Zopiclone : Has anyone been on Zopiclone for... - Sleep Matters

Sleep Matters

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Has anyone been on Zopiclone for as long as me I.e. about 10 months. I tried not taking it one night. Was wide awake then had anxiety attack all next day and evening so I took it again but am on other meds too . Still wake up on off all night. How do I stop this zopiclone as it's hard to cut bits off.

12 Replies

It's likely to be hard to give up after you have been taking it for so long. You might need to speak to your gp. Alternatively try cutting the dose to 1/2 for a start. My dad stopped suddenly and had a few very difficult days with no sleep but eventually was ok. I was told it takes just a fortnight to become addicted.

basten in reply to mars1bar

Yes true. Many many thanks for that regards

Hiya, yes I have been going between zopiclone & zopiderm for the past 2 years roughly.

It sounds to me as though you are now dependent upon it & that is why you gave yourself an anxiety attack that time where you didn't take it.

You've basically been telling yourself (even though you may not realise/know it) that you have to take it every night or bad things will happen. For instance you'll be wide awake all night, feel really awful & have no energy the next day to even funtion, it is the only thing that will help you to get some sleep at least, even if it's only minimal etc.

With myself I was fortunate to realise when I was starting to get hooked on the stuff & I just made myself stop instantly, cold turkey the very next night after I had finished the very last tablet of the box.

Yes I was wide awake for 3 nights & 4 days afterwards & no it wasn't pleasant at all & yes I felt like utter crap & that I had been hit by a truck that had gone back over me & hit me again & again where I was way past the exhausted stage that my body was barely able to function but my mind soon tired its self out come about 4pm on the 4th day & I fell asleep even though in my head I thought I was wide awake still (Mad I know).

Because Zopiclone & Zolpiderm are made at odd dosage amounts I think it is impossible to come off of them the way your supposed to with other drugs that are highly addictive (just as sleeping tablets are).

With the other addictive meds they almost always come in even dosage amounts/mg's & so with those your able to gradually reduce the dosage down each fortnight so your body doesn't go through any withdrawals & then eventually you will be down to say like 5mg, then after a couple of weeks taking one 5mg tablet you then will have to break that 5mg tablet in half & will then only be taking 2.5mg for 2 weeks & then after those 2 weeks are up you'll be able to stop altogether & will be off of them completely without having experienced any awful withdrawal symptoms.

I think your best bet is to book an appointment to see your GP & explain to them that you now feel as though you are dependent on these sleeping tablets & when you didn't take them for 1 night you gave yourself an anxiety attack which was just from the thought of not taking them, kind of like a security blanket even though they now/never don't/did keep you asleep throughout the night but in your head, even getting an hours sleep is better than nothing & you would really like to stop these now.

They will be able to help you & tell you the best & safest way to come off of them hun.

You need to make sure that you have already gotten an appointment with your GP the day after you take that last pill in the box because if you haven't & still have some left then it's not going to work trying to get you off of them, even if you decide to put whats left of them in the bin or flushing them down the toilet etc as that will just make you have another anxiety attack if that makes sense? So if you finish what you have left first then that way you'll be preparing your mind that you'll soon run out of the zopiclone instead of just disposing of what you have left & shocking yourself instantly after you binned/flushed them.

But yes it is absolutely vital that you have an appointment booked to see your/any doctor the very next day after you have taken your last sleeping tablet & you'll be fine.

In the mean time, if you can, it might be worth making a list of other things you could do that could help you drift off to sleep & relax like a hot bath/shower before bed & then listening to the radio or guided meditations in bed in the dark, reading a book on your phone or kindle etc but make sure you have a blue light filter on it before you go to bed to read (if you haven't already),which you can get in the app store that stops your eyes tricking your brain into thinking that it is still day time as that will significantly reduce your bodies melatonin levels (from the normal white light on your screen) by changing its colour.

Also switch the tv off an hour before you go to bed, make sure your bedroom is in complete darkness, turn any clocks around or cover them if they have an led display so that there not giving off any light & so your unable to clock watch & don't drink or eat anything that has caffeine in it after midday as that can also stop you from getting any sleep.

I hope my advice helps, I've been there myself & luckily realised early enough that I felt as though I was starting to get reliant on them.

Don't feel embarrassed or ashamed by admitting to your doctor what's been going on because you have nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, as well as they would have already seen hundreds of other patients in the same situation, (if not worse) & like myself, as well as I'm sure, millions of other people who had severe insomnia/ sleep disorders etc would also do anything they could think of just to be able to get some sleep each night.

I wish you all the best & you CAN do this!

