Rx Sleeping meds to seek/avoid

overtheedge

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Going to the doctor to get a sleeping pill, he gave me cyclobenzaprine last time and it has helped but the lethargy makes it so i can't use it daily. Trazodone has worked for me in the past but doesn't do anything anymore and from reading here on phoenix its seems that its much better not to take benzos due to their potential side effects.


I've tried a lot of OTC stuff/ but it hasn't been powerful enough anymore, insomnia's been real bad lately.


The thing most important to me is to find out what pills aren't safe to take, what should I steer clear of?
 

*GG*

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Going to the doctor to get a sleeping pill, he gave me cyclobenzaprine last time and it has helped but the lethargy makes it so i can't use it daily. Trazodone has worked for me in the past but doesn't do anything anymore and from reading here on phoenix its seems that its much better not to take benzos due to their potential side effects.


I've tried a lot of OTC stuff/ but it hasn't been powerful enough anymore, insomnia's been real bad lately.


The thing most important to me is to find out what pills aren't safe to take, what should I steer clear of?
I was on Trazadone for a while as well, got to 150mg and not really working well. So a Dr suggested Remeron (mirtazapine) and that helped more for me. Didn't feel great like when healthy, but not like I had gotten no sleep!

Been on Mirtazapine for about 10 years now, still works pretty well for me.

GG
 

Mary

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@overtheedge - are you in a state where marijuana (medical or otherwise) is legal? I've wrestled with insomnia for years. I was on a benzo (lorazepam) for 11 years and don't recommend it. If it wasn't addicting and had no down side, I'd be back on it.

Anyways, a couple of months ago I started vaping THC oil at night - actually just in the middle of the night, my worst time, and it was very effective in putting me back to sleep. unfortunately it was hard to get the dose right and I didn't like how it made me feel, though it did finally put me to sleep.

Then I switched to 50-50 THC/CBD oil, and like it much better. It's not as strong, but it works just as well. Unfortunately I've learned that you can build up a tolerance to THC such that it stops working as well. However, I also read that it can take a very short time to lose the tolerance, e.g., as short as 2 weeks. THC causes your body to lose cannabinoid receptors; however, CBD causes cannabinoid receptors to increase! So theoretically the 50-50 oil might break even there. I've been doing it for too short of time to know exactly how to tweak it but am working on it.

Right now I'm taking a break from the THC/CBD oil with a very powerful old-school antihistamine called Unisom (generic version). It's very strong and works much better than benadryl and doesn't leave me feeling yucky and hungover like Benadryl does. Unfortunately, tolerance to this develops for me in 10-14 days or so at which time I'll go back to the THC/CB. The Unisom is very strong and if you try it, I'd suggest starting with 1/4 tablet.

I did try trazodone a couple of years ago and disliked it. If I took enough to make me sleep, it left me very tired the next day. It just didn't work that well.

I have heard of some people doing well with Baclofen. I tried it, it didn't work for me but I did like it better than the trazodone.

Recently @Howard was talking about tart cherry juice and how it helped him a lot with sleep - it has to do melatonin. I just bought some and haven't taken it enough to tell but I think it might help a little.
 

overtheedge

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sorry for the late reply, insomnia has been sapping all my energy a lot of the recent days

@*GG* Remeron used to make me super groggy when i was a kid and the psychiatrists were trying to counter the insomnia effects of the ADHD pills they mistakenly had me on. I would be interested in trying it again though, somehow sleeping pills seem to change effects over time, some start working and lose their bad side effects while other stop working at all, at least from what I've experienced, i hope it keeps working for you.

@Mary Unfortunately I'm not in a legal state, hopefully before long they will legalize it federally. havent smoked in a number of years but when i did it was so much easier to deal with the pain of being sick, probably helped my sleep too.

Interesting what you say about the THC and CBD altering the receptors, I just stopped taking a CBD supplement right around the time this insomnia started up, it never seemed to help sleep but maybe stopping it has the body scrambling to adjust. Also, I started SIBO meds right around then too. Interesting about the 50-50 thc/cbd split, gonna have to try that when i can, really hope weed becomes legal here soon, I can get weed but with CFS i don't think i could handle getting busted if something went wrong and, i dunno if this would be true if i just used it for sleep, but when i smoked during the day it made it impossible to tell if meds i was experimenting with were doing anything, and it was so hard to not smoke everyday knowing i could be so much happier when stoned. it would be great to smoke during the day every week or two, good times are hard to come by with CFS but weed makes it much easier.

