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Combinations - Baclofen usage for sleep problems

Discussion in 'Downers and sleeping pills' started by AZ8990, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. AZ8990

    AZ8990 Newbie

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    Perhaps some of you have seen my other threads. Long story short: long time insomniac, using mirtazapine for years and years, was using SH*TTY Mylan mirtazapine for about a year and experiencing minimal relief from insomnia. Recently discovered and got my old Teva brand mirtazapine and have gotten a good deal of relief from insomnia. I am also on 0.5 mg clonazepam per day taken along with mirtazapine before bed.

    Problem is I still wake up exactly 4.5 hours after I fall asleep and take 0.5-1 mg lorazepam to fall back asleep. Or else I go through strange alternations of sleep with half-awake, half-dreaming states for the next 2-4 hours and wake up feeling like shit. I hope to at least get a better second half of sleep if not eliminate my other medications by using baclofen (lioresal). I would like to get rid of mirtazapine even if for no other reason than being unable to stop eating.

    I have been reading about baclofen and its ability to increase delta-sleep and stop nighttime awakenings. Apparently in the right dose it is the closest legal thing to GHB due to its interactions with GABAb receptors. It was even somewhat successfully used to treat narcolepsy (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19520267). I talked to my psychiatrist today and even brought in multiple articles showing its effects on sleep. He absolutely refuses to prescribe it on any condition. Since I cannot get the drug, a friend of mine on the same medications with the same problem would obtain the drug from a reliable foreign pharmacy and experiment on himself.

    I've read the articles on this site about baclofen and realize that: 1) It can be dangerous in combination with other CNS depressants like mirtazapine and clonazepam, 2) Benzos and Baclofen work differently and withrawal from one might not be relieved by the other and 3) In certain doses (not sure if too much or not enough) it causes insomnia and perhaps some euphoria like GHB at lower doses. I have relayed this to my friend. He will eliminate mirtazapine and lorazepam while experimenting, at least at first.

    Here is my specific question to the board: what dose is best for inducing sleep? Does anyone here have any experience using it, especially using it once or twice a night rather than continual dosing? My friend would really like to know, since his plan is to start at 20mg once per night.

    AZ8990 added 2 Minutes and 23 Seconds later...

    This study is useful as well: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6721446
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  2. Shleep On A Goat's Nipple

    Shleep On A Goat's Nipple Newbie

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    Baclofen As A Sleep Aid
    the primary goal is to achieve 8-hours sleep (subjet to personal preferecence)

    Daytime : Should anxiolytic relief be needed during the day, before sleep, then a 5mg dose in tablet form should be given 3 times daily of baclofen : in the morning, noon and evening.
    Total : Baclofen, 15mg
    To avoid : ibuprofen, strong opioids, TCAs, alcohol
    The patient should be monitorred with particular regard to heart rate, respiratory levels, muscle co-ordination. If all seems fruitless, abandon the baclofen try-outs. If the patient is well, then proceed to next phase -
    Night-timeClonazepam 0.5mg , on a empty stomach. Some strong feelings of sedation can be expeted to be present, and deep sleep should be attainable in very little time.

    Night extension: If daytime anxiety relief is not necessary, then it is quite unnecessary to divide out 5mg doses of baclofen morning to night. Therefore, an anxiety-free patient may simply take 15mg baclofen at night with 0.5mg clonazepam. Be prepared for utterly diminished motor control.

    Is the mitrazapine helping with your depression or is most helpful to you as a sleep-aid? If mitrazapine is helping your mood then keep it. but if your depression is mild or bassically triggered by insomnia, then the mitrazapine could theoretically be eschewed in favour of clonazepam and hydroxyzine, both effective sleep-inducing anxiolytis .

