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zolpidem in Thailand


tgw

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because of Covid I have run out of Zolpidem (Brand name Stilnox / Ambien), which is a fast-acting and very short duration sleeping pill.

 

I have a prescription for Zolpidem, but I can't find a place that dispenses it - does anyone know where in the Pattaya area I could go?

Would the newish government hospital on soi Buakhow be worth a try?

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It is off market in Thailand so I don't think you will be able to get it, at least not legally.

 

Note as well that foreign prescriptions are not valid in Thailand.

 

If you require domething for sleep you will either need to make do with drugs like melatonin. Doxylamine  and hydroxyzine (none of which require a prescription) or consult a doctor for a prescription med  -- but it can be difficult to get more thsn small wuantity and some are addictive.

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21 minutes ago, Sheryl said:

It is off market in Thailand so I don't think you will be able to get it, at least not legally.

 

Note as well that foreign prescriptions are not valid in Thailand.

 

If you require domething for sleep you will either need to make do with drugs like melatonin. Doxylamine  and hydroxyzine (none of which require a prescription) or consult a doctor for a prescription med  -- but it can be difficult to get more thsn small wuantity and some are addictive.

yes, I can get Lorazepam and Diazepam easily, but I don't like them because long half-time.

Zolpidem has been ideal so far.

"off market" you mean it can't be obtained at all, even in government hospitals?

 

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Correct unless you can find a place that syill has some on the shelves from before. It was marketed here in the past. I'm not sure how long ago it went off market.

 

Off market means the manufacturer no longer imports/ sells it in Thailand.

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5 hours ago, Sheryl said:

Cprrect unless you can find a place that syill has some on the shelves from before. It was marketed here in the pasyt. I'm not sure how long ago it went off market.

 

Off market means the manufacturer no longer imports/ sells it in Thailand.

thanks, that aren't good news ????

what's the procedure for importing medication that's not available in Thailand ?

 

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11 hours ago, tgw said:

thanks, that aren't good news ????

what's the procedure for importing medication that's not available in Thailand ?

 

It is illegal to bring in medications without an FFA import license (exception being with you when you enter the country). In practice customs will often let small quantities through but not of controlled substances which Zolpidem is. Don't risk it, you could get in real trouble.

 

 

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Prescription only. Last time I tried, which was a decade ago, they gave 10 pills. Every now and then I simply skip a night completely to get the internal clock in sync instead of knocking it back with zolpidem. Not ideal but works. Melatonin and antihistamines don't do the trick for me.

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1 hour ago, Sheryl said:

It is illegal to bring in medications without an FFA import license (exception being with you when you enter the country). In practice customs will often let small quantities through but not of controlled substances which Zolpidem is. Don't risk it, you could get in real trouble.

so the procedure would be to find a Thai pharmacy and importer with an FFA license and have them order it for me, supposing I have a Thai prescription, right?

Edited by tgw
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I don't think that can work as the manufacturer / distributor no longer markets it in Thailand. Likely their license to do so has expired and they chose not to renew it.

 

I have tried in the past for other meds that went off market. Impossible.

 

You are going to need to find an alternative medication or learn to sleep without meds.

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15 minutes ago, Sheryl said:

I don't think that can work as the manufacturer / distributor no longer markets it in Thailand. Likely their license to do so has expired and they chose not to renew it.

 

I have tried in the past for other meds that went off market. Impossible.

 

You are going to need to find an alternative medication or learn to sleep without meds.

My sleep problems are stress induced, but I need the stress for working. If I take something with a longer half-life, I have huge difficulties getting myself to do something productive the next day.

Zolpidem has worked so well in the past years and is very cost-effective.

 

After a quick search, it seems possible alternatives to Zolpidem are:

- Eszopiclone
- Zaleplon

- Zopiclone

 

are any of them available in Thailand?

 

Edited by tgw
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5 minutes ago, tgw said:

My sleep problems are stress induced, but I need the stress for working. If I take something with a longer half-life, I have huge difficulties getting myself to do something productive the next day.

To an extent, a non-pharma solution to stress induced lack of sleep is meditation. Gets your cortisol levels down. It ain't easy though, but better for your health. 

 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23724462/

Edited by DrTuner
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No. None of them.

 

The options in Thailand ate as I previously indicated plus some doctors use tricyclic antidepressents for this purpose.

 

The place in Pattaya most likely to still have some Zolpidem would be Bangkok Pattaya Hospital which caters to foreigners. It is an expensive hosputal and you would have to consult a doctor there, they do not sell meds not ordered by one if their own doctors. I don't give it more than 50-50 odds but can try.

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2 minutes ago, DrTuner said:

To an extent, a non-pharma solution to stress induced lack of sleep is meditation. Gets your cortisol levels down. It ain't easy though, but better for your health. 

 

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23724462/

 

Setiphos which you can get from iHerb is also helpful. And don't be too quick to dismiss melatonin.

 

But OP seems absolutely fixed on Zolpidem.

