What Happens During a Medically-supervised Lunesta Withdrawal?
Lunesta is a sedative and part of the non-benzodiazepine drug class. Lunesta is highly effective in treating insomnia. But because of its high potential for addiction, abuse, and dangerous interactions with other substances and medications, doctors only prescribe Lunesta as a short-term treatment method for insomnia.
Unfortunately, Lunesta comes with a risk of dependence and addiction. Insomnia is a distressing condition to have, and people who are prescribed short-term sleep aids may find themselves becoming dependent on Lunesta to get a good night’s sleep. Once an addiction is formed, people will soon find themselves taking more of the drug to get the same intended effect.
A Lunesta or sleeping pill addiction severely disrupts someone’s life. And as with other sleep aids, people who are addicted to Lunesta can find themselves sleeping too much, feeling drowsy, or getting into accidents because of the drug. Without help from trained professionals and therapists, it can be difficult and dangerous to quit Lunesta on your own. Below is an overview of Lunesta withdrawal symptoms and timelines, and how a medically supervised detox center can help someone beat a Lunesta addiction safely and effectively.
What is the timeline for Lunesta withdrawal?
A person who is addicted to Lunesta can experience withdrawal symptoms for a few weeks to several months after cessation. The timeline for withdrawal depends on several individual factors that will be discussed at the end of the article. But, undergoing a medically supervised detox can lessen the severity and duration of the withdrawal timeline.
What physical symptoms will someone experience during the withdrawal process?
Physical symptoms can be intense and distressing, and can include the following:
- Rebound insomnia
- Muscles spasms and tremors
- Nausea and vomiting
When someone has insomnia, their brain is unable to produce certain neurochemicals and neurotransmitters that regulate feelings of relaxation, anxiety, and sleepiness levels. Lunesta increases the brain’s production of these chemicals to break the cycle of insomnia. When someone takes too much Lunesta for an extended period, their brain chemicals go haywire. Once the Lunesta is stopped, a person can experience intense rebound insomnia, along with anxiety and the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as sweating and tremors. Of course, sudden cessation of Lunesta can intensify these symptoms, making it hard for someone to stay sober. Risk of relapse is high when someone experiences these intense, disruptive, and painful symptoms. Also, some rare cases will experience dangerous seizures when they quit taking Lunesta.
Are there any psychological or emotional symptoms that happen during Lunesta withdrawal?
Quitting Lunesta can trigger painful emotional symptoms.
- Panic attacks
- Vivid, terrifying dreams
What is the difference between a cold-turkey or a medically supervised Lunesta detox?
There is a massive difference between cold-turkey and medically supervised detox. With a cold-turkey detox, someone addicted to Lunesta suddenly stops taking the drug. A sudden cessation will trigger intense physical and emotional symptoms in the patient within 12 hours after the last dose. In some cases, these symptoms can be dangerous.
Medically supervised detox seeks to mitigate these risks with a tapering off schedule and the supervision of trained, qualified medical staff. In a medically supervised detox center, patients are given decreasing doses of Lunesta or a replacement non-benzodiazepine. By tapering off the patient, the drug can stay in their system for decreasing amounts over a period. This is much gentler on the body and prevents the occurrence of painful, intense and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms. If someone is able to detox in a controlled and supportive environment safely, they’re at less risk of experiencing a relapse because of the pain of withdrawal.
What is safe to take during detox from Lunesta?
It is safe for patients to take decreasing doses of Lunesta or a replacement sleep aid. Also, patients can take medication for nausea and anxiety during the withdrawal process in a medically supervised detox center.
What isn’t safe during Lunesta detox?
It’s not safe for someone to quit cold-turkey without at least a tapering off replacement drug schedule. Without it, patients can experience dangerous seizures and rebound insomnia. It’s also not safe for patients to take anything that can worsen anxiety or insomnia, like caffeine.
What happens during the withdrawal process?
First, doctors assess the patient for the duration and severity of drug abuse when they first enter a detox center. It’s important for doctors to know how long a person has taken Lunesta and how much they’ve taken so they can put the patient on a safe and effective tapering off schedule. Also, patients are assessed for polydrug abuse and any underlying mental and physical health problems that will influence the withdrawal timeline and symptoms.
How is Lunesta withdrawal different from other non-benzodiazepine drugs?
Lunesta is more likely to cause intense withdrawal symptoms than other sleep aids. Also, Lunesta is used to help people fall asleep and stay asleep. What this means is that the drug will stay in a person’s system for longer, which influences the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms. Other sleep aids on the market are used more to help people fall asleep, not stay asleep.
What individual factors can influence the Lunesta withdrawal process?
Several things can influence how long someone will experience Lunesta withdrawal and how severe the withdrawals will be, for example:
- Underlying mental and physical health
- Age, weight, metabolism
- Polydrug abuse
- How long and how much Lunesta they’ve taken
- If they’ve tried to quit before
Quitting cold turkey without the help and support of trained professionals is risky. People who try to undergo detox at home are not only putting themselves at high-risk for relapse; they’re also risking their health and safety. In a medically-supervised detox center, patients are kept in a safe environment. Doctors can monitor patients for any severe side effects. Also, doctors can put patients on a tapering off schedule, lessening the severity of withdrawals. Therapists are also on duty 24/7 at a detox and rehab center. With help from trained therapists, patients can go on to live a life of sobriety after a Lunesta addiction.
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