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where to find MD to do Ashton method for zolpidem


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I've been trying for about two years to get help getting off of 10 mg zolpidem. Because of a  lyme, my  lyme MD continued my rx for 1 month but is reluctant to renew and  primary care have been trying to get me off of it.

 

I've tried  mirtazapine, seroquel, mirtazapine, nortriptyline etc and nothing works. I'm seeing an MD next week for genetic test to find what drug might work with my genetics to make me sleepy. But I'm not hopeful.

 

Saw  a naturopath today who from 23andme results told me that I have homozygous  COMT and MAO genes that could be part of the reaon. This means my neurotransmitters are causing anxiety.

 

I brought the section on the Ashton taper to a pharmD at my clinic who said she'd look into it. At the next visit, she said she couldn't find anything about Heather Ashton anywhere!!!

 

She knew that I had voluntarily and successfully tapered off of clonazapam two years ago and didn't want me on valium.

 

I just have a feeling that Ashton would work for me. I don't have an addictive personality and think that with a controlled taper I would not get physically dependent.

 

Should I seek a psychiatrist for help with this?

 

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Believe it or not, Ashton feels that you can jump successfully from normal doses of zolpidem. I'll find one of the relevant passages. The Z-drugs are very hard to taper, as once you get much lower than a normal dose, there is not enough sedation to counteract the stimulating effects of the med, and your sleep will be poor (worse than if you didn't take the drug!). But people who jump almost always have rapid improvement in sleep within a week or so, even after years of use. The biggest hurdle seems to be psychological--the fear of not sleeping, and the habit of reaching for a drug to knock you out when the going gets rough. You have to go through an adjustment period (of poor sleep), without meds, to get back to normal sleep, and it isn't fun.

 

From the Ashton Manual:

In my experience, the only exception to the general rule of slow reduction is triazolam (Halcion). This benzodiazepine is eliminated so quickly (half-life 2 hours) that you are practically withdrawn each day, after a dose the night before. For this reason, triazolam can be stopped abruptly without substitution of a long-acting benzodiazepine. If withdrawal symptoms occur, you could take a short course of diazepam starting at about 10mg, decreasing the dosage as shown on Schedule 2. The same approach applies to the non-benzodiazepines zolpidem and zaleplon which both have half-lives of 2 hours.

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Hi  homefree,

 

Am I reading this to say, that because you successfully tapered off clonazepam 2 years ago, your doc is saying no to a valium taper today?

 

If she couldn't find the Ashton Manual, you can print one out for her. It's my feeling, if you want to do a Valium taper, it should be your decision....problem with that is they are a controlled substance, which pretty much puts it in the doctor's hands, unfortunately for us. I just reread your post and it says you did give her the Manual. WTF!? Maybe I'm confused.

 

Anyway, if her attitude is one that will not work with you on this, find a doctor who is more open minded to your needs. I hear they're out there! Maybe an addiction Specialist? From what I've been reading you should avoid psychiatrists, if you can.

 

Wishing you luck! Keep us posted on how it turns out....~CeCe    :mybuddy:

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Yes, I agree, if you want to do a Valium cross-over, you may have to find another doctor to support that, but it may be hard to find in this day and age (I somehow didn't catch that was what you were thinking). But be aware that it may not work as well as you think--I attempted to do a Valium cross-over, and it didn't work out for me, I still could not sleep! not sedating enough. That was kind of the last straw before my cold turkey.
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Meowie, the quote from Ashton Manual makes me wonder if maybe Halcion would be a med to switch to to get off of zolpidem?

 

Many many ears ago, before I ever was rxd zolpidem and was not taking any sleep meds, an MD gave me halcion for a two month time while I was in Europe. It's too long ago to remember how many I was given or how frequently I took it them, but I'm thinking I used them up so probably 30 during that time.

 

When I came home and had no more, I had no withdrawal or problem sleeping.

 

So I'm wondering if that would be a good substitute?  To me that sounds logical that it might work.I dont think I'd have the courage to suggest it though because doctors don't like when patients think they know what will work for them.

 

You said valium failed for you--I see you said zolpidem was rescue dose in tag line--would you mind explaining?

 

I had told the pharmD, CeCe, that I forgot the clonazapam on a trip and anxiety was horrible. I think she wasn't making the distinction that it was a physical dependence? I was fine with having forgotten it until three days into my trip when all hell broke loose in my body. It was after that trip that I wanted off of it. (I was on a cruise and the ship's MD had just enough clon. to get me through the trip thank God) I was expecting to be praised for tapering and staying off for two years, but I guess she wasn't impressed.

