Any one coming off "Lunesta" aka zopiclone problems ?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Fudge43, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. Fudge43

    Fudge43 New Member

    I'm just wondering if anyone has come off this drug after a long term usage .. such as 5 years .. because it started to lose its affectiveness. My doctor put me on oxazepam 2x15mgs .. last night it was just NOT working and I took one zopiclone after a couple of hours of looking at the ceiling .. sigh.
    Anyone with any information about this greatly appreciated ... it was a wonderful sleep aid and I don't know what I'm going to do !
    Fudge
  2. Fudge43

    Fudge43 New Member

  3. elsa

    elsa New Member



    Can't help you on the time frame Fudge ... sorry about that. It hasn't been available to us in the US until just recently. I don't think it has the potential to cause large rebound effects, but there are bound to be some. I'm sorry you aren't taking it anymore. I got this right ... it doesn't work for you anymore?

    If that happened to me, I would need to switch to xyrem. I have that irritating added sleep problem of no REM sleep and my choice of sleep medication (holistic or RX) is limited. Maybe you can try that route temporarily and then go back to your lunesta.

    Good luck ... There is nothing worse then getting poor sleep. Our symptoms escalate with each bad hour.

    I take a small does of cortisol in the AM which is seemingly helping to "reset" my clock. Also, GH injection in the evening is adding to positive sleep.

    I was rx'ed compounded progesterone, but I can't handle it. Talk about inducing sleep!! You might want to look into it. Bio-id progest. has many protective benefits and it is considered the "calming" hormone. Certainly "calmed" me, LOL. All I know is that at this point please keep me away from all serotonin and progest ... I am calm enough as is ... ZZZZzzzz !!


    Please let us know how things go for you. Oh, I'm still working on my coffee, so not as brillant as I'd like, but there is another sleep aid mentioned here that is shorter acting then lunesta and works in a similar manner. You might think about this too as an alternative until you can go back to lunesta.

    Keep us posted on how you are doing ....

    Elsa
  4. Pianowoman

    Pianowoman New Member

    I tok zopiclone for several years, can't remember how many exactly. A couple of years ago I stopped it to go on Clonazepam. I certainly don't remember any problems with withdrawl. I thought it was not working as well then but I have since started to take 1/4-1/2 along with the clonazepam to get me to sleep. The clonazepam keeps me asleep. I don't have any hangover with this combination.

    Good Luck

    Kathy.
  5. Fudge43

    Fudge43 New Member

    Thanks so much !
    elsa .. thank you for your experiences .. I know that lack of .. or poor quality sleep makes things a lot worse for us .. I was actually thinking that getting off for a while might rekick ? the affectiveness of the zopiclone.

    Funny you should mention the cortisol .. my levels are below normal in the morning .. but we have not pursued that problem .. is your cortisol treatment by perscription elsa ? ... and what is GH ? my brain is in a fog too this morning .. haha.

    I don't want to sound like a big baby .. and I should try and stick this out longer but I worry about a damaging cycle of no sleep happening and feeling the pain more acutely ( a high pressure system moved in over night and wow .. talk about full body impact, tracking these flares by way of weather fronts have become amazing ).

    I wouldn't mind being extra calm either .. and my husband would LOVE it .. his meds make him very laid back and easy going and I'm usually functioning at MANY RPMs FASTER ! haha .. he says he gets dizzy watching or listening to me because I'm so fast on good days.

    pianowoman thank you as well for you input .. my husband uses that drug as well .. and a very new one, cesamet ? not sure of the spelling .. he sleeps like a baby .. I get really jealous of him ..
    Your combination sounds like a good one .. so thank you for the suggestions !

    I'm on a mission to get some SLEEP !! haha
    Fudge : )

  6. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Hi Fudge,

    I did not know that Zopiclone was available in Canada! I have been wanting to try Lunesta ever since it was approved in the U.S. but thought that we couldn't get it here. Did you get this from an Ontario doctor?

    I see that you have had your cortisol levels checked. Can you tell me who checked them - G.P., endocrinologist? I have not been able to convince any dr. to do this. Did you have the blood test or saliva test done?

    These are things I have been researching for a long time.
    Thank you for any help!
    Pepper
    [This Message was Edited on 11/26/2005]
  7. Fudge43

    Fudge43 New Member

    pepper ! ... I'm in Kingston .. grew up in Ottawa : )
    YES ! .. zopiclone is the generic name for Lunesta and I have taken it over 5 years .. so you should be able to get it as well .. it works ! I can't even begin to tell you .. but because I have been on it so long I began to feel it wasn't working as well ... I'm not giving up on it though .. as the others have said, I might have a chance if I get off for a bit and go back on it. So DO ask your doctor about it and keep at him/her till they write a script for it !

