Living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Zolpidem (Ambien) ER


I have been on sleep meds for several years, I switch back and forth from Zolpidem to Especlone when they stop working. Tried some others but they had no effect.
This is the first time I have tried the extended release version. I tried the 6.25mg dose, for a month, I would just average about 4 hours of sleep with it, so we upped to the max dose of 12.5mg. This was the first night, I wanted to get a good nights sleep, because I am driving to my Mom’s house, nad will have a full day of cleaning and repair work, the drug failed horribly, I was wide awake until 1:30 am then slept until 3;30 am, then dosed a little in the early morning. Mostly I was wide awake and staring at the ceiling or petting my cat.

I will have to see about weaning myself off of the hypno drugs and go back to using melatonin, I was given 25mg SR melatonin by one doctor a few years ago, it was from a compound pharmacy.

I guess it might be time for a sleep study, but my insurance has decided that they have spent enough on me, and are no claiming everything. I got a big packet of no claims and forms to contest it. They are even questioning the CT imaging of the suspicious lesions on my spine, I will find out next week if they approve it.

I guess I will go into overdrive with some lattes to get my Mom’s house done, it will be a rough ride home tonight…


Here is the Melatonin SR I was referring to:
I like the color…


Good idea to get off the hypnotics. They are linked to a massive increase in arthritis symptoms and loss of bone density not to mention leg cramps and muscle spasm. That bing said howerver sleep deprivation is a huge issue. Heres a a nice journal article supporting the idea of a sleep study:

The problem IS however in order to study your sleep you need to sleep. WAAAAAY too many sleep centers will pop you an ambien or similar to get you to sleep defeating the whole purpose of the sleep study thus they are no help and the reason most insurance companies will only pay for one (if that)


I’m a sleep issue person too. Did the over the counter things available here in the UK for far too long. Used to bulk buy them on visits to the USA too. But that level of antihistimine persistently scares me. I’m currently doing serious amount of hops (the stuff beer is made of). It’s working sort of. Melatonin isn’t available here either.

I feel your pain on it Jon. Very much so. And I can’t get the hynotics for more than a week, so gave up on them a long time ago. Probably thankfully.

Tramadol when necessary with pain helps a bit. But only taken when pain levels require, which thankfully is lessening for me.

Hops make me have nightmares though. So often I’m awake for a hour or so most nights simply getting rid of the nightmare.

For me it’s the getting to sleep that’s an issue. And the relentless waking up at 4am which I always put down to being over stressed. When I’m not overly stressed I don’t get wide awake at 4am.

Sleeping coherently has been an issue for me all of my life. I put it down to being dreadfully ill with asthma since I was 18 months old. The asthma now is virtually non-existent but the pattern continues to this day.


Thanks for the advice and article. I think it may be a rough road ahead weaning myself off so many years of hypno drugs, Maybe I will try to temporarily use something like Benadryl to break the cycle, might be up for a few days… I wonder if the Ambien ER is causing my neuropathy to flair? The last couple of days, I could hardly walk when I got up in the morning, the numbness/tingling was all the way up to my hips, it took about 2 hours to have it subside enough to get out of the house. A lot of joint pain too.
Well since they are doing nothing for me, max dose of 12.5mg Ambien didn’t even help me fall asleep, let alone stay asleep. I guess Melatonin is a option to try again.

I will have to wean myself off before I even attempt a sleep study, I could imagine just staring at the ceiling all night during the study, maybe I can get by with a halter type unit that I can take home to monitor the vitals, not as good as the full blown one though. I do have a friend that runs a sleep study business, maybe he will do it for free… :wink:

Poo_therapy, wow you can’t even get melatonin? They sell it like candy here… Can you get pharmacological SR melatonin, maybe from a compound pharmacy? I hate the waking up at 3-4am this has been going on for 30+ years! So I have tried to wait until after midnight to go to bed so I can sleep longer into the morning. It is always the same, wake up at 3am, wide awake, lay there for a couple of hours and get back to sleep at 5am.
Tramadol is a stimulant to me, so I cannot take it past 5pm, actually I usually take the second dose around 3-4pm, that gets me through to the evening.


Woke up at 2:30 am so finally just got up at 4:00 am, so much for sleep meds.


Not a chance for melatonin and we don’t have any compound pharmacies here either. So sorry you had such a rough night too.


That sucks…
Feeling wiped out.


Hey, I suffer from insomnia. I have tried Ambien, Gabapentin (1800 at bedtime), and Melatonin. Now trying Restoril. I know your pain, man. I get, on average, 2-3 hours of sleep a night (if that). Some nights, I just don’t sleep at all. Nothing has worked so far, but I am new on the Restoril so we will see.


I take an antidepressant, Trazodone to sleep…tried Ambien but would answer a phone call and not remember , weird side effects.
Now I sleep every night.


I guess people also have “sleep eating” sleep driving" too!
Hope you find something.
I get some sleep, but I wake up in pain and even more tired then when I went to bed.