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Just now, Sheryl said:

No. None of them.

 

The options in Thailand ate as I previously indicated plus some doctors use tricyclic antidepressents for this purpose.

 

The place in Pattaya most likely to still have some Zolpidem would be Bangkok Pattaya Hospital which caters to foreigners. It is an expensive hosputal and you would have to consult a doctor there, they do not sell meds not ordered by one if their own doctors. I don't give it more than 50-50 odds but can try.

well, thanks.

I know BPH, they are indeed very expensive, charging about 15 times the normal cost of medication.

I guess I will do with what I have on hand.

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6 minutes ago, Sheryl said:

 

Setiphos which you can get from iHerb is also helpful. And don't be too quick to dismiss melatonin.

 

But OP seems absolutely fixed on Zolpidem.

Zolpidem is just something that worked very well for a long time with no side effects. and yes, my doctor checked several times for addiction, I don't develop any to zolpidem.

 

Financially, I'm between a rock and a hard place at the moment and I really need the sleep to be productive and can't afford to spend every morning procrastinating waiting for the effect of some other med to wear off.

Something short-acting is needed, I am puzzled why these meds aren't available in Thailand.

Edited by tgw
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4 minutes ago, tgw said:

it's not irrational stress, it doesn't go away with relaxation.

I've been on the same boat, I got some help out of it. Give it a whirl or two. Just don't mix with religion, simply cherry pick the mindfulness part. Costs nothing.

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One of the best clinical drugs ever invented but classed as a narcotic in Thailand.

I understand it helping sleep under stressful work situations (you could sleep soundly knowing a firing squad awaits in the morning).

 

Highly addictive, hence few practices in the uk prescribe it. You can buy generic versions online but again, not legally in Thailand.

 

If you have enough, start weaning off them over 2/3 months reducing slowly, not easy when your in the work/stress position. 

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10 minutes ago, twocatsmac said:

One of the best clinical drugs ever invented but classed as a narcotic in Thailand.

I understand it helping sleep under stressful work situations (you could sleep soundly knowing a firing squad awaits in the morning).

 

Highly addictive, hence few practices in the uk prescribe it. You can buy generic versions online but again, not legally in Thailand.

 

If you have enough, start weaning off them over 2/3 months reducing slowly, not easy when your in the work/stress position. 

 

Zolpidem and similar pills are not highly addictive for most people (much less than benzos anyway), my doctor already checked three times for addiction, simply by stopping the pills. never had a problem doing that, except difficulties sleeping.

 

I took a small dose every evening (5mg) and stopped from one day to the other. I have been off for over a month already.

Edited by tgw
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17 minutes ago, tgw said:

 

Zolpidem and similar pills are not highly addictive (much less than benzos anyway), my doctor already checked three times for addiction, simply by stopping the pills. never had a problem doing that, except difficulties sleeping.

 

I took a small dose every evening (5mg) and stopped from one day to the other. I have been off for over a month already.

Ok Doc, you’ve probably been taking them for too long already and are suffering from the side affects if you don’t think they’re addictive.

 

Heres some info included in the packets.

 

8BB419A9-BED9-4A64-AB4B-38BABDAA0115.jpeg.92ad01c29aa4dddfb7eb612fd0cf2d3c.jpeg

 

 

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4 hours ago, twocatsmac said:

Ok Doc, you’ve probably been taking them for too long already and are suffering from the side affects if you don’t think they’re addictive.

 

Heres some info included in the packets.

 

8BB419A9-BED9-4A64-AB4B-38BABDAA0115.jpeg.92ad01c29aa4dddfb7eb612fd0cf2d3c.jpeg

 

 

addictiveness is not a white of black matter and everybody doesn't react in the same way to many substances.

 

here is what the Mayo clinic says:

Quote

My doctor prescribed Ambien, and it's worked great for me. But I'm afraid I might become dependent on it. Is that likely?

Answer From Eric J. Olson, M.D.
 

It's unlikely you'll become dependent on zolpidem (Ambien). Ambien and similar sleep medications can be effective, and they're much less likely to be habit-forming than some other drugs sometimes prescribed for sleep problems — for example, benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan) or temazepam (Restoril).

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/ambien/faq-20058103

 

 

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On 10/8/2020 at 2:04 PM, tgw said:

here is what I got at the hospital:

 

 

20201008_010319.jpg

 

 

Hi, where in Thailand / which hospital did you get this at? Did you need to make an appointment or did you just walk in?

 

Heading back to the US after 2 years and my pharmacy of choice doesn't carry it anymore. The stuff is an absolute miracle for jetlag! Thanks in advance for your reply.

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Speaking as someone with chronic insomnia.


If you really want Zolpidem, you are going to pay a premium price to obtain it.  Fair warning.
I got a prescription at CM RAM a lot of years back and the drugs and office visa set me back 5000+ THB.  I only did that one time.

