Concerned about Discontinuing Ambien after 5 Years
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Q:  Concerned about Discontinuing Ambien after 5 Years

I was diagnosed about 5 years ago, I have been on everything almost.. I attend college now (3rd year) and I am having the hardest time. My Dr. has started me on Abilify and Lamictal, but is Continuing use of adderall and xanax. I am Discontinuing my 5 year relationship with ambien. IS IT SAFE?  

abilify, lamictal, adderall, xanax?? Please understand that I am a student in Architecture, and my concentration and sleep are sooooo important. If i loose a week, I will FAIL. I dont want to be a blob of emotions like I have been reading on the web blogs. I really appreciate your time.  


Dear Pí --
Of course in this context I should not comment on your specific treatment, knowing nothing more about you than what you can describe here.  But I think that one could say "yes", taking Ambien out of the mix is "safe", as long as your sleep does not worsen.  As you may have learned from experience, and as is widely accepted amongst mood specialists, protecting sleep is one of the best ways to protect mood stability.  And conversely, worsening sleep is often associated with a loss of war worsening of mood stability. 

So if you have not already discussed it, you could ask your doctor about how she/he wants you to handle any emerging problems with sleep with the changes that you are making.  That should not be received as an impertinent or irrelevant question.  Of course, there are some general approaches to talking with doctors which might apply in your circumstance, which I have tried to present in my essay linked there.

Good luck with school, and symptom control.

Dr. Phelps

Published April, 2009


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