    The cortisol issue is still up in the air .. it was checked by the first endocrinologist I saw here in Kingston ( after a long wait period .. you know how that can be ... they were going to send me to Ottawa .. too long a drive for me) .. it was a blood test, .. that progressed to an insulin intolerance test (blood taken over a 6 hour period after a sugar response) .. that became a fiasco .. too long a story .. it has not been resolved yet.
    KEEP at your doctor to have it checked for your peace of mind .. it is important ! .. the down side would have been .. being put on steroids if it was too low .. and I dreaded that .. steroids make you ballon up and not in a good way ! haha
    The cortisol level is just low enough to make me feel tired most of the time .. but not low enough to be life threatening or worth going on yet other meds.

    I hope this information helps pepper .. let me know ?
    Good Luck ! Fudge : )
  8. Pianowoman

    Pianowoman New Member

    The other name for Zopiclone in Canada is Imovane. I have been taking it for years so you should be able to get it easily.

    Kathy.
  9. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Is Imovane really the same as zoplicone? I thought that Lunesta was a "grandchild" of Imovane, i.e. from the same family but absorbed differently.

    If it is the same, I feel really stupid because I took Imovane for years. When I was doing the research on Lunesta, I thought that they had been able to increase the half-life of the drug and that is why I thought it would be better.

    I found Imovane put me to sleep quickly but did not keep me asleep so I took 7.5 mg with 15 mg Restoril for years. I stopped taking the Imovane and now take 30 mg Restoril instead because one of my doctors told me that Imovane was harder on the liver and my liver is bad. I have since found out that he was wrong!

    I asked my G.P. for it in the spring when I was unable to sleep and he wouldn't give it to me with the Restoril - even though he was the one who gave me both of them before. I may insist on it though since I am remembering that I did sleep better with it.

    Fudge! You grew up in Ottawa? Wow! I wonder if we know each other. :)

    Thank you so much for this information. I am seeing a new endocrinologist in December. I am going to ask her to check my cortisol levels as well as every other hormone she can check. I really didn't know if she is the one I should ask about cortisol.

    I would stay away from steroids too - I balloon up very easily. But if I knew my cortisol levels were off and at what time of day they peaked or dipped, I would look for a natural solution from my naturopath or my CFS doctor.

    Have you looked into natural cortisol solutions? My best friend who has severe CFS is down in the Berkshires being treated by an old friend who just happens to be a doctor specializing in CFS. He tested her cortisol levels by doing the saliva test several times a day. Her levels drop (in the a.m.?) and peak (at night I think) and he is treating her naturally for it.

    I will try to remember to ask her what it is she is doing for her cortisol and will post it here.

    Thanks so much for this information.
    Now if I just knew if Imovane and zoplicone are the same. However, I am going to ask my G.P. for Imovane with the Restoril next time I go in to renew my script.

    Have a great day!
    Pepper
  10. Fudge43

    Fudge43 New Member

    pepper .. my family moved to Ottawa (from N.S.) when I was 12 going on 13 .. went to Bell High and Carleton University .. we lived in Westcliffe Estates .. my spelling is atrocious sorry ! haha
    I actually remembered the endo that was going to see me in Ottawa .. on Carling Ave. " Dr. Timothy O'Leary" can you believe the name ? ... talk about flash back to 60's activist ! LOL
    I'm not sure if Imovane is exactly the same as zopiclone .. I only see APO Zopiclone on my script .. perhaps a more detailed search on the net ?
    Your cortisol levels should be at their highest level in the morning as I understand it .. it is primative survival key .. flight or fight intense .. sounds strange but if you think of coming out of a night's sleep and being ready to handle day time activities it makes sense.
    What does the Restoril do ? is it to aid sleep ? .. or a muscle relaxant ? my muscle relaxant isn't affective any more ( was flexeril ? ) but my GP doesn't want to have me on too many new drugs at once .. the sleep issue to fix first .. I do agree, but you know how impatient we are to FEEL BETTER !
    Thank you too for any information you can pass on ! Some days I can't get enough and other days I feel overwhelmed .. but I really want to understand the meds and what might be possible, to make me feel better. An on going battle with us all !
    Good Luck with your GP !
    Fudge : )
  11. razorqueen

    razorqueen Member

    for a number of years, (Im in Canada too) but when I got put on Clonazapam I had to go off, doc didn't want me taking both at the same time. I had no problems switching, no side effects at all. I am having some issues with racing brain thingy if I take Tylenol 3 at bedtime for my pain, so I can't do that. I take 1.25 mg of clonazapam, sometimes, 1.5mg.
    Raz
  12. pepper

    pepper New Member

    I bet there would be no problems getting drugs from him! LOL I am in Nepean, a stone's throw from Bell's Corners. I checked your profile but do not recognize you. :)

    You are quite a bit younger than I am so perhaps our paths have not crossed. My son and his wife both graduated from Carleton University though (in 2000) so we have that in common.