Benzodiazapines like diazepam are cheap as dirt and relatively easy to obtain if you doctor shop.  However.  I don't recommend benzodiazapines for anyone unless they have extremely good self control and aren't prone to anxiety.  They are addictive and once addicted they can be a major problem to stop.  And my experience is that Thai doctors are great at getting you hooked and and almost incapable of getting you off the benzos.  I had to taper my own wife off of them and it took a loooong time.  I take them for short periods of time. 10 days max.  It a balancing act and you've got to know when to stop and you've got to understand that post diazepam anxiety is just a withdrawal response. 

I've also taken Aterax (hydroxyzine hydrocloride) which is a strong antihistamine.  I use Aterax until it starts to loose effectiveness, then back to diazapam, then back to Aterax.  Thai brand is Dormirax.  That cycle works well enough for me. 

That and exercise daily.  It helps to sleep if you are actually physically tired.

Zolpidem?  Costs more money that I'm going to spend.  Plus Ambian has some really strange side effects like memory loss.  It works!  But?  Cost.  And really weird side effects (like your wife telling you that you were up at 2am in the morning cleaning your gun and you don't remember sort of weird, i.e., sleepwalking in a very specific manner as though you're awake and functioning but you're not - FYI in the US not in Thailand).  I'm not particularly a fan.  I stopped taking in the US after that event.  I don't like that sort of loss of control.  But - it does happen with Ambian.  Look it up on the internet.  Ambien Blackout Stories.  Makes me wonder how many of the Pattaya Flying Club spent their last night on Earth after taking this stuff?  Makes one wonder.  That and a few beer and you've got wings - but don't even know what you're doing.  Best of luck.

 

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And then there is CBD oil but that is a whole other can of worms.  Some clinics will prescribe it for insomnia.  Some won't  Guidelines may exist but Thai doctors being Thai doctors can be a pain and aren't too excited about given out anything if they think it can 'make you high' where 100% CBD oil is not psychotropic at all. 

There is quiet a bit of recent research on the efficacy of CBD and insomnia as well as other age related issues.  If you live in the West it can enhance quality of life.  My experience with Thai doctors is that don't give a rip about your quality of life even when it comes down to end of life palliative care. 
"You have bad karma.  You are meant to suffer.  Why should I give you drug to stop your suffering?" 
Buddhist doctors sans compassion.  I have more compassion for our village dogs that most Thai doctors have for suffering patients when they have the means to relieve their suffering and chose to withhold medication instead.    

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10 hours ago, connda said:

Speaking as someone with chronic insomnia.


If you really want Zolpidem, you are going to pay a premium price to obtain it.  Fair warning.
I got a prescription at CM RAM a lot of years back and the drugs and office visa set me back 5000+ THB.  I only did that one time.

Benzodiazapines like diazepam are cheap as dirt and relatively easy to obtain if you doctor shop.  However.  I don't recommend benzodiazapines for anyone unless they have extremely good self control and aren't prone to anxiety.  They are addictive and once addicted they can be a major problem to stop.  And my experience is that Thai doctors are great at getting you hooked and and almost incapable of getting you off the benzos.  I had to taper my own wife off of them and it took a loooong time.  I take them for short periods of time. 10 days max.  It a balancing act and you've got to know when to stop and you've got to understand that post diazepam anxiety is just a withdrawal response. 

I've also taken Aterax (hydroxyzine hydrocloride) which is a strong antihistamine.  I use Aterax until it starts to loose effectiveness, then back to diazapam, then back to Aterax.  Thai brand is Dormirax.  That cycle works well enough for me. 

That and exercise daily.  It helps to sleep if you are actually physically tired.

Zolpidem?  Costs more money that I'm going to spend.  Plus Ambian has some really strange side effects like memory loss.  It works!  But?  Cost.  And really weird side effects (like your wife telling you that you were up at 2am in the morning cleaning your gun and you don't remember sort of weird, i.e., sleepwalking in a very specific manner as though you're awake and functioning but you're not - FYI in the US not in Thailand).  I'm not particularly a fan.  I stopped taking in the US after that event.  I don't like that sort of loss of control.  But - it does happen with Ambian.  Look it up on the internet.  Ambien Blackout Stories.  Makes me wonder how many of the Pattaya Flying Club spent their last night on Earth after taking this stuff?  Makes one wonder.  That and a few beer and you've got wings - but don't even know what you're doing.  Best of luck.

 

 

Zolpidem is cheap as chips if you can buy it at the normal price. I paid 368 baht for 92 tablets, plus 50 baht service charge.

But you have to registered under the Thai public healthcare system to not get scammed.

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On 8/12/2020 at 6:36 PM, Sheryl said:

Correct unless you can find a place that syill has some on the shelves from before. It was marketed here in the past. I'm not sure how long ago it went off market.

 

Off market means the manufacturer no longer imports/ sells it in Thailand.

Dr. Donna at MedConsult  prescribes and dispenses Zolpidem or has in the recent past anyway.  It is the Dactive brand as posted above.

Edited by ricklev
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