Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How hard is it coming off Ambien after taking it everyday for 6 months?

How hard is it coming off Ambien after taking it everyday for 6 months?
I was prescribed Ambien for insomnia that was caused by another medication I have to take everyday(Wellbutrin). I don't want to become addicted/cause any problems with my body so I am going to try and stop it. I take 10mgs every night so should I cut each pill in half and take 5mgs every night instead? And then take 2.5mgs for a week to completely taper off?
Hi, you are asking a very good question! I have been through exactly what you are going through, and I know a lot of people who have done the same thing. In my sources I reference three websites. Please visit them! One is a discussion thread on topix where a lot of us talk about this topic, and you will get quick answers to any questions you might have. Please go there and introduce yourself, you will get quick answers and plenty of help.
First of all, you were addicted after you took Ambien for about three weeks. It is highly addictive, and very damaging to brain and body. After six months, the damage is done. You can quit and you can recover completely. It won't be easy, but it can be done, and it isn't that difficult is you know what to expect.
Go see your doctor and tell him or her you want to stop taking it. Be forewarned that most doctors don't really have a clue how to quit taking ambien, or what you will go through when you do quit, so they may or may not be able to help you. They may be able to give you other (non-addictive) medications to help you quit the ambien. If you taper it off as quickly as you have outlined, you might suffer some unpleasant side effects. I spent six weeks tapering, and it was moderately unpleasant, but I made it. Others have spent may months tapering their dosage, others quit immediately.

There is too much to tell you about quitting ambien, I can't write it all here. Please visit the websites I reference. If you want to ask any questions here, I will answer the best I can.

The first link is a website dedicated to recovery from Ambien. It's in beta but has some good information.

The second link is the ambien headache thread at topix, it has several years of history from people like us who took ambien and want to stop. Please go there and introduce yourself. You will get support and information that will help you through this journey.

The third link is the Point of Return website, a site founded by people who have been through this and want to help others. Email or call them, ask for Alesandra, she can help you a lot. They specialize in helping people quit taking sleeping pills and other drugs.

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