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Zopiclone - Has anyone any experience of withdrawal?

(8 Posts)
Uphillanddowndale12 Mon 23-Nov-15 10:58:35

Hi I've been prescribed Zopiclone for a very bad bout of insomnia as my mum has had a long spell in hospital. They've been great at getting a good nights sleep but now I'm trying to withdraw from them I'm having problems with rebound insomnia and I've got indigestion, wind, restlessness etc I've been on 1 3.5 pill or about 10 days and I have been taking 3/4 of a pill for 3 nights and last night was awful, all the old insomnia symptoms were back.

Has anyone else had this, how long did it take to get back to feeling normal again? Will I ever feel ok again???

Asteria36 Mon 23-Nov-15 11:03:03

DH had problems with Zopiclone. Only occasional use, but in the nights off he struggles to get any sleep. He is now taking high dose Melatonin (bought in U.S.) and it seems to be helping. It doesn't knock you out, but it does promote a more natural sleep without the vile withdrawal and morning hangover. I think you can get it online in the UK. We had some from Biovea (I think)

fairbalance Mon 23-Nov-15 14:06:53

I have nerve damage in my arm/hand and it goes numb when I sleep on it so I have Zopilcone on repeat prescription. My arm wakes me up when it goes dead Zopiclone keeps me asleep. However I only take it on the days I need to be by 7am so go to bed by 10pm. The interesting thing is I never get rebound insomnia if I do not take it all that happens is I wake up 3/4 times with a numb arm/hand and am often tired next day due to my numb arm/hand not due to the Zopiclone.

I can never understand why it causes people problems??

randomuser12 Mon 23-Nov-15 17:06:34

Difficult question to answer. Most patients taking zopiclone for a short course do not suffer rebound insomnia. It is possible that the sleep disturbance is caused by anticipatory anxiety once the dose is reduced and you may be best stopping the zopiclone entirely and seeing if problems settled over the next few days.

Remember the zopiclone will not have helped the underlying stresses etc. that caused the original sleep disturbances and if they are not fully dealt with it is likely symptoms will return.

The alternative is to see your GP and discuss converting the zopiclone to its equivalent dose diazepam - probably around 5mg, though there is no clear cut way to calculate this - and slowely weaning it. While this would be a good strategy for someone who had been on zopiclone longterm, it is likely to be more trouble than it is worth in short term use.

One study showed patients taking a placebo tablet suffered greater rebound insomnia than those using zopiclone or benzodiazepines. This suggests a strong placebo effect. Again it may be easier to tackle this in one go rather than 4 serial dose reductions though obviously this is a decision for yourself ang your GP to make.

(Ref to above study) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9728734

Uphillanddowndale12 Mon 23-Nov-15 17:50:46

Hello and thanks for your replies randomuser I can understand that my recent bout of rebound insomnia could be related to anxiety about stopping the Zopiclone but it was such a contrast to the sleep I've been having while I've been on it. Also the symptoms I'm having fit those listed under the heading withdrawal on the info sheet that came with them eg digestive problems, restlessness, etc.
I don't like taking any medication and I'm fortunate that I don't need to take any, apart from this Zopiclone temporarily. I thought I was supposed to reduce the pills gradually rather than just stopping them? Hopefully the situation that triggered my insomnia - my mums hospitalisation and subsequently having to have full-time nursing care is improving and I'm less stressed by it all. I want to get back to normality (?) and I need to be well to to support my mum

randomuser12 Mon 23-Nov-15 18:16:11

A short course can be stopped abruptly or gradually. The aim of gradual reduction is to lessen symptoms such as rebound insomnia. If only mild you could continue with the gradual reduction. If intolerable you could (after discussing with GP) try:

1) Stopping treatment entirely and see how symptoms are after 5-7 days - although rebound insomnia is possible it is likely to be a shorter duration than slow dose reduction.

2) Converting to diazepam which would allow a slower reduction of total dose but similar effects are possible.

How is your sleep being affected? Is it getting to sleep or staying asleep? How many hours total? How long do you normally sleep? Do you feel stressed? Drinking alcohol? Caffeine?

Uphillanddowndale12 Mon 23-Nov-15 18:40:08

Hi again, randomuser Usually I go to sleep then wake after a couple of hours and can't get back to sleep til about 5 or 6 am. I go to bed about 12 or 1 am and sleep til about 7/8ish
I like good strong coffee but only drink it in the morning. I like red wine too and I know that if I drink more than two glasses I can be awake half the night - the same if I have a Chinese or curry (!)

I'm quite active as I walk my Labrador dog each day
Sometimes I've taken valerian to help me sleep and that seems to help but not recently hence, hence the Zopiclone

fairbalance Mon 23-Nov-15 23:01:36

Hmmm may be it because I am in fact taking Zopiclone for nerve pain rather than sleep issues. I would rather this than diazepam. A numb arm/hand in the day I can cope with just shake it but when it when wakes you up its a pain especially if you have a busy day the next day and are tired it is a pain. I always need the loo when it wakes me up and going to the loo wakes me up even more!

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