    One problem this would make is the discontinuation syndrome from the mitrazapine, which can be very strange and unpleasant. However, the baclofen greatly soothes this unfortunate syndrome as does pregabalin, an interesting anxiolytic.
    For you, starting at 20mg's a fine idea. In my personal escapades I don't rank it very high on the lists of good sleep-aids; flurazepam is my choice o' the bunch. Give the baclofen at 20mg a try, sure, but in the meantime let me know what you think about my ideas above, mainly, getting your system of mitrazapine.
    Good luck, pal, from Shleep x
     
  3. AZ8990

    AZ8990 Newbie

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    Wow. Awesome post. Mirtazapine has made my depression much worse due to intense weight gain and mental fog. I take it for sleep only. I ordered phenibut instead. It differs from baclofen only by one Chlorine atom, which I understand makes a big difference for dosing. How much Phenibut should I take to achieve the same results as baclofen?

    AZ8990 added 0 Minutes and 55 Seconds later...

    I tried to give a high rating for your last post but I messed up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  4. Shleep On A Goat's Nipple

    Shleep On A Goat's Nipple Newbie

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    Sorry for taking so long to get back to you, pal. I have no experience with phenibut, it seems very interesting but isn't manufactured in Ireland. I'm sure other swimmers could help you out, sorry that I can't.

    As I said the baclofen certainly can help with sleep but isn't desperately effective. Have you had any experience with Z-drugs like zolpidem or zolpiclone (Ambien etc.)? As I understand it in the US they make Ambien CR, which releases 2 doses of zolpidem about four hours apart or so. This would certainly help with your problem of falling asleep but waking up prematurely. Taking lorazepam to get back to sleep will definitely lead to dependence issues (possibly already has?) In my opinion lorazepam's too short-acting to be a good sleep-aid, while clonazepam on its own isn't really sedating enough - both are used largely for anxiety, not sleep - while zolpidem's the opposite. An empty stomach is pretty essential for good insomnia relief with zolpidem.

    I've had awful insomnia for years, was on sertraline (an SSRI) as mirtazapine, stopped them, and have tried almost every prescribed and illegal sleep aid. What I do nowadays is have the mildly-addictive zolpidem to knock me out when necessary, smoke weed and often try to simply "fix" a bad sleeping trend by staying up all night, then all the next day, going to sleep around 10pm and waking up a 8am. I take codeine once a week for bad depression and smoke weed for anxiety and sleep. That's how I cope, and everyone's differrent .. Have you been trying baclofen since your first post? Any luck?
    Hope you're doing ok, from Shleepie x
     
  5. manaman

    manaman Silver Member

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    Baclofen induces sleep but because the half life is so short you will wake up about 5 hours after dosing. it also isn't powerful enough to put you back to sleep when you re-dose in the middle of the night. An extended release tablet needs to be developed but that wont happen. i'm experimenting with making my own.
     
  6. Hardstepa

    Hardstepa Silver Member

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    I have just spent 6 months staying at Her Majestys pleasure. As a sleep aid I would take 15mg of mirtazapine a night but after a few weeks it's stopped working and higher doses aren't as good for sleeping I thought. I then started to use seroquel and 75mg a night would have me sound asleep. I wasn't too keen on seroquel so some nights I would take an amitriptyline 50mg and I found if you stopped for a week or so then went back 15mg of mirtazapine would be effective again.

    One thing I noticed with mirtazapine was you couldn't stop eating and seroquel was very similar. Some people say it's the drugs that make you fat but it's not the drug its the fish suppers and mars bars.
     
  7. DUSK1

    DUSK1 Silver Member

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    Having already build up a tolerance to Baclofen specifically but also GABAnergics in general, my current opinion of it is that it is too weak to be an effective sleep aid on its own, given my severe insomnia. I take 60mg every morning for anxiety, and do not notice any intoxication/sedation, but have a ridiculously high threshold for sedation (40mgDiazapam for anxiety).

    That being said, at the commencement of my use of Baclofen 40mg was bordering intoxicating, and combined with cannabis and, Doxylamine(50mg), Agomelatine(50mg) or Clonidine(150mcg), amongst others, i was able to overcome my insomnia.

