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Maoi & *serious* Insomnia. Words Of Wisdom, Anyone?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Liliah

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 11:54 PM

I am currently using Emsam 12mg/24h and am experiencing the worst insomnia of my life, which is actually quite a statement given that it (the insomnia) has been a major bane of my existence for the vast majority of my life. As you can probably already glean, I'm nearing my wits end with this thing, and would really just love to be able to sleep at a halfway reasonable hour (read: like 2am). This 5-6am business has got to stop because it is making me seriously dysfunctional. If I didn't have the sort of work where I can adjust my hours when necessary, more or less, I'd definitely have been fired by now.

I've tried the maximum dosage allowed by my doctor for Klonopin, Valium, Xanax, Lunesta, Ambien, and Atarax, all to no avail. I greatly prefer to stay toward the benzo side of the equation, but am willing to consider/learn about anything at this point.

I would love to hear the experiences and/or coping mechanisms from other people dealing with a similar (or even similar-ish) situation.

Take care, and be as well as you can,
Liliah


#2 Oddballa

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 01:20 AM

I am currently using Emsam 12mg/24h and am experiencing the worst insomnia of my life, which is actually quite a statement given that it (the insomnia) has been a major bane of my existence for the vast majority of my life. As you can probably already glean, I'm nearing my wits end with this thing, and would really just love to be able to sleep at a halfway reasonable hour (read: like 2am). This 5-6am business has got to stop because it is making me seriously dysfunctional. If I didn't have the sort of work where I can adjust my hours when necessary, more or less, I'd definitely have been fired by now.

I've tried the maximum dosage allowed by my doctor for Klonopin, Valium, Xanax, Lunesta, Ambien, and Atarax, all to no avail. I greatly prefer to stay toward the benzo side of the equation, but am willing to consider/learn about anything at this point.

I would love to hear the experiences and/or coping mechanisms from other people dealing with a similar (or even similar-ish) situation.

Take care, and be as well as you can,
Liliah


I hate having insomnia! Not being able to sleep well stresses me out so much that my doctor put me on Seroquel, along with my anti-depressant. (I didn't want to do benzos because I used to be addicted to them.) Boy was that a powerful pill. It totally knocked me out and kept me fast asleep for about 10 hours. There was another pill he prescribed called Nozinan, but I found that to be too strong. I felt like a zombie the entire day.

I'm trying not to take too much meds right now, so my doctor has already changed my sleeping prescription to plain old Benadryl and Rozerem (which I think is a melatonin-based sleep aid). Works like a charm.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes for you. :shocked:

#3 Liliah

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 02:23 PM

I hate having insomnia! Not being able to sleep well stresses me out so much that my doctor put me on Seroquel, along with my anti-depressant. (I didn't want to do benzos because I used to be addicted to them.) Boy was that a powerful pill. It totally knocked me out and kept me fast asleep for about 10 hours. There was another pill he prescribed called Nozinan, but I found that to be too strong. I felt like a zombie the entire day.

I'm trying not to take too much meds right now, so my doctor has already changed my sleeping prescription to plain old Benadryl and Rozerem (which I think is a melatonin-based sleep aid). Works like a charm.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes for you. :shocked:
[/quote]


Hey there,

Thanks for your feedback! I greatly appreciate it. And yeah: serious, continuous insomnia is 100% the pits.

I have a fairly strong aversion to Seroquel that may sound somewhat illogical. I facilitated a writing workshop at a prison for several years, and the institution (and, it seems, the vast majority of longer-term incarceration centers) have essentially everyone on that bad boy. (I won't get into politics, but the reasonings seem fairly transparent.) Additionally, most folks felt totally compelled to eat inordinate quantities of snacks, which I assumed was largely environmentally-induced (re: extreme boredom), but my pdoc says it's a hallmark trait of the Seroquel. From what I've learned from a plethora of personal experiences (yours included!), Seroquel really knocks you the hell out...seemingly of the planet. Given the residual effects, I don't want to be sledge-hammered into oblivion, like, ad infinitum, so I hear you on that one!

Atarax, I believe, is extraordinarily similar to Benadryl, and used to like a charm work until I entered MAOI land. Now, it just feels so, so hopeless (i.e., popping "sleep-aids" like Pez and I'm still extremely oddly wired and just plain high). I just want to strike a reasonable balance that doesn't leave me feeling as if I've had part of my frontal lobe removed. Augmenting the Atarax with Rozerem is an idea; I'll definitely ask my doctor.

