Fragrant Harbour A forum for the large number of pilots (expats and locals) based with the various airlines in Hong Kong. Air Traffic Controllers are also warmly welcomed into the forum.


Old 29th Feb 2012, 09:51
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: asia
Posts: 5

I don't like to go down this road, but after the last few months, i am left with few options. Where are you all managing to get hold of these sleeping pills without going through your Dr. I'm told I can buy them over the counter. Hong Kong? Or is it somewhere else Thailand/Taiwan?
We are all needing to close our eyes on these flights these days, and I am just unable to sleep during these short rest periods at Home and Outports.
I know lots of Guys are using Generic Brand Name Sleeping Pills too. Are these as good as the Regular Brand name pills?
Thanks for any info.
so-what is offline  
Old 29th Feb 2012, 21:02
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 155
No need for drugs. Just go back to sleep and file an ASR-F later. I see no point in risking chemical dependency for a Swire manager's bonus.
joebanana is offline  
Old 29th Feb 2012, 22:03
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,163
I must live in a sheltered world as I don't know anyone that uses Drugs to sleep now.

Go and see the CX Doc, they love to give guys/girls weeks off from fatigue.
nitpicker330 is offline  
Old 29th Feb 2012, 22:20
  #4 (permalink)  
Nemo Me Impune Lacessit
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Derbyshire, England.
Posts: 4,066
Last I heard the only one the UK CAA approved of was something called Zimmovane, which contains Zopiclone, (known as Imovane in Australia and Canada). Tamazapam has too longer half life, i.e. stays in the system too long.

Thailand introduced laws back in the early nineties banning the sale of prescription drugs over the counter, be very careful, what they started selling, at twice the price, were locally made, often from chalk or talcum powder!
parabellum is offline  
Old 29th Feb 2012, 23:40
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 367
Sleeping pills linked to cancer and heart disease

I recommend that you do some research on sleeping pills before taking on a regular basis
There is a link between sleeping pills and cancer and heart disease

Chapter 1, Sleeping Pills Could Shorten Your Life - The Dark Side of Sleeping Pills, an eBook by Daniel F. Kripke, MD.

Sleeping pills can increase the risk of dying by 36 per cent, study finds | Mail Online
oriental flyer is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2012, 00:05
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Eagles Nest
Posts: 483
Not sleeping raises your risk of dying by %100.
Toruk Macto is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2012, 01:02
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: HK MTR
Posts: 140
Sleeping pills can increase the risk of dying by 36%
I have always been told that there is a 100% chance of dying and paying taxes.
Now I learn that by taking sleeping pills there is a 136% chance of dying and if I taken them on a base there is a 200% chance of paying taxes.
Sand Man is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2012, 01:06
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 302
Personally I have recently succumbed to taking sleeping pills. I only take one in order to get some sleep before the flight home from the middle east. Most of the ME patterns are though the night there and through the night back with a 2am wake up call in the desert. Even if I set an alarm when I get in to limit my sleep to a few hours, in-order to get 5-6 before the flight home, it doesn't seem to work without a pill.

I have submitted ASR-Fs and called in sick when I get 4 of these in a row to get my sleep cycle back on track. However nothing changes.... So even though I know it's not the best idea... a pill (or even half) has made me a lot safer in the air and less like a zombie when I land.

I have heard though the cockpit rumour mill that the CX doctors believe that up to 1/3 of all CX pilots are regularly taking sleeping pills.
Night Watch is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2012, 01:30
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Everywhere
Posts: 428
2/3 of the pilots. LOL
Mr. Bloggs is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2012, 01:40
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,120
Be careful, they are addictive! I started with one a month and ended up
having to take one a night! This took 4-5 years to get to. What I realized was that the more I took them the more tired I felt. Even though I slept for 8 hours every time I took them.

The side effects started creeping up on me without me realizing what was happening.

Once I figured out that my tiredness was actually made worst from the tablets I stopped taking them. It took me 2 weeks to recover an ability to go to sleep without having to take them. Imidiatly felt more alert and rested.

Now days if I don't get enough rest I put in a fatigue ASR with the roster details and call in sick.
Frogman1484 is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2012, 01:51
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Out of the pollution.
Posts: 674
Without wanting to cast accusation I'm sure
the number is closer to 90%.

Sold in MongKok or Fanda or Thailand ect.
Not hard to get.
AAIGUY is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2012, 02:07
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Liquifaction Island
Age: 60
Posts: 137
if they start drug testing cx pilots the shit will hit the fan
turnandburn is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2012, 02:30
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 754
I see no point in risking chemical dependency for a Swire manager's bonus.
Says it all, really.
broadband circuit is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2012, 02:36
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Fragrant Harbour
Posts: 4,727
Random drug and alcohol testing by the CAD is on the way apparently.

