Forum · Ambien long-term use with CPAP

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[-] Michaelosity +0 points · 9 months ago

I've been on CPAP for a little over a year now. I've tried everything I and my doctor can think of to help me sleep with the machine. You name it and I've tried it.

The only thing that seems to work reliably is Zoloidem (generic Ambien) 10mg. With that I'm able to sleep well and I awake refreshed. It's kind of great, but...

Ambien is not approved for long term use. It seems like I can have one of two situations: a fretful night of pseudo sleep where I take off the mask half way through the night, or I take Ambien and get sleep but take the risk of whatever happens after long term use.

I've never had any problem with Ambien. No weird sleep eating or need to up the dose. The best answer my doctor can give me is "I don't want you dependent on a drug to sleep." Well neither do I but I still think maybe not sleeping is worse?

What are the long term risks with Ambien or any sleep aid pill like it? Do others need It like I do to fall and stay asleep?

My doctor seems reluctant, but agreeable to prescribe it for daily use but all of the internet screams to stay away at all costs. That hasn't been my experience, but maybe I've just been lucky or naive?

Anyone else have experience with long term use of sleeping pills together with CPAP?

Any help is much appreciated.

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[-] ShiftWorker +0 points · 9 months ago

You could ask your doctor for a trial period of a drug called Trazodone, sleep is not the drugs main purpose but does help for our patients. This is a non habit forming med. I am in long term recovery from substance abuse, i fought that battle once and do not want to go there again. This is what my doctor recommends I use and it seems to work for me. Becoming dependent on a drug is not often noticed by the person until it has a hold on the person, then drugs like Ambien are very hard to get off of. Try to listen to your doctor but be your own advocate, become educated on what can happen with whatever medicine you take, insist that the doctor help or refer you to a sleep specialist. Good luck, and sleep well.

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[-] Michaelosity +0 points · 9 months ago

Thanks for the feedback. My doctor had just prescribed Trazodone to me and this was the genesis for my post. On Trazodone I had terrible nightmares and, more worryingly, it made breathing difficult; especially on CPAP. Ambien is the only drug that has worked for me. My gut says that sleep is more important than any dependence on Ambien, but again maybe I'm being naive.

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[-] barbz +0 points · 9 months ago

I have a friend that has taken Ambien for over 10 years without a problem. I guess it depends on how your body reacts to it. I could not take it myself.

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[-] UnassumingOrangeRedCormorant9252 +0 points · 8 months ago

Congratulations on your recovery and I am happy to hear that Trazadone works for you. However, I feel it is inaccurate to say it is a nonhabit forming med.

Even though it is used as a sleep medication, it is still technically an antidepressant. Which means that for many people (not all), they will have to carefully taper the med, particularly after long-term use. If they don't, they will suffer severe withdrawal symptoms.

Of course, your mileage will vary and run everything by your doctor.

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[-] N4NW +0 points · 9 months ago

Yes, I have used Ambien for over a year. However after about six months it becomes less effective as body seems to get used to it. Higher dosage is not recommended to solve that issue. Also tried Lunesta 1 & 2mg strength, saw no real effect at making me sleepy. Most effective drug I have found for the past four months is Diazepam (Valium) 5mg or 10mg. 5mg works for me but 10mg results in faster falling asleep and longer sleep. Trazadone never worked for me - made me more awake, not sleepy!

I have also found that a nice size glass of good tasting wine (without any of the above drugs) also hels me fall asleep but does not keep me asleep for more than a couple of hours.

ALso take Gabapentin 2x 300mg, however, I can see thisis doing nothing, although Gabapentin is also suppose to cause some slepiness - I never experienced any.

There is a very good article from Johns Hopkins on the treatment of RLS at this web link: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/centers_clinics/restless-legs-syndrome/what-is-rls/treatment.html

For me the Benzodiazepines Receptor Agonists - like Valium have had the best results for staying asleep, which RLS disturbs so my next doctor vist will discuss this as I continue the gabapetin while using the 5mg diazepam.

Since my problem is dry mouth when using the CPAP so far the only way I can overcome this is is to have some type of drug in my system that focres me to speel through the period of DRY MOUTH

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[-] barbz +0 points · 8 months ago

For that dry mouth, I use a product called Xylimelts. Here is a link. Xylimelts. I get mine from Amazon, but have also gotten it from a local pharmacy. It says to use two tablets in your mouth, but I use just one. Since I use the oral Oracle mask, I have good reason to have a very dry mouth and this helps.

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[-] NeatSpringGreenTrout4728 +0 points · 8 months ago

Ambian gave me weird side effects. I have been on Lunesta for over 8 years. I am also in Trazodone which I have been on for about 20 yrs. Once in a while I get bad side effects from the combined drugs but the good outweigh the bad. I wish I did not take any meds but I cannot function without my machine. Last night I pulled my mask off & woke up to pee & put it back on & today I am exhausted!!

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