Depression and Weight Issues Have you been diagnosed with depression, are possibly on depression medication, and find it affects your weight loss efforts? Post here for support!

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Old 05-22-2008, 06:50 PM   #1  
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Default anti-depressants and sleeping pills

Hi everyone,

I've been on both Zoloft, currently taking Prozac, and I've had trouble sleeping since the very beginning of taking them. So my psychiatrist has been prescribing me Ambien to help. I started with 5mg but it didn't quite work (I'd wake up a couple hours later and not fall back asleep) so I've been taking 10mg, every night.
Today I talked to my primary doctor about refilling my prescription for it and he was concerned about me taking it every night, and upping my dosage to 10mg.

I just don't know if I'm psychologically dependent on them now because I've been taking them all this time, but if I don't take it, I honestly can't sleep... I toss and turn all night and it's horrible. I've tried going off of them but I figured since I'm taking anti-depressants that cause insomnia, it was ok for me to take it.

I'm confused because my psychiatrist and primary doctor seem to have conflicting ideas about what is "safe" about Ambien. My psychiatrist has never mentioned it being bad for me; she made it seem as though it was just fine that I was taking them for my insomnia.

ANyway, sorry about this long rambling post but I guess my question is, anybody else taking sleeping pills? Insomnia? Do you feel addicted to them? Does it sound like I am? What should i do?
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:15 PM   #2  
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I took Zoloft and Ambien for many years - took the Ambien every night. Even after a few years it wasn't that tough to quit. I just slowly weaned myself off it until I was taking a half of a half. I made the choice that sleep was more important. I also eventually switched antidepressants.
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:18 PM   #3  
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hi, chickennugget,

first let me say the usual, never change or stop your medications without talking to a doctor first.

about 2.5 years ago i was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and put on 100mg zoloft. since i couldn't sleep while taking zoloft, i was also prescribed 10mg ambien. i was on ambien, taking every night, for several months before i was able to sleep on my own again.

without writing out my whole life story, to answer your question directly, i don't think i was addicted to ambien, but i think it is the devil. i would do things after taking it and not remember them. also, i became so used to it, that now, even after being off ambien for more than a year, it doesn't do anything for me.

if you really need sleeping pills (and i am not questioning your need to, but it is always better to sleep without them), i suggest lunesta. i am currently on it, and i tend to take it only when i'm stressed.

that being said, you might consider getting a second opinion from another psychiatrist. after 2 years with the same psychiatrist, taking 100mg zoloft, and later switching to 60mg of cymbalta, i got up the nerve to see another doctor. it turned out that my first psychiatrist had been over-medicating me, which caused the pronounced insomnia (and severe anxiety, which happens from too much SSRI). she reduced my zoloft from 100 to 50 (but i am currently taking 75mg to avoid withdrawal symtoms and after a few more weeks, will go down to the 50mg dose).

i know that was a lot of information, and may not have made a lot of sense, but i made the mistake of believing that my doctor knew what was best for me and he didn't and i don't want anyone else to have to go through that. let me know if you want more details about my experience, and what i know about being on SSRIs and SNRIs, side effects, etc. sometimes it is good to hear from other ppl instead of doctors.

good luck!

~diane
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:20 PM   #4  
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I take Ambien on occasion when I cannot fall asleep. I take 5 mg but sometimes wake up in the night. My sister cannot stay asleep on the 5 so she takes 10mg. I have a friend who takes it every night and has for years. I too find if I take it a few nights in a row, that I have trouble falling asleep the following night or so, so in a way it is kind of addicting, but not in the true sense. I think if you quit taking them that you may have quite a bit of trouble falling asleep, since you are used to them. May want to taper the dose. I take 10mg pills and cut them in half (cheaper than getting 5mg. pills). I have heard of people sleep walking and doing some pretty weird stuff on Ambien, but my Dr. said if it didn't affect me that way, not to worry.
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:57 PM   #5  
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Hi ! Ambien put me to sleep but never kept me asleep. I was put on Lunesta and that worked great for both - until 2 weeks ago when it just stopped working at all. In studies it has been shown to be effective for 6 months with no problems but I had only been on it for 3. I have CHRONIC insomnia and combined with BiPolar II , depression and anxiety it is really bad. I am trying other things now - cleaning up my sleep habits and I see some improvement. I think sleep aids can be very helpful but there are other things that CAN help and you may want to educate yourself on those.
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Old 08-18-2008, 05:53 PM   #6  
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I've been on ambien for over 3 years, and I take it nearly every night. My doctor prescribes 10mg. Most nights I cut it in half and take 5mg, but some nights I take the full 10mg. About once or twice a month I don't take anything at all.

The doctor that first prescribed ambien didn't have a problem with it at all. She moved, and my new doctor isn't a fan of ambien. She still fills the prescription for me, but she just doesn't like it. As long as I follow my own routine of mixing it up (some full 10mg, some 1/2 for 5mg, sometimes just 1/4, and sometimes none at all) she will prescribe it.

I guess some people can have problems with it, and I know it was in the news for people doing things in the middle of the night without their knowledge. As with all drugs, every person will have different side effects and you just have to monitor yourself and see how you feel on it.

Personally, I love ambien. I've tried several other sleeping aids/drugs, and ambien works the best for me. I don't get any side effects, and I can even take it on short notice (like 4-6 hours sleep, instead of the full 8) and as long as I only take a half or quarter dose, I'm fine and awake in the morning. One time I accidentally took 1-1/2 instead of just 1/2 (I thought I was taking 1/2 an ambien and a whole synthroid), and the next day I was groggy allllll day, but still able to function.

Anyway, good luck with your medication quest!

Naia
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Old 08-20-2008, 06:12 PM   #7  
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First let me congratulate you all for being inspiring in losing weight while on meds. Its been a tough battle for me, but I know I can do it now that I am healthy.

I took 5mg Zopiclone (Immovane) from Dec 2007 until recently. I first cut the dose to 2.5mg then gradually down to nothing. I am sleeping well, but that is because I am still on 0.5mg Risperidal which I am also reducing. My doctor said it will take a while to get back to your natural sleeping habits but it is possible.

I do agree with you that they are very addicting. I hope that you can agree on a small dose of something to get you through and then gradually not need as much.

Good luck to you.
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:00 PM   #8  
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i took ambien for a short period of time and it did not help me fall asleep until i up'd myself the dosage and started taking 2 also. then it kind of helped but not enough so i just quit them but i know how you feel about not being able to fall asleep. its stressful.
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