I tried the magnolia bark extract you recommended a while back and it definitely works for sleep but it made me so drowsy after. Probly gonna start it up again to see if it'll combat this insomnia. What I should have been doning when testing magnolia bark is after experiencing good effects and drowsiness at that higher dose to then go to a much lower dose and see if there is any dose at which i can get good effects without drowsiness. What happened was I gradually lowered the dose every night but that went so slow, should have been jumping across the dose range to quickly home in on a dose that would work instead of changing it as though it were already determined that the higher end of the dosage range were the ideal area.


I just tried unisom the night i wrote the above post, a full 25mg tablet, got 6 hours sleep and felt strange the whole day, antihistamines seem to do that to me. With some meds i think the value lies in their ability to get you to sleep if you spread them out into enough small doses, as opposed to taking one big dose and it keeping you asleep. Melatonin seems to work that way for me, it seems to do little to help me stay asleep but each dose i take seems to give me 5-10 minutes of strong sleepiness 30 minutes after dosing which can often be enough where as no matter how high a dose of melatonin i take i wont get any sleepier or sleep any longer. So i just take 1mg melatonin every 30-40min, it's not been strong enough lately though. Unisom might be best if taken in smaller doses, or maybe not, time will tell.


I usually take notes on things before i try them, here are the ones I took on unisom, not as much info as usual due to low energy past week or two and due to the fact that noone seemed to have any serious problems with unisom:


Webmd reviews:

Many people use it for years and love it, most reviews are good

Most people say they use ½ or 1/4th tablet

Some people say they get issues if they take it 3 nights in a row like facial edema or night terrors, also, the one who got edema said she did real well if she kept to using four tablets per week



Woman who’s been using it more than 10 years writes: I have used this drug off and on (mostly on) for sleep for many years. When I try to go off of it I get really itchy on my trunk thighs and scalp. This time after 6 days I couldn't take it any more and took 1/2 a pill last night. I plan to shave my dose down to 0.I guess the histamines are nuts after being blocked for so long? I would love to know why though.


For my insomnia Doxylamine Succinate works better than Diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Makes me much less drowsy in the morning provided I take the right dose. The standard 25mg tablet is an overkill. 1/4 tablet has no noticeable effect. The sweet spot is somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 tablet. I wish they just made 10mg pills. It is not addictive, but the effect starts to wear off a bit after a week, so I just stop taking it for a few days and then start again. I've been doing it for over a year and around 10mg is still an effective dose for me.



https://www.pdr.net/drug-summary/Unisom-doxylamine-succinate-1655

MAXIMUM DOSAGE
Adults

25 mg/day PO for insomnia



Take 30 min before bed



ADVERSE REACTIONS
Severe

seizures / Delayed / Incidence not known
bradycardia / Rapid / Incidence not known

Moderate

myasthenia / Delayed / Incidence not known
confusion / Early / Incidence not known
palpitations / Early / Incidence not known
impaired cognition / Early / Incidence not known
hallucinations / Early / Incidence not known
delirium / Early / Incidence not known
dyskinesia / Delayed / Incidence not known
ataxia / Delayed / Incidence not known
dystonic reaction / Delayed / Incidence not known
blurred vision / Early / Incidence not known
urinary retention / Early / Incidence not known
constipation / Delayed / Incidence not known
hypotension / Rapid / Incidence not known
sinus tachycardia / Rapid / Incidence not known

Mild

agitation / Early / Incidence not known
insomnia / Early / Incidence not known
headache / Early / Incidence not known
fatigue / Early / Incidence not known
drowsiness / Early / Incidence not known
appetite stimulation / Delayed / Incidence not known
dizziness / Early / Incidence not known
weakness / Early / Incidence not known
restlessness / Early / Incidence not known
asthenia / Delayed / Incidence not known
tremor / Early / Incidence not known
diplopia / Early / Incidence not known
lethargy / Early / Incidence not known
xerophthalmia / Early / Incidence not known
mydriasis / Early / Incidence not known
irritability / Delayed / Incidence not known
photosensitivity / Delayed / Incidence not known
xerostomia / Early / Incidence not known
abdominal pain / Early / Incidence not known
diarrhea / Early / Incidence not known



Following prolonged use, tolerance can occur, but this may be beneficial, dependent on the indication for drug use, because of reduced sedative effects.
 

