How Do I Stop Taking Prescription Sleep Medications Safely?

Has anyone ever stopped the sleeping pill Ambien after taking it for several years. If so, how did you come off it? Thanks and God bless!

By Debra


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July 20, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

As a life-long insomniac I understand what you are going through. OliveOyl was on the right track. Get a pill splitter and cut the pills in half. Take them that way for about 2 weeks. Then cut back to every other night for 2 weeks, then every 3 nights for 2 weeks. Keep going like this till you are only taking them once every couple of weeks. If you can go with 1/2 pill once in 14 days, you are no longer hooked on them.

This takes a long time, but is the easiest method on your body and your system. But this is how I got off them. Now I only take a very mild OTC pill maybe 2-4 times a year.


Good luck!

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July 19, 20110 found this helpful

Your health care professional would be the one to ask as they know your history. That being said, try reducing your dose. The pills are small but you can break them in half and take half a pill for a while. I have used Ambien but I limit myself to 2 times a week. I get the 10mg pill and usually just take half. I feel too drugged the next day if I take the whole pill.

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July 20, 20110 found this helpful

I understand your pain, been there, done that! What finally helped me was to switch to some herbal remedies. You'll want to do some research for yourself, or maybe see a qualified herbalist. Herbs do not work as quickly as prescription meds but they also have fewer side effects. What worked for me personally is a good dose of 5-htp, melatonin, and vitamin b complex ( includes the different b vitamins).


Months later, I stopped taking the melatonin on a regular basis and now use it only for times when I'm extra stressed or have to readjust my sleep schedule. There are other herbs that help with sleep problems so you will definitely want to do some research. Also, I'm not aware of any possible interactions, but if you take other meds you'll want to double check.

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July 20, 20110 found this helpful

I have even cut the pill into thirds and it still works for me. I take one a couple of times a week also. But 1/3 works almost as well as 1/2.

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July 21, 20110 found this helpful

I would talk to the doctor who has prescribed it for you.

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July 22, 20110 found this helpful

This is not something to mess with on your own and especially after having taken them for a few years! Withdrawal from medications is serious business and each medication and your personal body chemistry have their own rules! You do not want to risk possible seizure, etc.


by self reduction and/or complete withdrawal without 'your personal physician's' advice! I have a girlfriend who took sleep medications for about four years and she tried to quit on her own and landed in the hospital for a week. Better to get professional advice for this question.

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July 31, 20110 found this helpful

Just make sure the pills you are taking are not time release; time release pills should neerv be cut. Always check with your doctor before changing (increasing/decreasing) your meds.
God Bless.
Trish in CT

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