Ok, so I've experienced both sides of the sleep/sleepless coin over the last year and have come to the decision that I need to go cold turkey and get all medication out of my system to try and get a more normal sleep pattern (if any of us EM patients can remember what normal is).
Have any other members gone cold turkey and just stopped taking meds without DRs advice...??? I am desperate and can't stand this any more... I can't imagine my life being like this for the next week let alone month, year etc....
I was taking 10 x 300mg Gabapentin daily as well as 20mg Citralopram and low dose asprin. This combination worked wonders for my pain but made me sleep from 4pm (as soon as I finished work in a primary school) right through until 6.30am the next day. I was constantly in a fog, had zero concentration or memory. I yawned through the day, literally not knowing how I will stay awake long enough to get home.
My pain management specialist said that he wanted me off this combination because it was sedating me NOT reducing pain... He suggested I try Duloxetine 30 mg alongside 4X 300mg Gabapentin. Immediatley I started having trouble sleeping but my gp cut out the gabapentin and increased the Duloxetine to 60mgs. It worked as well for the EM pain AND worked for the fibromyalgia type pain I get but the longer I took it the worse my sleeping got. There were some nights where I woke 6 or 7 times a night and worse still, others that I layed in bed exhausted with my eyes closed but completely aware of everything that was going on all night.
I haven’t went normal cold turkey, although for a full month I was of all my meds as I was really ill… Didn’t do anything for me, still had terrible trouble sleeping think that’s just the EM always gonna push through. I think your not sleeping likley might be to do with your EM getting worse, I can never sleep and it’s now at the stage where I stay up until 5am just so I’m staggering about kind of tired for the hope of falling asleep as soon as I hit the pillow.
Though I did notice a pain med I’m on (dihydrocodeine) started to work better for me after not having it for a month…it does nothing for the burning though helps with added aches, shooting/shock pains etc.
I have been tried on sleeping meds also, though they dont do much ethir, think its impossible for normal sleep to happen for us no matter how hard we try
when i cut out gabapentin, after 6 nights, it was impossible to sleep, i posted how much more alive i felt on a previous post, but at the cost of sleeping, not worth it. I have to take gabapentin now..
I think it was the mixture of citralopram and gabapentin that made me sleep too much but my pain specialist said he wanted me off both to see what happens... I gave the duloxetine a go and started to feel more alive once coming off the gabapentin and citralopram BUT I can't cope without any sleep. I will end up not being able to work which is something I depserately want to keep hold of for as long as possible..! Going cold turkey might not have been so bad but I had a fall on Wednesday, this aggrevated my injury from a car accident 2 years ago and I've been in bed with a horendous headache and wooziness ever since.
I would be careful quitting any medication cold turkey especially ones used to also treat seizures. Your doctor will usually give you a schedule on how to taper off them slowly. Quitting cold turkey could also cause serious side effects.
I know that quitting cold turkey can be dangerous but I had already come off the gabapentin and citralopram about 6 weeks previous so it was only the duloxetine I needed to come off...
I am now feeling ALIVE for the first time in ages, I am able to concentrate alot more, my work had suffered but I feel like I am doing a much better job and I am able to spend time with my family instead of in bed..!! Fingers crossed this feeling lasts because the pain has obviously increased dramatically so only time will tell how long I can manage without meds.! I am researching diet to try and improve pain levels
I’m glad you safely came off your meds - just was concerned! I’m happy you are feeling more alive and alert and wish you the very best in finding a new way to manage the pain! Keep us informed on any research you come across.