Mary

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For my insomnia Doxylamine Succinate works better than Diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
Right - doxylamine succinate is the active ingredient in Unisom. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) leaves me feeling awful the next day, but Unisom doesn't. Unfortunately, Unisom does stop working for me after 10 days or so, so I have to switch it up.

I wish getting good sleep was not such a battle! :aghhh: I don't like being stoned in general, so though marijuana is legal where I live, I just use the THC/CBD oil in the middle of the night for sleep and don't touch it during the day.

Good luck - I wish you the best in your quest for sleep! :) btw, niacin (the kind that makes you flush) can help - it sensitizes or stimulates the GABA receptors. I'm used to the flushing now, and it doesn't really happen any more anyways to me. But when it does/did happen, I got to where I looked forward to it because it usually meant I would be asleep shortly thereafter - it's very relaxing once you get over the strangeness of how it fees.

I wouldn't take niacin during the day because it made me tired then, either from too much GABA or from blocking or slowing down methylation, am not sure which. But I do fine taking it at night before bed and in the middle of the night.
 

starlily88

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Then I switched to 50-50 THC/CBD oil, and like it much better. It's not as strong, but it works just as well. Unfortunately I've learned that you can build up a tolerance to THC such that it stops working as well. However, I also read that it can take a very short time to lose the tolerance, e.g., as short as 2 weeks. THC causes your body to lose cannabinoid receptors; however, CBD causes cannabinoid receptors to increase! So theoretically the 50-50 oil might break even there. I've been doing it for too short of time to know exactly how to tweak it but am working on it.
Mary, I am in a State that just opened dispensaries Jan/Feb 2018, took awhile to get Dr to give me license, so did not get anything until late Fall 2018. Wow, I have tried everything - started out with Sublingual "oils" with droppers - 1 to 1 CBD to THC, then 4 to 1 THC to CBD - which makes things work faster, but they did not work.
I tried gummy bears, zero.
I tried flower and vape pen - only do 2/3 hits at most - does not help a lot, and it never makes me tired.
Does any of this stuff make you tired? I am doing not Indica or Sativa but a hybrid.
Thanks Starlily88
 

Mary

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Hi @starlily88 - I was told to get indica, so that's what I'm using - plain Indica with no Sativa. I use it in the middle of the night when I can't go back to sleep, and I'm usually back to sleep within half an hour with it, and sleep pretty well the rest of the night. And all I need is one hit - I count to 4 while inhaling and that does it for me.

So I'd suggest trying plain indica, and see if that helps. I think the Sativa might be stimulating. I did use plain indica THC vaping oil and that was too strong, but the 50:50 THC/CBD vaping oil works great for me.

It's pricey. I think the candies helped a little though were not nearly as effective as vaping the oil, and at $10 a bag with 10 or 15 pieces to a bag, it's not worth it. So I just stick with the vaping oil.
 

overtheedge

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@Mary

I tried niacin after seeing your old post on sleep, it did help me get to sleep the two days i tried it but i postponed testing because it made my heart beat rather fast and hard during the flush which seemed to last a lot longer than it used to which left me worn out the next day. I took a gram, which, I used to take like 2-3g's at times and it would go away quickly, health changes over time I guess. Probly gonna have to either ramp it up slowly or just wait until i have a few good days and maybe then use a lot of it in one day so it is gotten used to fast, been going too hard on my health lately to do this. Might try niacinamide first, have you tried niacinamide?

Have you tried spacing out the unisom so that, instead of taking it 10 days straight you take it every other day? maybe it would give you more days per year of use, I suppose it would have to be kept track of in a journal to see which way would yield more results in the long term if spacing it out does work.
 