Kind regards


basten in reply to WestysWifey

Wow Thank you so much. In fact I did from a bit off last night and thought I'd do the same forv2 weeks AND I did feel lousy all day today. Anyway I am seeing my GP tomorrow and tell her all about my initial reaction and get her hopefully sensible guided advice. Your message was so interesting and very much appreciated. Yes, I CAN do it. I must hang on in there . Kindest warmest wishes

basten in reply to WestysWifey

Hi just wanted to say Ive been on and off Zopiclone for nearly 20 yrs mostly didnt take them after a week, but never seemed to bother me and certainly never had this anxiety. I guess its cos im 70 now and not so strong. Plus i was an alcoholic (not drunk for 20 yrs) but have an addictive nature. The psychiatrist said he blames the doctors and hes right, but he kept me on them 7.5 mg and Im also on a benzo Clonazepam, which gps gave me on off years ago for restless leg syndrome and in those days I never heard of benzo addiction. So psychiatrist has kept me on 1 x Zopiclone 7.5mg, 1 x Clonazepam 0.5, 1 x Mirtazapine, 1 x Amitryptiline for pain and 1 x Rispiridone 0.5 pm and 0.5 a.m. so you see I feel a right mess and my legs feel disjointed but he wasn't interested and one I stopped the Zopiclone for one night, this is when all the anxiety and panics first started and jelly legs shakes etc. Never had them in my life before. He is a mental health psychiatrist in the hospital I was in for 5 weeks and he didvreduce my Clonazepam cold turkey from 1 to 0.5 and the attacks were horrendous. YET they actually were putting patients who can't sleep on Zopiclone and clonazepam!! I don't know how these patients are now. One girl had stopped Zopiclone and had a seizure. I am so lethargic and weak and have to often use a walking stick but never did until I came out of this place. It sucks especially at my age of 70. I will continue to chop a bit of the Zopiclone each night and will speak to my GP tomorrow too. No wonder I feel drowsy and so tired all day. I basically feel right pissed off. Anyway you're right ...I can do this and as I'm on the other drowsy meds I may get away with still be able to sleep. I live on my own and don't get out much and have no friends who visit etc only my son and daughter who have witnessed all this and they've been so supportive. I suffer from depression if I don't take anything and my days are long so being awake too all night would be a nightmare. Funnily enough I used to sleep ok until I started an anti depressant which attributed to insomnia and being an alcoholic didn't help. I'm just so glad my son and daughter won't take prescription meds etc. We all have hard lessons to learn and the pharmaceutical companies and Gps etc have certainly had their pennies worth from me. This site has been so helpful and enlightening. Bless you all and God be with you all in good and bad times.

My partner HAD been taking Zopiclone for about 7 or 8 years and knew he had to come off it. It would get him to sleep okay, but he would be awake after a few hours then just be dozing, tossing and turning all night. He did some research and after speaking to his GP they agreed a (roughly 3 month) programme where he would reduce his Zopiclone and replace it with diazepam - gradually reducing the amounts every 2 weeks.

He was on 15mg of Zopiclone a night but is now just taking 3mg of diazepam and still getting to sleep (easier than before, I think). By about mid-November, he should be off them completely.

Please mention this to your GP, as it is definitely worth trying.

basten in reply to craftybint

Oh Thank you. I'm seeing my GP tomorrow. All input was much appreciated. Your partner had done so well. I'm 70 and want to reduce too. Thank you again for replying .

Hello Basten

I took Zopiclone 3.75mg for a couple of months and didn’t have a problem with it. I’d heard all the bad reports on it, but it worked really well for me with no nasty side effects at all, and I had no problems coming off it when the time came for me to do so.

I hope this helps, though I realise that others will probably have an entirely different tale to tell.

basten in reply to GrahamB8

Many thanks regards

I stopped taking it as it made me feel so hungover and I was switched to mirtazapine.

Although it’s an anti depressant (I’m not depressed) just suffer with chronic insomnia which makes me feel low.

I started on 15mg but was still waking up but since I’ve increased to 30mg I’m actually getting some quality sleep.

Not sure if this helps you but thought I’d share anyway!

basten in reply to mama27

Oh Thank you. I'm also on Mirtazapine. I'm slowly cutting bits off Zopiclone every 2 weeks. I can still wake up on and off all night. Thank you. I'm glad you're off them and sleeping better. Best wishes

basten in reply to mama27

Hello how are you getting on with your Mirtazapine and what dosage? I slept well on it for a few weeks but the sedative effect has worn off and I had to reduce from 30g to 15g due to awful hunger which has lead me to put on over a stone in weight but I've still got the carb and sweets munchies and wake at 5 whereas at first was sleeping till 8 (which was brilliant for me ages 70)

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