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I have Bipolar and i can't sleep without a sleeping aid what am i best to do?


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Hi, I have Bipolar and i can't sleep without a sleeping aid what am i best to do?

 

I have to take 900mg of lithium to keep my mood stable during the day but at night I can't sleep for more then 10 minutes a night if I don't take a sleeping aid may it be zopiclone or saphris 2.5mg.

 

But I hear both of these medications are very dangerous in the long run.

 

What other options do I have folks please enlighten me or am I doomed to walk the path of a medicated man for the rest of my life and suffer from tardive dyskinesia from saphris when I am older or run out of luck on sleeping pills.

 

Again any suggestions would be welcome, thank you forum members.

 

 

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I have been taking zopiclone on and off over the years, mostly during an episode. I am currently taking it. In my experience I have never had difficulty getting off it although there are people who struggle with getting off it.

 

Sleep is very important for everyone, especially people with bipolar as lack of sleep can trigger mania.

 

There are people who have chronic insomnia and have to take medication to help with sleep, not necessarily sleeping tablets. 

 

Having to take a medication that helps you sleep is not something you should be concerned about....IN MY OPINION!! I am sure others will disagree.

 

Apparently trazadone helps with sleep, as does low dose seroquel.

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Those two meds are NOT dangerous if used for a long time, I have no idea what you're talking about, OP.

 

I have trouble sleeping, too. I take Seroquel.

Other options are temazepam, which is generally used for sleep. Zopiclone is a good one. The Saphris dose is tiny, but if you can sleep on it, then you should take it if your doctor approves.

 

Get in with your pdoc or GP and see what they have to say. Not sleeping sucks. It can be dangerous to your mental health, as well. Lithium isn't terribly sedating, I can understand adding a sleep med.

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If Saphris is working for you, I don't understand any reason to change it. As San has said, it is not dangerous and 2.5 mg is quite a low dose. Low dose Seroquel is also sometimes used.

 

Remeron, as Flash said, is a possibility but the problem with Remeron is that it can pack on the pounds rather quickly. Weight gain is its most notorious side effect (along with sedation). Remeron is also an antidepressant which might be contraindicated since you are bipolar.

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Didn't know weight gain was a side effect of remeron. I suppose part of my lithium weight gain coulda been due to remeron as well. I don't take it every night any longer, so I won't worry about that. After three years of averaging 3 hours of sleep a night, remeron+ambien CR "reset" me, and I now sleep much, much better. Some other medications also seemed to help, including lexapro and Ritalin (strange, I know,but I sleep beautifully on Ritalin/Concerta. Can't take it any more because of the Wellbutrin, tho).

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I've been taking Seroquel and Ambien CR (12.5 mgs) for sleep for...uh...not even sure, off the top of my head. I know I've been on Seroquel pretty much since I was diagnosed, so that would be the autumn of 2000, and the Ambien since at least 2006. They work beautifully.

 

Not sleeping ruins me faster than anything else.

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I slept on that, but the hangover was dreadful. Neither one got me to sleep by itself, though. The remeron+ambien cr combination gives. A hangover, too (and terrible dry mouth), but it's much milder than seroquel+ambien CR, at least for me. Now I am sleeping pretty well without sleep aids (finally, after three years of dreadful insomnia).

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The other posters have touched on this, but I really can't emphasise enough how critical sleep is for bipolar patients.  If you are following your doctor's instructions and taking the meds as prescribed, then I think you should trust his/her superior medical knowledge on this.  Having to pick up the pieces when you fall apart after not sleeping would be far worse than being on these drugs.

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 A low dose of Seroquel is my go to drug when I get panicky and I can't sleep. I use it when I need to. However, my pdoc told me it would be more beneficial if I would take it every night because there are days that I sleep a lot and others I don't at all. It would even me out, but I don't because I still believe I can sleep without it... As many said, sleep is important. I'm writing this and I slept only three hours in the last 24 hours... Well. Discussing an alternative to the other two medications you mentionned with your pdoc would be great~

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Sleep is super important for feeling good! It's the biggest part of self-care! So don't be afraid to try every avenue to find something that works for you.

 

400 mg Seroquel plus 1 mg Ativan has been working for me for almost 15 years with no tolerance or dosage change. When I have a few nights of poor sleep and feel things getting a little whizzy, I add on 1/4 to 1/2 of a 325-mg Percocet. I know that's very unorthodox to say the least, but it gives me a very nice sleep and I generally only need to take it one or at most two nights to even things out. (And yes, it is doctor-approved. Fortunately my docs are more concerned with what works than with how it looks from the outside.)

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Without a doubt seroquel and ambien worked the very best for me. The ambien helped me fall asleep, and the seroquel helped me stay asleep. But I also have been taking xanax previously in addition to that, and recently swithed from xanax to klonopin for anxiety. I was on ambien and klonopin for a long time togther and my doc said I had to chose to drop one of them because he did not think it was a good idea to be on both at the same time for as long as I have been. I dropped the ambien because I really need the klonopin for anxiety. So now it's just seroquel for me to help sleep. Without the ambien it takes me up to 3 hours to fall asleep, but the seroquel help me stay asleep. Both ambien and klonopin are narcotics and habit forming. Some times the benefits out weigh the risks as in my case :)

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Klonopin is not a narcotic, but a benzodiazepine. Ambien is not a narcotic, but a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic.

 

 

My bad your correct. I started out with Barbiturates which is a narcotic and benzodiazepine repleced them. But with all the benzo phobia going around they might as well be narcotics. I miss barbiturates. Did wonders for anxiety.

Edited by KillBytes
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According to http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Barbiturates, barbiturates are CNS depressants "also known as sedative hypnotic drugs".  KillBytes, perhaps your confusion comes from the fact that these can be habit-forming meds.   This is a useful article which explains that the definition of "narcotic" has become imprecise and in the US is "simply one that is totally prohibited" from a legal standpoint.

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