Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JohnBee, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. JohnBee

    JohnBee New Member

    Hello. Has anyone out there had any luck treating chronic insomnia with low dose tricyclic anti-depressants like Flexeril, Pamelor, Doxepin, etc? Have been using Lunesta along with Klonopin for sleep. My Dr. warned me off taking a benzodiazapine for long, saying benzos disrupt your "sleep structure." He claims that tricyclics can, over time restore your sleep structure so you can get more vital "delta" sleep.Have you heard of this theory? My problem is I am very sensitive to tricyclics. What a box! What do you do for sleep? Many thanks for your help JohnBee
  2. abbylee

    abbylee New Member

    I was found to have alpha wave intrusion and have been taking Xyrem for 2 years. It puts you in delta sleep, in fact, it's suppose to cycle you through the sleep stages.

    After about 6 weeks on it I stopped sleeping all of the time and I've had less pain.

  3. elsa

    elsa New Member

    I would have to throw a partial bull flag on this. Many, many sleep specialists rx lunesta and many more rx klonopin for CFS/FM sleep disorders. I think maybe he just doesn't want you on them.

    Benzodiazapine effect deep wave stages 3 & 4 ... maybe, or may be not. I think it depends on the fibro person taking it.

    This is the really big flag part of his statement .... Tricyclic AD's are not going to restore or fix anything concerning sleep structure. They will put you out same as the rx'es he doesn't want you to take ... but they don't restore ...

    Heck, the don't restore the brain to non-depressive states. The prevent your brain from taking up anything but they do not create new neuros.

    How can these AD's restore sleep structure ...? They can sometimes mimic an action, but not restore it over time. I could almost get angry on your behalf on this one.

    Lunesta is approved for long term use ... it is not in the same category as ambien ... it works on the same section of brain involved in sleep / wake cycles. It is not a benzo.

    I think he is not comfortable rx'ing "Big Boy" drugs for very long, ie klonopin. Lunesta cannot be considered a "Big Boy" in my book.

    Is he a sleep specialist? Did you have a sleep study done? Reason for the second question is if your study showed little or reduced REM sleep ... then taking any AD's, but particularly Tri's will make your sleep worse. AD's suppress REM ...

    If you don't have enough to begin with and you start taking an AD drug that "restores the sleep structure" your sleep cycle is going to tank. ... And we know how wonderful we feel with worse sleep.

    REM is in charge of cognitive ability and the nervous system ... we have those problems in spades ... can't afford to lose any REM.

    Dr.Chaney is one of the foremost experts in treating CFS/FM. He has his patients on klonopin. It reduces or quiets down the high electrical impulses in our brain ... turns down the overload. It is very effective. I don't see why you can't stay on it for your sleep disorder.

    Many people here do take AD's for sleep. I have been on trezadone. Could not stand the side effects and of course it made my sleep worse ... that REM problem I mentioned.

    If you have a hard time on AD's then I just don't think you should go there. Are you sleeping OK with the combo you have now? I wouldn't change a thing if it was effective, and doing it's job.

    I suspect he is twitchy about the klonopin ... worried about what rx watchdogs may think. It is oh so safer for him to rx AD's.

    Plus there may be some business reasons why he would prefer an AD over your current protocol.

    Bottom line ... if what you are doing is working for you then do what it takes to keep on it. And if this doesn't work, then demand xyrem. Go through the medications CREATED for insomnia and other sleep disorders and not created for depression.

    I hope you can get this worked out. Even if Tri's could restore sleep structure, since you can't stand the way they make you feel, then you're not going to be happy while on them.

    It's your quality of life we're talking here ... he doesn't have to swallow that pill or live with the consequences ... but you certainly do. I've kinda gotten mad on your behalf ... I'm sorry about that.

    Take care,


    PS ... Just as a reference, I don't take klonopin. I know several people who do however and I have done a mountain of research on medications for our illnesses including Klon. I do take lunesta though ... My sleep specialist rx'ed it after my study.

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