or more problems than they cure.

    Marie

  • Sleepio Member

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    Marie you could well be right about my insomnia. I hadn't really considered the statin as the instigator as I've been on it a good while but was rather thinking it was my BP med as I knew this has insomnia as a side effect. I've just recently changed my BP drug and apart from feeling so much better on it , it controls my BP much better. I'm on one of the older style statins that have to be taken at night but my husband has just started on them and I was surprised to see that he could take it at any time. I do think there is a tendency to medicate people too easily these days and I agree they often cause more harm than good. I'll look into this and might ask my GP to change to one I can take in the morning. Sadly, I think I will have to continue with them as I have a strong family history of heart and kidney disease and have had high blood pressure requiring treatment for the past 30 years which no amount of healthy eating and exercise has helped!

    Thanks so much for this.

    Lindsay

  • Sleepio Member

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    I also take a statin, I wonder if it has anything to do with my insomnia. I will look into it. I have heard about this before but never took any notice of it. We have a lot of heart problems in our family so guess I need to take it.

    Ve

  • Sleepio Member

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    I saw a Sleep Medicine specialist last week. I had already gone off all supplements and had started sleeping, after two years of insomnia. He told me that Magnesium, Manganese, and Choline can have “paradoxical effects” in some people, i.e., insomnia. So please consider everything you are taking. If you take more than one supplement, make a list of all ingredients, their amounts, (noting the Serving Size), and have someone knowledgeable check it out.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Thanks for getting back to us with this MLucille. I know a few people here have mentioned taking magnesium so worth considering. Interesting that you said you started sleeping when you got a gastro-enteritis bug! I've had this bug over last 4 days (gone now I think) and couldn't eat but I slept and slept… I think the body knows what's best for any illness and often that is sleep.

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