As for the drugs - I would exercise extreme caution. I was taking Tamazepam when on extended ops in the RAF. After finding one wouldn't work after a while, I started taking two. After two didn't work - I stopped.

Stilnox/Zolpidem is popular among our peers, but is also highly addictive. A non flying friend became dependant on them for sleep after taking them for only a few weeks. It seriously affected her health, to the point that if she had been a pilot, she would probably have lost her medical.

Stilnox is apparently available from pharmasists in Mongkok without prescription. However, I have heard of people spending a lot of money on these just to find they're fakes!
Dan Winterland is online now  
Old 1st Mar 2012, 02:53
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Nirvana
Posts: 473
Why not consider using Melatonin. Can be purchased over the counter in most countries, as it is usually listed as a "Food Supplement." Very similar to vitimins.

Does not have the addictive characteristics of other sleeping tablets and there appears to be some evidence that it is beneficial for your health over all.

Some say it doesn't work for them, but I find if you take it as directed it does help, the only side effect I have noticed is the amount of vivid dreams you can get from its use.

For Jet Lag - long haul flights, it seems to correct Circadian rhythms more quickly, when used at the end of a pattern and makes the transition from walking around the pad all night like a raging bear, to someone nice and pleasant, within a reasonable amount of time. Persistent jet lag is not good for family life.

I would like to know what others think of Melatonin and if they find it effective.
Bob Hawke is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2012, 03:10
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: hong kong
Posts: 75
Stilnox is prescribed by company doctors. Do not touch it !! Click on any search engine and you will find action groups trying to get it banned completely. Not only addictive, it is believed to responsible for depression and even suicides.

Don't mess with your body. Call in fatigued and unfit for duty. Sleeping pills are being linked with later life alzheimers, too. Why take the risk?
valhalla634 is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2012, 04:12
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 195
I use Melatonin as well (5mg). You can get them over the counter at any GNC store or health food store.

I also find I have vivid dreams, but only take them on ME patterns so I can get some rest for the way home. At the outport, I don't drink tea or coffee and pop the pill an hour before I want to sleep.

Works great and I usually get 4-5 hours in.

Apparently the difference with Melatonin and a sleeping pill is that with Melatonin, it just gets you into a relaxed state so that you CAN drift off to sleep. Once asleep you can wake easily, so i out earplugs in. With a sleeping pill it keeps you asleep, so probably more chance of not waking up with noise around you.

As posted above Melatonin doesn't work for everyone.
WaldoPepper is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2012, 04:25
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Out of the pollution.
Posts: 674
Told in drug and alcohol class last month that Melatonin isn't approved.
Which is laughably as everyone seems to be on it.

Full scale drug testing for sleep pills would shut down the airline. If they actually tested for hard stuff, who knows..

Booze/ Liver GGT that most other airlines do test for would shut us down full stop.

I suspect the Swire Prince's are smart enough to know they would lose their bonus' is they started testing.
AAIGUY is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2012, 04:53
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cupboard
Posts: 264
Just like praying, magnetic bracelets, acupuncture and homeopathy, just because you think or believe melatonin works, or because your condition changes, doesn't mean melatonin (or whatever) is actually doing anything that a placebo wouldn't do for you just as well, without the risks or side effects.

But if you conduct a properly-designed scientific study and let the results speak for themselves, and keep building on that with more properly-derived evidence, then you have yourself a reliable conclusion. (Caution: Being wrong is not the same as being guilty of junk science.)

The objective of this 2006 study was:

"To conduct a systematic review of the efficacy and safety of exogenous melatonin in managing secondary sleep disorders and sleep disorders accompanying sleep restriction, such as jet lag and shift work disorder."

Efficacy and safety of exogenous melatonin for secondary sleep disorders and sleep disorders accompanying sleep restriction: meta-analysis

Plus, doesn't melatonin shrink you balls?
Iron Skillet is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2012, 05:08
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: hong kong
Posts: 9
BEWARE: If you are found in possession of sleeping pills
in Hong Kong, other than by prescription, you are exposing
yourself to the criminal offence of "possession of a Part 1 poison"
with all that this entails, including a possible term of imprisonment .
I know you can find many chemists who will sell them
to you , but that is no defence !!!!!

That may cause you more sleepless nights than tiredness !!
lpuk is offline  

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