Just tired of being tired, and beyond frustrated. :)

And hey: congrats on kicking the benzo habit! That's a huge accomplishment.

Thank you,
Lilliah



#4 tsh

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 04:06 PM

I've never taken Emsam but when I was on Cymbalta, it just killed my sleep. I was a walking zombie in work and the moments of dream filled sleep I did get were getting confused into my waking hours. Hellish...so you have my sympathy!

Any chance you can get off Emsam onto something else. I had to get off Cymbalta and although what I'm currently on isn't a miracle drug, it's not disrupting my sleep like Cymbalta did so at least I feel more human now!!

Just an idea?

#5 prayforbrighterdays69

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Posted 12 August 2010 - 12:07 PM

I have read that some people take off the patch a few hours before bed. And that helps.

So you wear it for like 20 hours during the day, and then before bed you take it off. Hope this helps!!


Cheers

#6 Liliah

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:23 PM

I just saw all these wonderful replies and wanted to thank you kind folks for your words of wisdom. I, unfortunately, have treatment resistant depression, so my only other choices for medications are basically Parnate and Nardil. With SSRIs and SNRIs, I get more side effects than positive changes!

I am definitely going to ask my pdoc about taking the patch off at night; I have heard that from others too. Aside from this, Emsam has been pretty good to me (at 12mg) and 2mg Abilify to help it kick out the jams. The latter made a huge difference. My insomnia is still an ongoing issue though (unless I take 6mg Xanax and 20mg Valium, which I am not comfortable with for obvious reasons!), but getting a little better (i.e., 3am instead of the sunrise every single day). But really: enough is enough! :sad:

Thanks again!

--L


#7 memyselfi10

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 02:16 PM

I read this thread with interest, since my pdoc's new brilliant idea is to put me on Emsam. I told her I'd think about it (didn't even know it was an MAOI until I went home and looked it up so I made the right decision to wait!). Like you I've had insomnia all my life, so hearing this side effect I'm even more leery of trying it than I was before. If I had your problem I would be fired from my job. I'm already having serious insomnia problems the last few weeks without that. I don't know why she would even suggest it when she knows how serious my sleeplessness is right now.
"I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell; I know right now you can't tell..."

("Unwell," Matchbox 20)



#8 Achelois

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 02:32 PM

I am currently using Emsam 12mg/24h and am experiencing the worst insomnia of my life, which is actually quite a statement given that it (the insomnia) has been a major bane of my existence for the vast majority of my life. As you can probably already glean, I'm nearing my wits end with this thing, and would really just love to be able to sleep at a halfway reasonable hour (read: like 2am). This 5-6am business has got to stop because it is making me seriously dysfunctional. If I didn't have the sort of work where I can adjust my hours when necessary, more or less, I'd definitely have been fired by now.

I've tried the maximum dosage allowed by my doctor for Klonopin, Valium, Xanax, Lunesta, Ambien, and Atarax, all to no avail. I greatly prefer to stay toward the benzo side of the equation, but am willing to consider/learn about anything at this point.

I would love to hear the experiences and/or coping mechanisms from other people dealing with a similar (or even similar-ish) situation.

Take care, and be as well as you can,
Liliah


I hate having insomnia! Not being able to sleep well stresses me out so much that my doctor put me on Seroquel, along with my anti-depressant. (I didn't want to do benzos because I used to be addicted to them.) Boy was that a powerful pill. It totally knocked me out and kept me fast asleep for about 10 hours. There was another pill he prescribed called Nozinan, but I found that to be too strong. I felt like a zombie the entire day.

I'm trying not to take too much meds right now, so my doctor has already changed my sleeping prescription to plain old Benadryl and Rozerem (which I think is a melatonin-based sleep aid). Works like a charm.

Good luck! Let me know how it goes for you. :shocked:


Insomnia was my middle name!
Now I am on new anti depressant which makes me sleep like a baby.
Before this med, I tried all kinds of natural stuff like Rescue Remedy Night etc.
Helped a bit.
or the non prescription sleeping pills from the pharmacy.


