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Migraine and Zopiclone on and off

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I have been taking zopiclone from the UK 7.5 mg off and on for months but have not spread out the does so that I was sleeping for days without taking them. I have bad migraines and at the start of October the pain was very bad and lasted a long time. I took 7.5mg every night.
I took them at this dose for 14 nights and then went to half dose which was less
sleep about 4 or 5 hours for 6 nights. Then I took 1/4 for 3 nights. The first night was very fitful and then second worse and the last night I could not sleep at all. I do not know what to do now.
I am worried about being addicted to them and how to come off them. I woke up feeling like my mind did not want to sleep, and was shivering a bit the day I did not take the1/4 dose, so took it. I do not know if this is withdrawal or weak from not eating much being cold and not sleeping.
Am I addicted? Why was my mind feeling that it did not want to sleep? Is it because it is missing the zopiclone now and cannot sleep without it? I thought a 1/4 dose would be better but it has given me no sleep now, where a half dose did. Should I go cold turkey and if so how long will this last?
will it be less now I am on1/4 or is my body only now just missing the zopiclone and has got used to it so I am at the start of my body trying to adjust to being without it again? How long going cold turkey should this last and is it advisable? It i take half again am I just confusing my body again, and making the process go on longer? Thank you. I am scared now because of the fears of addiction and dependecy.

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian is online now

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days.


Thank you for asking your query at DoctorSpring.

It seems you have taken a high dosage of Zopiclone to begin with and then tapered it down. Ideally you should have started with a low dose then moved up only if necessary. Anyway do not worry. What you are experiencing is because of the sleep cycle distortion by the drug. I will not call it addiction. But some sort of dependency might be there. I would recommend you to stop the drug altogether (in consult with your Doctor) and observe for a week. It could be troublesome, but usually the symptoms and troubled sleep should start resolving by then. Follow good sleep hygiene and avoid caffeine.

In the meantime, find natural ways to reduce your levels of stress and wind down before bedtime. It may be useful to visit with a local sleep therapist or a psychiatrist in your area. Work with your psychiatrist in treating your insomnia with cognitive behavioral therapy, as this can give good results. If you are still feeling very anxious, consider taking a low dose antidepressant for anxiety, in consult with your local physician. Take care and please ask any follow up questions if necessary.

Thank you

Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
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MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
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