    Baclofen definitely possess significant anxiolytic and sedative qualities, with even some antidepressant traits, so i believe it to be an effective sleep aid, and on par with benzos at sufficient dosages at inducing sleep. I recommend it to anyone looking for a sleep aid.

    PS. I find baclofen to take up to 60-90 min to kick in, and lasts a solid 5 hours. I suffer night terrors so i wake nightly, but do so seemingly unaffected by the presence of Baclofen.
     
  8. FlyingHigher

    FlyingHigher Titanium Member

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    Whilst this is an old thread I'd like to add some non-drug information for future readers.

    Waking up 3-5 hours after falling asleep is common - and even NORMAL.

    There is much historical evidence that suggests humans slept on a Biphasic sleep cycle before the introduction of electric lighting. This "segmented sleep" pattern works something like this:

    Column 1 Column 2
    0 Phase 1: 3 to 5 hours asleep. In Phase 1, most of the sleep cycle is taken up by Slow-Wave (deep) Sleep, this is restorative sleep and is essential for repair/healing, growth, blood pressure, immunity etc.
    1
    2 Phase 2: 1.5 to 3.5 hours awake, no bright lights. Usual activities involve small snacks, conversation, lovemaking, and creative activities such as writing. The waking Phase 2 is characterised by a surge in the hormone Prolactin, this is important in regulating many body functions and regulating circadian rhythm. This is considered as important in regulating sleep as daylight and food.
    3
    4 Phase 3: Further 3.5 to 5 hours sleep, known as "second sleep". Phase 3 consists of increasing time in REM sleep during the remaining cycles, this phase is important in consolidating memories, dealing with trauma and stress, and learning new skills (in dreaming).
    Both sleep phases (1 and 3) contain proportions of NREM sleep (specifically stage 2/3 sleep) during which sleep spindles and k-complexes occur. These are theorised to have important functions such as memory encoding.

    The point is, waking up in the middle of the night is probably completely normal. There needs to be no anxiety about this period of wakefulness. If this happens to you, do something relaxing for a couple of hours (in dim light or darkness, no phones/tablets etc.), after which you should feel a slight sleep pressure increase.

    If getting back to sleep is a consistent problem, then short acting herbal or drug interventions can help restore a natural rhythm. Sex is also helpful, as this can trigger the release of prolactin, which is involved in signalling for the second sleep.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  9. LEGAL CA POT

    LEGAL CA POT Silver Member Newbie

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    Baclofen seems WORTHLESS to me.

    I've NEVER FELT anything on Balcofen; prescribed me for back pain. I also don't like its possible organ harm. So I prefer 30+ mg melatonin and tryptophan. But always limit caffine!

    Baclophen is cheap and easy to get. Try some... I think you'll agree its not worth the risk. Beware of a placebo effect though.

    I'm next probably gonna try Ambien; but only for occasional caffeine od.

    peace
     
  10. FlyingHigher

    FlyingHigher Titanium Member

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    Re: Baclofen seems WORTHLESS to me.

    Speaking of the placebo effect, melatonin is functionally useless at such a stupidly high dose. Unlike most drugs, melatonin does not get stronger the more you take. Plus, it only works if your body is not already producing melatonin.

    Melatonin is a 'hormone' neurotransmitter. It activates melatonin receptors and signals the brain to begin slowing down and preparing for sleep. However, excessive quantities of ingested melatonin negate this effect, probably due to melatonin receptor suppression, and can infact prevent sleep altogether in some people.

    For the majority less than 1mg is needed, the effective range for most people is 330 micrograms to 1000 micrograms (1mg). Some people may require more, but only up to 3mg which is the realistic maximum for positive effects.

    A good starting dose for the average person is 500 micrograms (0.5mg).

    Many supplements on the market ignore this fact; and, especially in the USA, these melatonin tablets may contain upwards of 10mg and would need to be cut into tiny pieces to actually be useful.