I heard (prescription meds) Nocturno is a good one.
I used to take Vaben a year ago, slept like dead.




#9 Liliah

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 09:26 PM

Hey Achelois and MeMyselfi,

Thanks for talking with me; it always helps to hear from anyone in this community. I will ask my psychiatrist about the medications you recommended, Achelois, though I have found that 20mg Valium and 4mg Xanax does the trick. I know that's a serious and sustainable quantity of benzos (and I'm only 5'2" and 100 lbs.!), but we agreed that it's better that I at least sleep until we can find a more sustainable solution. I am likely going to be an in-patient shortly, though am engaged with a serious battle with the good old "healthcare" system, where they will be able to figure out my meds better. I mean, I want to be able to get up and leave the house if it's on fire or something! Once, I was on such a strong hypnotic, I honestly don't think I could have. Truly.

MeMyselfi, I'm glad this thread is helpful! I will say, though, that I find Emsam 12mg/24hr quite effective, especially when coupled with .5mg Klonopin (one in the morning, one early evening). Unfortunately, I have run the gamut of SSRIs and other drugs (Zololft and Abilify were the worst for me), essentially getting all of the side effects and none of the relief, and thus it is MAOI time for yours truly. I am vegan, so the dietary restrictions do not come into play rather organically, though I have to watch my soy intake. Even though Emsam has less effect on your diet than a pill form MAOI, like Nardil or Parnate, it's evident that it does matter at the high dose. It took me two misery-filled weeks to adjust to/regulate my hypotension (my blood pressure was frightfully low), but I am ultimately glad I waited it out. The only problem is I need to augment this with something mood stabilizing, and there's another bag of tricks. We've even considered Parnate, actually, and I wouldn't hesitate to take an MAOI; nothing is worse than depression. But, like I said, McLean (my hospital), should be able to sort it out. I know it will be rough, but at least it's at a safe place: the #1 psych hospital in the US. If you have any questions about Emsam, do not hesitate to send me a message! I've been on it since April.

Again, thank you. Today was a rough one, and it was nice to see there are actually other people out there to share with.

In solidarity,
Liliah


#10 Achelois

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 09:29 PM

Hey Achelois and MeMyselfi,

Thanks for talking with me; it always helps to hear from anyone in this community. I will ask my psychiatrist about the medications you recommended, Achelois, though I have found that 20mg Valium and 4mg Xanax does the trick. I know that's a serious and sustainable quantity of benzos (and I'm only 5'2" and 100 lbs.!), but we agreed that it's better that I at least sleep until we can find a more sustainable solution. I am likely going to be an in-patient shortly, though am engaged with a serious battle with the good old "healthcare" system, where they will be able to figure out my meds better. I mean, I want to be able to get up and leave the house if it's on fire or something! Once, I was on such a strong hypnotic, I honestly don't think I could have. Truly.

MeMyselfi, I'm glad this thread is helpful! I will say, though, that I find Emsam 12mg/24hr quite effective, especially when coupled with .5mg Klonopin (one in the morning, one early evening). Unfortunately, I have run the gamut of SSRIs and other drugs (Zololft and Abilify were the worst for me), essentially getting all of the side effects and none of the relief, and thus it is MAOI time for yours truly. I am vegan, so the dietary restrictions do not come into play rather organically, though I have to watch my soy intake. Even though Emsam has less effect on your diet than a pill form MAOI, like Nardil or Parnate, it's evident that it does matter at the high dose. It took me two misery-filled weeks to adjust to/regulate my hypotension (my blood pressure was frightfully low), but I am ultimately glad I waited it out. The only problem is I need to augment this with something mood stabilizing, and there's another bag of tricks. We've even considered Parnate, actually, and I wouldn't hesitate to take an MAOI; nothing is worse than depression. But, like I said, McLean (my hospital), should be able to sort it out. I know it will be rough, but at least it's at a safe place: the #1 psych hospital in the US. If you have any questions about Emsam, do not hesitate to send me a message! I've been on it since April.

Again, thank you. Today was a rough one, and it was nice to see there are actually other people out there to share with.

In solidarity,
Liliah



I hope you feel better soon.
I know what's it's like to have sleeping problems.
It worsened my depression.
Now the new anti depressant makes me sleep well and I feel much better.
I wish you to find the right combination of meds to sleep like a baby :)




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