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Zolpidem CR and Lorazepam


[Gw...]

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Here is my story. All of my adult life I've had anxiety and panic attacks but they were spread out and manageable. I never took any regular medication beyond propranolol to publicly speak. I was happy, healthy and had a great life. Around 2 years ago I went to a doctor (psychiatrist) to see about something to help me stay asleep. My sleep issues weren't severe, I would fall asleep easily but wake easily and only sleep 4 to 5 hours. This wonderful (sarcasm) doc prescribed me 1MG of Lorazapam to take at night. This became a nightly dose for 2 years and increased, briefly to 1.5MG, but back to 1MG after a short time. When my prescription ran out and I couldn't get it filled I experienced bad withdrawals and it was only then I realized the addiction I was in. The doc NEVER warned me about dangers and refilled the prescription over and over. When this occurred I eventually tapered off on my on and was completely off for 1.5 to 2 months with no ill affects. After the 1.5 to 2 months I started taking it occasionally (once or twice a week) but would still not sleep well. I never increased the dose beyond 1MG. The occasional use was roughly 35 tabs over a 190 period.

 

In comes Zolpidem CR. I decided that I wanted to try and resolve my sleep issues and leave the Loraxepram behind so I did a Web visit with my family medical office and was prescribed 12.5 MG of Zolpidem (generic) CR. I took this nightly for 14 days with 10MG of Melatonin. On day 13 I developed an all-day headache but took one last dose of the Zolpidem that night and slept awful, waking every hour. The next night I decided not to take the Zolpidem after another all-day headache. Around 10pm I had a CRUSHING panic attack. I ended up taking 1MG of Lorazepram for relief. Over the next 5 days I tapered off the Lorazepam each night.

 

I am now 12 days since that night and I am a COMPLETELY different person. I have SEVERE anxiety all the time, cannot stop thinking about all of it, have no interest in ANYTHING, and just feel overall dead inside. This is NOT who I was the day before I took Zolpidem. I was literally a totally different person. My fear now is that something is damaged and will not correct itself. I don't know if this is withdrawal from Zolpidem, Lorazepam, or both. I simply do not understand what has happened. I have yet to be able to speak with a psych doc and the medical people I've spoken to (4 of them) are literally clueless.

 

Has ANYONE ever experienced anything like this? I have a beautiful 8-month old baby boy, a great job, and just an overall great life. I am sincere when I say that I was a TOTALLY different person 14 days ago.

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Oh anyone reading your story feels your pain and panic...we have ALL been there. Its so scary isn't it? I'm so sorry you were medically mismanaged and uninformed. You are most likely experiencing WD from both meds. Everything you are feeling is completely normal unfortunately.

 

But we must focus on your healing. and you will heal. It takes time..and courage. Courage you never knew you had, but you do have it. Not knowing what is going is the worst part. Here are some links to help you better understand.

 

What's happening inside your brain

 

Boards for support and info you might find helpful:

Cold Turkey, Detox & Rapid Withdrawal

 

Z-drug Withdrawal Support Group

 

Post-withdrawal Recovery Support

 

Also reading the success stories can help you get through the bad days and give such hope!

Success Stories

 

Do you have help with your beautiful baby? Push through for him...you will have a bright future with him. I promise you will start to feel relief from the symptoms eventually. Its a bit of a rollercoaster in the beginning, ups and downs. You will heal ..it just takes time.

 

hugs :smitten:

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Hi GW

 

I’m sorry to hear how sick you feel.  You are in withdrawal.  Many people struggle to stop taking benzodiazepines. 

 

You stopped once.  Then went back to it.  Your rapid taper, rescue dose of lorazepam and suddenly stopping the zolpiderm have combined to cause dependency and withdrawal.  There is also an effect called kindling.  This happens when stoping and starting benzos.  Also, you stopped everything really fast.  I wouldn’t blame only zolpiderm.  It’s both. 

 

Doctors do not know much about these meds.  Many of us were not warned of the problems.  These meds are meant for very short term use.  Even 2 weeks is long enough to cause dependency. 

 

You’ve been benzo free for 12 days.  You’re in acute withdrawal.  This may take time, but you will begin to feel less sick in time.   

 

Understand and accept you’re in withdrawal.  Take a couple of weeks off work if possible.  Tough it out. 

 

When you feel this sick, that sounds impossible.  You just want relief. 

 

Know this - you will feel better.  Your symptoms will calm.  You’re beautiful life will make sense again.  The you from before will return. 

 

Do you have a partner at home or are you doing this alone, single parenting? 

 

You’re not damaged.  Your brain is trying to catch up and do the job the meds took over.  You’re still you. 

 

Lots of caring people here to help you through this.  You’ll get through and heal. 

 

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Wow. Just wow. Your quick replies to my introduction may have restored my faith in humanity. Thanks to you both as the links and info are SO helpful in my understanding of what is causing this. I have no idea why I have this sudden onset of withdrawal after just two weeks of Zolpidem when I didn't with the Lorazepam alone but after reading through the information on here there is almost no other explanation. These drugs (Zolpidem and Lorazepam) should never be prescribed in my opinion. I don't care if they've helped some people. The pharmaceutical companies and psychiatric industry don't understand them enough for them to be safe and their effects on people like myself make the risk too great.

