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Is Zolpidem the same as Zopiclone?

7th May 2019

Zolpidem is used to treat a certain sleeping problem in adults. The drug belongs to the group called sedative-hypnotics, which act on the brain to produce a calming effect. It is a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic agent and is prescribed for treatment short-term, usually 1 to 2 weeks or less.

Zopiclone, on the other hand, is also a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic agent used in treating insomnia. It is the sleeping pill that is often used for the treatment of bad bouts of insomnia. Zopiclone will allow you to fall asleep fast and prevents you from waking up during the night.

Zopiclone is marketed as a tablet. It is also available in liquid form, designed for people who find it difficult to swallow tablets.

Is Zolpidem the same as Zopiclone?

Zolpidem and Zopiclone are both nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic agents. A double-blind comparative study of the two drugs in the treatment of chronic primary insomnia showed that zolpidem was at least as effective as zopiclone and showed significantly less rebound of insomnia on discontinuation of the drug and was tolerated better.

The two drugs, being both nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic agents, work almost the same.

Zolpidem

Zolpidem is a medication that should be used short-term. It should not be used for more 2 weeks.  While Zolpidem is generally seen as harmless and non-addictive, prolonged use can lead to abuse and dependence, causing severe withdrawal symptoms when the use is stopped.

Before you start taking Zolpidem, it is important that you read and understand first the instructions on how to take the medication and the patient information that comes with the product package.  If you have doubts or questions about the proper use of the medication, you should ask your doctor or your pharmacist.

Zolpidem is to be taken by mouth without food as directed by your doctor. It is usually taken once every night. This drug works quickly, it is necessary that you take it right before going to bed. Do not take Zolpidem with or after a meal because you cannot expect the medication to work as quickly.

Do not take a dose of Zolpidem unless you have enough time for a full night’s sleep, which should last for seven or eight hours. If you wake up before the end of regular sleep, you may experience some memory loss. You may also have difficulty performing safely the activities that require you to be alert, such as driving a vehicle or operating machinery.

The dosage of Zolpidem is based on your age, gender, medical condition, and other medications you are currently taking. It will also depend on how you respond to the treatment.  You should strictly follow the dosage recommended by your doctor. Do not increase it, take the drug more often, or use it for longer than what is originally prescribed. The maximum dose of Zolpidem is 10 mg per day. Women have typically prescribed a lower dose because they remove zolpidem from the body more slowly than in men. A lower dose is also prescribed to older adults in order to avoid the risk of side effects.

Zopiclone

Zopiclone, marketed under the brand name Zimovane, is a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic agent for the treatment of insomnia.

Zopiclone should be taken by mouth before bedtime as directed by your doctor. It is usually taken for short periods of 4 weeks or less. The body easily gets used to the drug, which after 4 weeks will have very little effect. The prolonged use of the drug can also lead to dependence.

Consuming alcohol while taking zopiclone is not encouraged. The combination of the two drugs can put a person into a deep sleep and he may find it difficult to wake up. It should be taken only by adults who are 18 years of age and over. It may not be suited for some people so it is important to consult first with your doctor before taking this medicine.

The usual recommended dose of Zopiclone is to take the 7.5 mg tablet once a day before bedtime. A lower dose, 3.75 mg, is available for the use of the elderly.

Take Zopiclone just before bedtime. Do not take the medicine if you wake up in the middle of your sleep at night. The tablet should be swallowed whole with a glass of water. It should not be crushed or chewed. You may take Zopiclone with or without a meal. Zopiclone should not be taken on a daily basis. Take it only when you feel you really need it.