    Taking 30mg is ridiculous, and chances are you'll also now have a high "tolerance" to supplemental melatonin.
     
  11. fbsfbs

    fbsfbs Newbie

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    I'm willing to try this too..
    I'm tired of benzos or Z drugs and their fucking tolerance!!

    I want something that work in another way.. slowing my brain in another way.... GABA is the only way?

    Why do I feel tired and want desperately sleep when I go to a pool and take a lot of sun (and some alcohol)...?

    fbsfbs added 8 Minutes and 57 Seconds later...

    It's true!! I'm insomniac since a kid, but even 1mg of melatonin screws up everything on my system... 0.3mg (300mcg) does work OK but even that seems too much.. a hangover is being built if I take too many days consecutively
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  12. FlyingHigher

    FlyingHigher Titanium Member

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    No GABA is not the only way, but I'll explain why it's so frequently targeted.

    Altering neurotransmission by way of agonising or antagonising certain receptors can be done in a huge number of ways. Reducing Epinephrine (Adrenalin), Norepinephrine, Cortisol, Glutamate (by NMDA) etc. depresses the CNS and reduces specific or generalised activity making it easier to fall asleep. You can also achieve the same by increasing melatonin, GABA, serotonin, and opioids. Others such as the endocannabinoid system can cause sedation or excitation. So, in short the brain is extremely complicated, and to an extent, most changes will affect systems outside of the targeted system/neurotransmitter/receptor.

    Some receptor/neurotransmitter systems can cause a cascading effect leading to many of the above changes occuring resulting in sedation. Agonising the endocannabinoid system can induce sleep; as can antagonising the H1 receptor (antihistamines), agonising the mu-opioid receptor, melatonin/agomelatine agonising the Mt1 receptor, and increase in GABA (more often GABA function) by direct or indirect agonism of GABA(A) or GABA(B) receptor. Benzodiazepine receptor activation increases the frequency of associated chloride ion channels opening; and barbiturates increase the length the channel is 'open' for, both therefore increase the functionality of GABA's normal binding.

    Increasing GABA function is one of the most effective and reliable ways to depress the CNS, it works for almost all people. Whilst antihistamines (or sedating antidepressants) antagonise H1, which can be effective for sleep, but is not as effective at reducing CNS activity, and not as reliable. Furthermore, there are many ways to increase GABA function.

    Baclofen is a GABA(B) agonist, and the mechanism and hence hypnotic effect is markedly less than that of potent GABA(A) agonists. Some people do find it useful for sleep though, whilst others find it can stop them sleeping.
     
  13. fbsfbs

    fbsfbs Newbie

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    thanks for the fabulous explanation....

    it seems quetiapine+melatonin could target almost every receptor then? lol
     
  14. DUSK1

    DUSK1 Silver Member

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    Theres a fantastic thread on longecity titled 'Treating anxiety safely and effectively' which i believe is of significance here, particularly after the fantastic above post by FlyingHigher.

    For the OP, who is a chronic insomniac, using gabanergic compounds is definitively a bad idea. Were you experiencing short term insomnia, or had to acutely sleep, then they may be used, but they will only serve to downregulate your GABA receptors, making sleeping more and more difficult.

    For chronic insomniacs, we must utilize gabanergic sedatives either in the very, very short term, or turn to non gabanergic alternatives, such as Sedating beta/alpha blockers (clonidine is best but there are others), Magnesium, Amino acids (Inosotol, Tryptophan, Ornithine)herbals such as bacopa, Antipsychotics (go with Tianeptine or Agomelatine first, for your own sake), Antihistamines, Anticholinergics (some antihistamines, also scopolomine/hyroscine and similar 'deleriants') etc. Also crucial are exercise, diet, sleep hygiene and overall mental/physical health.

    As I've already said, Baclofen can be a great sleep aid, and IMO is much better than a lot of more frequently used alternatives, however no drug is without side effects, and in this case gaba downregulation is unfortunately both one of its only significant side effects, and is significant here.