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starlily88

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So I'd suggest trying plain indica, and see if that helps. I think the Sativa might be stimulating. I did use plain indica THC vaping oil and that was too strong, but the 50:50 THC/CBD vaping oil works great for me.
Thanks Mary. You are on West Coast where it has been for both Meds and Recreation for decades.
So I am on East Coast - it has been barely one year for medicinal weed.
They have no clue what to give me.
Thanks - when you say "I do 50:50 THC/CBD - do you mean 1:1?
Here on east coast - they only have direct proportion of each like 4:1 is 4 parts THC to 1 Part CBD.

I assume you are taking same proportion of each..............Starlily88
 

Mary

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You are on West Coast where it has been for both Meds and Recreation for decades.
Recreational use was only legalized about 2 years ago, though it has been longer for medical marijuana, but I don't think it's decades! But you're right, there are a lot of knowledgeable people here.
Thanks - when you say "I do 50:50 THC/CBD - do you mean 1:1?
Yes, sorry! I've just used the term 50-50 for my own convenience - 50% each, but it's the same as 1:1.
They have no clue what to give me.
I've been told that indica is much milder, less likely to cause paranoia, and is best for sleep. So I haven't touched sativa. I think the sativa can actually be stimulating.
 

Mary

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I took a gram, which, I used to take like 2-3g's at times and it would go away quickly, health changes over time I guess.
1000 mg. is a high dose. Why don't you just try 100 mg., and then work up gradually if you can tolerate that?
Might try niacinamide first, have you tried niacinamide?
I did try niacinamide and never got the same results. But - it supposedly does something similar so it might help others, though just not me.
Have you tried spacing out the unisom so that, instead of taking it 10 days straight you take it every other day?
Well, then I'd have to take something else on the off nights, and I still think I would develop a tolerance after a few weeks. Ideally I would have 3 go to remedies which helped a lot with sleep, and could switch them up. Right now I only have two.

magnolia bark from Bulk Supplements used to be very powerful for me, and helped a LOT with sleep, and it worked for at least several weeks, maybe a few months. I don't know if they've changed their product but it no longer does anything for me, even after not using it for several months. I haven't totally given up on it yet, because it was so effective at one time. But I strongly suspect they may have changed their supplier.
 

starlily88

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I've been told that indica is much milder, less likely to cause paranoia, and is best for sleep. So I haven't touched sativa. I think the sativa can actually be stimulating.
Mary thanks for the post reply - I meant that CA has had medicinal for so very long - my brother had to do it one year only long ago. West Coast just seems to be so much better dealing with sick people. Here on East Coast they just push the product - none of them have a clue of what does what.

I ended up eventually trying flower - the oils under the tongue gave me terrible sore throat, and my thyroid swelled up (beginning of my thyroid disease when it was enlarged).
I think the "alcohol" in the oils irritated my throat - I mean I had to gargle, do Lozenges, Tylenol for 8 hrs!!

Thanks for suggesting Indica - I have been using a "Hybrid" - which is supposed to be blend of Indica/Sativa.
It really does make me very tired though - and I can only do at maximum 3 hits.
Thanks again Starlily88
 

Mary

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I ended up eventually trying flower - the oils under the tongue gave me terrible sore throat, and my thyroid swelled up (beginning of my thyroid disease when it was enlarged).
I think the "alcohol" in the oils irritated my throat - I mean I had to gargle, do Lozenges, Tylenol for 8 hrs!!
Sorry to hear that! I've only vaped the oil on a friend's recommendation, and have eaten some of the edibles - but they are pricey! Now I just do oil in the middle of the night.
Thanks for suggesting Indica - I have been using a "Hybrid" - which is supposed to be blend of Indica/Sativa.
It really does make me very tired though - and I can only do at maximum 3 hits.
What are you using it for? I don't think I could use this stuff during the day, actually I wouldn't want to - it would make me tired then, plus a bit high, which I don't want. It does put me back to sleep in the middle of the night, and that's the whole point for me using it. And I have to be very careful how much I inhale - I seem to be a lightweight! Three hits would be plenty for me and probably too much.