    Restoril is for sleep. It is actually the only thing I have found over the past 13 yrs that works on a consistent basis. There are times when for some reason it just stops working so I try other drugs - Starnoc (awake all night long), oxazepam (helped me as much as it helped you), Rivotril (aka Klonopin - awake all night), etc. etc. So I go back on 30 mg Restoril eventually and it works again.

    The pharmacy has given me the generic form of Restoril (Temazepam) a few times and it did not work worth a darn! I have to remember to ask for "No Substitutes" every time.

    Flexeril never helped me at all for muscle relaxing. The only thing I have found that works is Diazepam. It comes in 5 mg pills but 10 mg is needed for some pain relief, often 15 and on a very bad day, 20.

    Re cortisol: The way you explain it is exactly what I thought. And my friend's cortisol levels are backwards. Her doctor friend told her that is why she cannot sleep - the cortisol goes up at night so she is raring to go. That is how I feel too. I could be exhausted all day and then at night I get a second wind and the last thing I want to do is go to bed!

    I know the overwhelmed feeling. I just keep lots and lots of notes and try to think of only one thing at a time. But I want to feel better NOW too. You'd think I would have learned patience after all these years.

    Your GP is right about fixing the sleep issue first. My friend's doctor and Dr. Jain (who was once a well known CFS specialist) says that until the sleep issue is dealt with - and the anxiety if you have that problem too - we cannot get better.

    Good luck, Fudge!
    Pepper



  13. Fudge43

    Fudge43 New Member

    razorqueen (your name cracks me up .. keep thinking biker chic in a fun way !) .. thanks for your input .. my husband is on that, and it works for him .. lucky so and so ! haha .. must be the caffiene ? spelling out the window .. in the Tylenol that makes you "racey" haha

    pepper .. I remember when Nepean was NOT a city ! haha
    and as for my profile .. that IS me on a GOOD day ! haha
    I am curious about the Restoril now .. when I go back to my GP in a couple of weeks I will ask about it .. even if it is just to break the cycle for the zopiclone to kick in again .. I just got a call from that office for a booking with the rhuemy in March and told them the "other" pam? drug didn't work .. so hopefully I'll get a script for a few more zopiclone to hold me over till I complain in person ! haha

    Thanks again for the information ladies !
    Much appreciated !
    Fudge : )
  14. Pianowoman

    Pianowoman New Member

    I can't swear that Imovane and Lunesta are exactly the same but I do know that the generic for Imovane is Zopiclone.

    Raz, there is caffeine in Tylenol 3 so that might be the reason you have trouble with it at night.

    Kathy.
  15. pepper

    pepper New Member

    Nepean is no longer a city! It is now part of the bigger and better (NOT!) City of Ottawa. We Nepeanites are not happy campers with this arrangement but we had no say in the matter.

    Pepper
  16. razorqueen

    razorqueen Member

    biker girl I am NOT! I am a hairstylist, and I LOVE cutting hair with my razor, so I am known in my salon as the "Razorqueen"! As far as the T 3's, I think it is the combo of the caffinee and codiene. If I take it in the middle of the night, during one of my many bathroom trips then I am usually ok.
  17. Fudge43

    Fudge43 New Member

    .... that is how out of touch I am with Ottawa now pepper .. wow .. I bet you guys are NOT happy is right .. glad to be here in Kingston ... but it is NOT going to stay a small city much longer .. it is growing by leaps and bounds .. we are headed your way and Toronto's way .. sigh !

    Raz !! .. hope you are stopping to read this one more time .. can I pick your brain for a minute ? LOL ... what is a good hair cut for some one with FINE hair ? .. i keep trying to go "Bob" .. but I just have a terrible time growing it .. I wonder if I'm allowed to ask questions like that ? haha
    Thanks in any case you guys
    Fudge over and out ! ;)
  18. ShitAndTheSmellOfIt

    ShitAndTheSmellOfIt New Member

    My doc only prescribes me two weeks-ish(20 pills ore some) wort of imovane/zopiclone because of the fact that it is "addicting" and hard to get off...
  19. beverly20024

    beverly20024 New Member

    Hi all. I took zopiclone for a couple of months and finally the metal taste I got after taking it made me stop. I immediately switched over to 30 mg. of restoril and sleep fairly well now. Not always, but often (same as zopiclone).

    Just my two cents worth.

    (Like your haircut, Razorqeen...is that razor cut?)

    Take care,
    Bev
  20. Fudge43

    Fudge43 New Member

    Now I am REALLY curious about this Restoril ! .. Have to make a note of that and ask about it .. maybe by switching cycles of the 2 meds they might work better.
    Thanks again !
    Fudge : )