 

I did call an addiction clinic and the person answering the phone said--this clinic is for drug addiction. Maybe she was just ignorant and I should call again.

 

Many thanks!

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Hi homefree,

 

Doctors can be SO frustrating, I swear!  Is there more than one addiction specialist where you live? Please try again, if possible. I agree with you, I would expect to be praised, for all the hard work put in in tapering and staying off clonazepam. I don't think they think of us as people who have a problem with dependency, they look at us as addicts and drug seekers, which I'm sure happens frequently in their line of business...so, I understand in a way, but what really pisses me off is that we are all put in one 'slot'. There is no gray. Only black and white. You need a doctor who knows about the gray. We all deserve to be seen as unique individuals, because that is what we are! I've experienced a huge amount of my own frustration in this.

 

Would your GP be willing to help you? Or keep trying an addiction specialist, other than that, you could try a psychiatrist. There is a couple of people I've seen on here that have had some luck with them. Keep trying until you find either a new GP or Pdoc that has compassion and an open mind.

 

Good luck and please keep us posted!  ~CeCe    :mybuddy:

 

 

 

 

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Meowie, the quote from Ashton Manual makes me wonder if maybe Halcion would be a med to switch to to get off of zolpidem?

 

Many many ears ago, before I ever was rxd zolpidem and was not taking any sleep meds, an MD gave me halcion for a two month time while I was in Europe. It's too long ago to remember how many I was given or how frequently I took it them, but I'm thinking I used them up so probably 30 during that time.

 

When I came home and had no more, I had no withdrawal or problem sleeping.

 

No, no, Halcion would be a horrible withdrawal med! Impossible to taper. The whole point in that quote is that you really don't have a strong dependence, because of the short half-life, on zolpidem. This doesn't apply if you are dosing all day, or huge doses, but that doesn't sound like the case--it does happen to some! So you can just quit and be fine. The fact that you just quit Halcion without issue basically illustrates this--your body never developed strong dependence.

 

Why do you feel you can't just quit taking zolpidem? is it the lack of sleep? or do you have other withdrawal symptoms? you would probably have a couple of bad nights, then things would rapidly start to improve. Most doctors aren't going to see the rationale in doing a cross-over, and will tell you to just quit.

 

Regarding my own benzo mess--last winter I was having a terrible time with insomnia, taking an assortment of z-drugs  and benzos (whatever I could get my hands on unfortunately). Tried setting up tapers a few time and lastly doing a cross-over to Valium that failed. It turns out my AD had gone paradoxical and was giving me insomnia, so I ended up doing a cold turkey of everything, which turned out to be the best decision all winter by far.

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Going without sleep is a problem because of the lyme disease.

 

I went 4 nights two years ago and sleep didn't come. I tried staying  up until 4am last week and ended up taking half and then half a pill because I felt so awful.

 

I just asked my lyme md to fill rx with the 5 mg pills so that I'm only able to take 7.5 per night.

 

I'm so jealous when someone tells me they took a nap or hear someone yawninhg. I crave that lovely feeling of drifting off to sleep instead of suddenly being out without the sleepy feeling, and knowing I'll wake up in under 3 hours!

 

 

 

 

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I was on zoplicon for several months after a stay in the hospital for a non benzo situation. Broke both my arms. After a few months at home it stopped working. 15mg. So I phoned my crazy old doctor and he as usual said to take 2. Problem solved. No way was I upping it so I phoned my pharmacist and asked her how to do it safely. Explaining of course that I was wide awake 2 hours after taking. I had a very good relationship with my pharmacist and she said simply cut one quarter every 2 weeks. She said other than not sleeping very well (which I wasn't anyway) that 1/4 every 2 weeks would cause minimal side effects or none at all. So I did that and yup other than sleepless nights zero side effects. Was done in six weeks. But here's the good news. Roughly 2 weeks later my body settled in and I started sleeping like a baby. I'm not an Ashton fan as Valium has not worked well for me but if you feel,ok with it I guess it's worth a try. I just wish I'd never added another benzo into the mix at all. Zoplicon is similar though but I'd try to just go slow and steady off the zoplicon. Then you don't have to be concerned about the Valium taper. Just my thoughts. Maybe this is your doctor's feeling as well. But I do agree...most doctors are clueless about withdrawals. I'm lucky and have now found a fantastic one who specializes in benzo addictions. He too though was not in favour of Valium but with my persistence said ok. He's very sceptical but knowledgeable about Ashton. For many of his patients I guess he has learned, just like me, it's not for everyone yet he gave me the chance. My bad! Best of luck. B
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