Okay, now I do see what you mean about the difference between the west and east coast in using medical marijuana. One guy did recommend sativa to me, but someone else who I trusted more was horrified at that and told me to stick with indica - I told him I wasn't looking to get high, that this was just for sleep and calming down and he said to stay away from sativa.
 

starlily88

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Sorry to hear that! I've only vaped the oil on a friend's recommendation, and have eaten some of the edibles - but they are pricey! Now I just do oil in the middle of the night.
Mary I did early on get a "vape" pen at another dispensary - only to have to take it back - due to main stem which lights up and heats the oil in the cartridge - was "broken". Then he gave me another broken one - so the dispensary near me (which grows its own stuff, packages it's oils, flowers, wax, etc) - they were so kind to give me a "free" handle thingee - which still works. I did buy gummies 1 to 1 - which were quite expensive, and did nothing - in state I am in - Edibles are forbidden - except for the occasional gummie - no lollipops, etc allowed.
 

starlily88

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What are you using it for? I don't think I could use this stuff during the day, actually I wouldn't want to - it would make me tired then, plus a bit high, which I don't want. It does put me back to sleep in the middle of the night, and that's the whole point for me using it. And I have to be very careful how much I inhale - I seem to be a lightweight! Three hits would be plenty for me and probably too much.

Okay, now I do see what you mean about the difference between the west and east coast in using medical marijuana. One guy did recommend sativa to me, but someone else who I trusted more was horrified at that and told me to stick with indica - I told him I wasn't looking to get high, that this was just for sleep and calming down and he said to stay away from sativa.
I never ever use anything during the day!! The hybrid does get me high with only one hit.
I go to the dispensary very infrequently, but in my state, if you don't buy anything at all after 120 days (4 months) - they take away your cannabis card!!

I will only buy ONE gram - which is a huge amount for me - lasts for very long.
The dispensary sells 1/8 gram - which is 3 1/2 grams - way too much for me.
They never will order just ONE gram for me, which is cheap enough, and plenty for me.

Yes 3 hits is a lot for me too - one hit is just fine.. I get one kind that is 14% THC. Then they pushed 2 other kinds on me - they were so strong after one hit, I threw them away!! They had 22% THC.

The main reason I need this - is for my Gastroparesis - I get terrible pain upon eating anything, I don't eat protein, veggies, etc. But when my brother sent me a few lollipops from CA 10 yrs ago, I took 2 licks/lollipop and it was a miracle.
I had NO Nausea, had an appetite, could eat a bit - and OMG had zero pain after ingesting tiny bits of food.
This lasted me for 24 hours.

I cannot replicate that here - and I have tried the Vape pen, the oils, the lozenges, gummie bears - nothing on East Coast comes close to what they do on West coast for those of us with Paralyzed Stomachs, constant nausea, constant pain. So I also hate the high, have tried the plain CBD oils - that does zero for my tummy.
Starlily88
 

Mary

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How does 5-htp (hydroxytryptophan) differ from taking straight melatonin?
Melatonin has no effect on me, even at 5mg dosages
I need something to help sleep on a regular basis, so didn’t want to keep taking zolpidem
5-htp helps your body produce serotonin, which is different than melatonin. It helped me almost immediately when I started taking it - I take it at night maybe an hour before bed. Niacin (the kind that makes you flush) also is helpful for me for sleep. And I do take 3 mg. sublingual melatonin also before bed. And lots of magnesium glycinate - 400 mg before bed and 400 mg more middle of the night.
 

Kenny Banya

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5-htp helps your body produce serotonin, which is different than melatonin. It helped me almost immediately when I started taking it - I take it at night maybe an hour before bed. Niacin (the kind that makes you flush) also is helpful for me for sleep. And I do take 3 mg. sublingual melatonin also before bed. And lots of magnesium glycinate - 400 mg before bed and 400 mg more middle of the night.
Thank you for your reply
I took the plunge on the weekend (what else do us sufferers do?!) & bought Doctor’s Best brand of 5-htp from iHerb
If it doesn’t work after a couple of weeks, I’ll take melatonin as well (from existing stashes)
Currently, take 2000mg valerian
I’ll report back