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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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    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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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 5

    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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    Graduate

    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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    Graduate

    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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    Graduate

    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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    Graduate

    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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    Graduate

    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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    Graduate

    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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    Graduate

    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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    Graduate

    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.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi, I slept really well until I started on BP pills. Initially I was fine but it's got worse. I'm still trying to find a pill that works for me without horrible side effects. It's a vicious circle. Glad you've got your medication sorted. I'm on bisoporol 1.25 and canderstartan 8mg at the moment but sleep erratic.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 4

    Hi, I've been using Lunesta (Eszopiclone) 2mg for around 15 months and have been trying to taper down to as little as possible to get back to natural sleep. Lately, the medication has become very fickle. Some nights it works, other nights not at all (which nullifies my tapering efforts). I actually got down to 1.25 mg. before I had to take a z pack/prednisone to treat a cold/bronchitis. Not much success afterwards because I'm now dealing with constipation, inconsistency, and the “benzo burn” – sedation, burning, and squeezing around the eyes.” Are these symptoms of withdrawal? How are the symptoms managed? Should I consider switching to a different medication? Crazy!

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I used Ativan for over 10 years and tapered off successfully over many months. I don’t have any experience with lunesta, sorry. It would be best to work with your doctor, preferably a doctor with experience in sleep meds, to taper off.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi all how do you all deal with the Anxiery. As as I hit the pillow my mind is Telling you not goi g to sleep. The other issue is I don't have a problem going to sleep the issue is staying asleep
    Any advice.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi Gabriel,
    I’ve left you a message on your profile page – hope it helps relieve some of the anxiety you feel.

    Kurly ;)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi I've been taking Citalopram for 20 years for chronic Insomnia. Every time I reduce it even really slowly the insomnia returns. I'm now worried I'm addicted to it and the long term effects this may have on me. Had anyone else had a similar problem?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I was on Amytripolene, not for long (2 weeks of a 4 week course) following 3 months where I could only sleep from 10pm to 12am and then I woke up each night 'wide awake'. I saw a GP who prescribed Amytrip 25mg – this helped with getting to sleep fast but I still woke up at midnight'ish (this is likely to be after my my first sleep cycle where you normally get close to waking up but for some reason my brain pinged wide awake instead).

    I found that even coming off a low daily dose (25mg) for only 2 weeks, I had 3 days of very difficult sleep whilst it came out of my system.

    Eventually, I'm guessing completely, as my brain chemicals started doing things for itself rather than the Amytrip doing the heavy lifting of 'balancing' chemicals – the sleep has gradually started coming back to me.

    SR is working for me – I go to bed at 12:15am and wake at 5:30am (5th week) and whilst I am aware when I semi-wake up to turn over etc. it's not a 'ping wide awake' sensation which is absolutely amazing.

    I'm not taking Amytrip at all now – whilst I'm sure it works for some, coming off it needs to be done carefully (I had less issue as only taken for a very short time) and I am definitely better without it. For me – it badly impacted my sleep coming off it – but continued patience and things were resolved thankfully.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    My doctor has put me on zopiclone to address my insomnia. I don't seem to be able to get to sleep and maintain it without it. I try to only take a half tablet when I have been trying to get to sleep for a while and failed. Interesting to read about magnesium as I take two capsules a day and am on high blood pressure tablets Perindropil 4mg and it was after starting these tablets that my insomnia started. Interested to know if anyone else has this problem. Changes in sleep and mood are listed in the side effects as rare 1 in 100.

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