Why Doctors Prescribe Zopiclone to Treat Insomnia?

Zopiclone is a widely used prescription drug to treat insomnia. It’s a form of CNS depressants that has proven to be effective in handling sudden sleeplessness at night, sleeping issues from psychiatric disorders or distress and troubles in falling asleep. Zopiclone is a type of sedative-hypnotic drug that makes one drowsy or less alert so that he slips into sleep fast and peacefully. The prescription drug is a great short-term relief for insomnia but should not be used for more than 3 weeks.

So, how does the drug help in sleeping?

Zopiclone is a powerful non-benzodiazepine hypnotic which works by influencing the GABA receptors in our brain. GABA can be defined as a neurotransmitter which is a natural nerve-calmer. It ensures proper balance with nerve activities inside the brain and in doing so relaxes muscles, lowers anxiety & induces sleepiness. More precisely, Zopiclone has proven to help you sleep faster and longer.

Things to know while taking Zopiclone:

  • The tablet should be consumed 15-20 minutes ahead of getting to bed.
  • Do not ever crush, chew, break or suck the tablet. You have to swallow it as a whole with water. You might or might not consume it with food.
  • In case you miss one dose, do not take two the next time or some other time during the day to compensate.
  • Even if you suddenly wake up in the middle of the night after taking the medicine, never take another tablet.
  • Never take Zopiclone if you won’t get a proper 7-8 hours of sleep. It takes minimum 8 hours for the effect to wear off and if you wake up before this, you will end up being drowsy. You might also experience memory issues.

Proper dosage of Zopiclone

For adults - one tablet of 5-7.5 mg during bedtime every day

For older adults - one tablet of 3.75 mg during bedtime every day. Older patients might need extra monitoring with the dosage.

Things to know before taking Zopiclone

No alcohol

You must not take alcohol or drugs while taking Zopiclone. The effects could be dangerousincluding sleep-driving, sleep-walking - which might further lead to life-threatening situations.

No long-term use

Zopiclone is never intended for long-term use as prolonged use can lead to harmful side effects like-

  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Muscle pain
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Tension
  • Tremor
  • Irritability

These side effects are mostly the withdrawal symptoms which occur when you suddenly stop the medicine after a long-term use. As Zopiclone is a powerful sedative, the body gets dependent on it from an extended use and revolts drastically while you go cold turkey all of a sudden. In case, you still suffer from insomnia after taking Zopiclone for the prescribed period, you must report to your physician for alternative treatments.

Beware of certain medications

Zopiclone is not safe when taken with certain medications. Thus, you should always inform your doctor about your current medicines when he prescribes Zopiclone for you. Here is a list of medicines that should not be used with Zopiclone-

  • Sodium oxybate
  • Antiepileptics
  • Barbiturates
  • Antipsychotics
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Sedative antihistamines
  • MAOI antidepressants
  • Powerful opioid painkillers
  • Tricyclic antidepressants

Be careful of certain medical conditions

You have to be careful with Zipoclone doses if you are suffering from certain health conditions at present. These are:

  • Liver problems
  • Kidney issues
  • Psychiatry disorders
  • Extended lung problems
  • Record of drug or alcohol abuse

In such situations, your doctor might lower the Zopiclone doses and suggest extra monitoring to assure a safe experience with the medication. So, if you are suffering from any of these, make sure to inform your doctor beforehand.

Finally, Zopiclone is not suggested for pregnant women and nursing mothers.