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Suffer from anxiety induced insomnia. Taken Zolpidem. Help?

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Practicing since : 2007
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I don't sleep well at night because of anxiety-induced insomnia and have taken zolpidem in the past but stopped taking it because of drug seeking behavior. However, the last few days I have been experiencing really bad insomnia (not sleeping until 4:00am), and it's driving me crazy, but I don't know if I'll be able to get a prescription for sleeping meds because of my history. I just moved to a new city and don't have insurance, so I don't have a doctor to go see, and even if I did, they would probably look up my controlled substance history (my state has a database) and will likely not give me the meds I need because of my past abuse.

I asked about this several days ago on this site but didn't respond to the doctor who answered my question because the query was closed before I was able.

Please help!

Posted Thu, 8 Aug 2013 in Anxiety and Stress
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 29 minutes later

It may be time to consider some non-pharmacologic options for insomnia; currently there are specialists in Sleep Medicine that work wonders in terms of using alternative approaches for insomnia. There are a series of benign interventions that you could use, including chamomille tea, melatonin supplements and over-the counter sleep aids, such as Benadryl which are safe at recommended doses. Once you have had an addiction problem, zolpidem, benzodiazepines and such medications can get you hooked up; I have had 80 year old females who have come to my office strictly for prescriptions of benzos, in a life or death tone...

Yours truly,

Dr Brenes-Salazar MD
Mayo Clinic MN
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suffer from anxiety induced insomnia. Taken Zolpidem. Help? 1 hour later
This is certainly not life or death, just inconvenient and annoying.

I can't disagree that what you've suggested would definitely be ideal, and I've tried the natural remedies I've been told of with varying success. Just last night I took melatonin and still didn't fall asleep until after 4:00. :/ And Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is not helpful because it brings on worsened RLS issues. I also did a preliminary sleep study once and was told I didn't need to do the full study because once I'm asleep, apparently my sleep patterns are relatively normal.

Interestingly, even though I overused zolpidem for a while, it was the intermittent use of a benzo (clonazempam) that helped me get it under control before I eventually stopped taking it. I currently don't take either (obviously, or I wouldn't be having an issue).

I do have a therapist that I started seeing who's been helpful, but I haven't been to see her in a few weeks because I was out of town and since I've been back, she's been out for surgery. There's very likely a link between my increased insomnia and lack of visits with her, which is part of the reason I thought a short-term fix like zolpidem might be helpful, just to get me through until I can get back to see her. And obviously, once I talk to her again, I can get a recommendation for a new MD or psychiatrist in my area, since I will eventually run out of refills for my other meds and will likely have to see someone. I just don't know what to do at the moment because I don't want to spend who knows how much money for a random doctor who may or may not be able to help me...
Answered by Dr. Jorge Brenes-Salazar 7 hours later
I understand XXXXXXX it may be difficult to obtain a prescription from a physician given the substance abuse background; nevertheless, I think that when you find a new provider in your area, it would be best for him to be either a psychiatrist or a sleep specialist; I do encourage you to be as honest as you have been with me, so that they understand your situation

wish you the best

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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