Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Restoril vs Lunesta in the Quest for Sleep

Good morning everyone. It is 4:00am on Wednesday, January 31, 2007.

4:00 am!?? What are you doing up at such a crazy time? I thought you told us that you were taking sleeping pills to help you fall asleep and stay asleep? Weren't you just telling us that the other day?

Oh, thank you for asking. For those of you wondering why I am not sleeping, allow me to explain. I am currently taking 20mg a day of a steroid called Prednisone. Prednisone is an immunosuppressant. It is also a synthetic corticosteroid drug. That means that it gives your body the signal to "wake up" after a good night's sleep. Unfortunately for me, it gives that signal all day long, including when I want to be sleeping. So, like many transplant patients, I needed something to help me sleep.

So, I am taking a medication that is supposed to help me sleep. When the doctors discharged me from the hospital, they gave me a 30-day supply of a medication called Temazepam (15mg). Temazepam is the generic version of Restoril, for those of you interested in medications. The medication warnings that I received with this medication said that it was not intended for use longer than 7 to 10 days. I took the Temazepam once we got home from the hospital, for about seven days, but I did not want to take much more of it. It did help me to sleep, and I was thankful for that. But, being a reasonable person, I asked the doctor what different medication I could take over the longer term.

At the clinic on Monday, the doctor gave me a prescription for Lunesta. That's the one you see all the commercials on TV for with the butterfly that helps you sleep. Lunesta is designed for long-term use with less chance of addiction. So, I started taking these 2mg capsules Monday evening. I slept fairly well Monday night, waking up only to go to the bathroom (which is still normal, given the new kidney and all). I went to sleep between 10:30pm and 11:00pm, and awoke a little before 7:30am. This is what I would classify as a good night's sleep.

Having enjoyed a good night of sleep on Monday, I took the Lunesta again on Tuesday night. I took it at 9:00pm with all of my other medications, just like on Monday night. We went to sleep around 10:00pm, which is about normal (for now). Again, I fell asleep fairly easily, and did not awaken until about 2:15am to go to the bathroom. Unfortunately, that was it. I laid back down, ready to fall asleep again. That didn't happen. By about 3:30, I gave up. I came out to the laptop to read my e-mail and to blog.

I find that blogging is a bit of a therapeutic kind of getting things off of my mind. I am hoping that tonight was a fluke, and that the Lunesta will work better for me Wednesday night. Maybe I did not do enough walking on Tuesday. We ran several errands, but I don't know if I got enough exercise. I will need to be better about that today and make sure that I get over to the fitness center to spend some time on the treadmill.

I don't know if I will stay on the Lunesta. It is $21.70 cheaper (every three months) than is the Restoril. And, it does not have the addictive side effects. However, if it does not provide me with any sleep, then it is still $118.86 too expensive (for a 90-day supply). I guess if I keep taking it all week, and it does not help, I will ask the doctor for something new. Ambien is only $95.49 for a 90-day supply, so maybe I will use it. Who knows?

Prayer Requests:
  • Pray that the Lunesta will work for me so that I can get a good night's sleep again. Or, if Lunesta is not right for me, pray that the doctor will be able to choose something that will work for me (with my other medications and my aversion to addiction).
  • Pray that I will continue to heal. The staples are scheduled to come out on Monday, and I don't want there to be any problems between now and then.
  • Pray that my paperwork will move quickly at work so that I can be fully approved to work part-time from home while recovering and making weekly clinic visits. I want to get back to work not only because I have a need to be productive, but also because I am a useful member of the group and want to contribute.
  • Continue to pray for the donor's family. It has been about three weeks since their loss, and they are probably still dealing heavily with the grief process.
Thanks for listening to my early-morning rant. Hopefully there will not be any more of these!!
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