 

I have a couple of questions in case anyone else reads this and has some insight. I've been taking Magnesium and L-Theanine which seem to help (minimally). I also take 5MG of Melatonin at night to sleep. Does anyone know if this will hinder my brains ability to correct itself?

 

Also, one thing that increases my anxiety that I can't seem to understand. I successfully tapered off the Lorazepam for the 1 to 2 month period and then only took it occasionally. Does anyone have any insight as to why the 2 week course of Zolpidem CR may have triggered this extreme withdrawal?

 

Also, I am able to function and take care of my son and I also have support and help. I'm just miserable beyond belief and desperately want to be able to enjoy life again. This stuff comes in waves, one minute I'm in panic mode, the next I'm depressed, and at times I feel normal (until I start thinking about it all which I can't seem to stop doing).

 

I've never been through anything like this before as I have never used drugs illegally or abused any by prescription. Going through this has been a real eye-opener for me for sure. I suspect that when I get back to myself I will make it a point to do all I can to help anyone who finds themselves battling a substance, especially one that was given to them legally by a doctor.

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Your brain is healing and the only things in my opinion which can hamper this are more benzo's and non-benzodiazepines like Ambien or alcohol.  Many here use supplements with varying degrees of success, for some they're beneficial, for others a nightmare so I'd do a search of the Alternative Therapies & Supplements board before taking or adding more supplements. 

 

Waves (bad symptoms) and windows (a lessening of symptoms) are common in benzo withdrawal, healing from this is not a linear process, this is why we're left to question if we're really feeling these symptoms, but take it from us, they're real and we know your pain.

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To help you think this through a bit as to why.  Why - is because that’s the nature of the beast.  There is no exact answer.  Why could you stop lorazepam for 2 months, take zolpiderm and end up in withdrawals?  The lorazepam can have delayed onset withdrawal, taking a rescue dose may have kindled the lorazepam from earlier, zolpiderm start and stop all combined to cause this.  Your brain stopped catching up in a sense.

 

Supplements are a personal choice.  Ltheanine has been amazing for some, not so much others.  It would more likely have an opposite effect  (not calming) at worst.  It won’t prevent your healing.  I’ve used it sparingly and it was nice.  Magnesium, same story.  Some don’t like it.  I find it soothes and takes away muscle pain.  I take melatonin 1.5 mgs in tart cherry juice.  It truly helps me sleep.  It hasn’t harmed me.  But there are others who didn’t like it. 

 

The central nervous system is harmed by benzos.  It becomes hyper sensitive.  Everyone is different to what degree.  But good news is , this all heals.

 

I’m so relieved to hear you have support, and at times even feel ok. 

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Today was a good "window" say for me. I actually felt like myself for quite a while. A wave of anxiety this morning and a wave of depression later. I've never experienced depression before so that's scary. It didn't last too long though.

 

I can assure you that you aren't alone. If you want to post during this Hell I will be here to listen and reply. Check out the link that was posted above about what's happening to your brain. It really helped me.

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Hey gw

 

Good to hear you had a big window.  Yes, depression is scary. 

 

It seems like you’re well on your way to healing 🙂.

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Thanks. I felt slightly better but definitely not myself. It's like I'm in a fog or something. Very strange.
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Ugh, Gwpeaks, I am sending so many hugs!!! It SUCKS, doesn't it? Just imagine that you've got a big mountain of shit in front of you, and a tiny spoon in your hand, and each day you dig into the shit mountain and toss that tiny spoonful over your shoulder, gone forever. It takes too long. I know. But you WILL get it done.

 

Dunno if that helps or not. Give yourself time to "come back to yourself," and be kind to yourself!

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Thank you for the encouraging words. This is truly the most horrible thing I have ever been through in my life. I thought things were improving but last night the anxiety came back with a vengeance. Nightmares, no sleep, and now this morning I have anxiety and terrible ringing in my right ear. To make it worse, I've read dozens of horror stories about people who have suffered this torment for years. That has to be the worst thing anyone going through this can do. I can't imagine suffering like this for that long. I should note that I've been taking Theanine and Magnesium which helped slightly but I'm trying not to take them now.

 

Yesterday was exactly 14 days since my last dose of Zolpidem. I've now been off of it as long as I took it. It's been just over a week since I last took Ativan, which was essentially three tabs over 4 days to sleep after the Zolpidem stop. What worries me most now is trying to determine if these withdrawals are from the Zolpidem or Ativan! I feel most of it is from the Zolpidem but I can't wrap my brain around why it is this severe after only two weeks of taking it. I know the Ativan may be a factor also but since November of last year I was only taking it occasionally and never had an issue. Over the past 6 months I only took a total of 35 tabs and would go a week or more without it having no issues. I even went over a month without it at all and felt NOTHING like this.

 

I'm functional, working, working out, pretty much all normal activities. I just CANNOT shake the anxiety and stop THINKING about the situation all the time. These drugs should NEVER be prescribed to anyone for any reason. It is criminal what these irresponsible doctors are doing.

 

If anyone has been through a similar situation (and didn't suffer for years) I would appreciate some insight. I'm also curious if Melatonin may be a factor too. I took 10MG each night with the Zolpidem. I've taken Melatonin for years and never felt any ill effects. The way things are now, though, I'm terrified total anything at all. I've even given up caffeine completely.

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