Posted by: Wife | 2008/12/09

Sleeping problems

My husband drank heavily for the past 5 years since he had retired. He is now 61 years and stopped taking alcohol for the past 2 weeks with the help of the GP. The GP rescribed Besobrial 2x3 times daily, 5mg alzam 3x per day and 4x25mg trepeline evenings. However he does not sleep well. I had Ivedal 10 mg in the house and gave him one last night. He slept better, but not as well as he should. Do you have any suggestions, as I am afraid that he will go back to alcohol in order to sleep well although we know that the alcohol does not make him sleep, but he did not believe that in the past. I phoned the GP this morning and he suggests taking away the trepeline and put him on Ivedal.

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Our expert says:
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Retirement can be a dangerous time, especially for men, who so often form their identity around their job, and fel like nobody when retired. Besobrial ( Acamprosate is the chemical name ) is a valuable relatively new drug that help[s people stop drinking and to stay stopped. These are still early days --- only 2 weeks, and having taken significant amouints of the sedative alcohol for years, its understandable that he will not sleep so well for a while yet. He mustn;'t get upset by this, and use the time usefullyy rather than fretting about it. As someone who has been dependent on alcohol, he needs to be careful not to become dependent on the Alzam instead.
Icedal ( chemical name Zolpidem ) is less likely to cause dependence, and sp it may be useful at night, and worth trying, as the GP suggests. Trepiline is an antidepressant, but a sedative one, and was presumably being used to sedate him at night without risk of dependency --- but one tends to grow used to the side-effects of a drug like Trepiline, so it might well not help him sleep for more than a couple of weeks.
And it would be useful for him to see a counsellor of the CBT sort to help him handle stresses and sleep worries, and to stay off the alcohol

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