What is Zopiclone?
12th March 2019
Zopiclone is a prescription only medication sleeping pill that is widely used to treat severe bouts of insomnia among patients. It facilitates sleep fast, and it enables you to stop waking in the wee hours of the night or waking up really early in the morning. It is used for the short term treatment of sleeping problems that often lasts to up to 4 weeks.
It works by working the brain receptors of the brain known as the ‘GABA’ receptors. These set of receptors is responsible for the release of neurotransmitters in the brain known as GABA.
GABA is the one that is dubbed as the nerve calming agent of the brain. It affords balance in the brain by placing equilibrium to the nerve activities and is responsible for relaxing muscles, minimising anxiety, and inducing sleep. Zopiclone reduces the time it takes for you to fall asleep and the total number of times when you wake up at night, thus improving the overall quality of sleep.
The benefits of Zopiclone
Zopiclone is found very useful for patients who have problems sleeping. They could be suffering from difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night unable to resume sleep, waking up too early in the morning or other severe sleeping patterns that can result in distressing mental and health concerns.
Zopiclone may be used for temporary and long-lasting sleep issues among patients. But, the medication is not indicated for everyday use for extended periods of time to treat depression and other related health problems.
How to use Zopiclone
Take the Zopiclone tablet as a whole with a glass full of water. Do not crush, break, or chew it. The tablet can be taken with or without meals.
It is crucial that patients take Zopiclone exactly as told by the doctor. Zopiclone must be taken before sleeping every night at approximately the same times.
If a patient on Zopiclone happens to wake up in the middle of the night, never suggest another dose of Zopiclone. Only one dose is advisable for a given night.
Take Zopiclone before bedtime. If you happen to take a dose, do not take it at a later time or you will end up feeling dizzy, confused, and drowsy the next day you wake up.
Zopiclone is available in tablet form in two different strengths of 7.5 milligrams and 3.5 milligrams.
The typical dose is to take 7.5 milligrams before bed time and it takes approximately one hour to work so that you experience its sedative effect.
A lower strength dose of 3.5 mg can be prescribed for elderly patients aged 65 years and older, or for those who have liver or kidney problems. You can take a much lower dosage if you want to reduce the side effects or minimize excessive sleepiness. To read about the overdosing effects of zopiclone click here.
Medications and their side effects can impact various people in several ways. Here are some of the common side effects associated with Zopiclone:
- Drying of the mouth
- Having a metallic taste in the mouth
- Grogginess the next day after taking medication
The uncommon side effects that have been reported are as follows:
- Feeling sick
- Throbbing headaches
- Feeling agitated
Rare side effects of Zopiclone often affect one in one thousand patients; here are the reported side effects:
- Shortness of breath
- Hostile behavior
- Skin rashes
- Allergic reactions
Can Zopiclone be taken with other medications?
It is vital that you communicate to your doctor what medications you have taken or are currently taking (including those you have purchased without prescription such as herbal supplements), before you take Zopiclone for your sleep deprivation problems.
The sedating effects of the drug will be heightened when taken with other meds that can cause dizziness or drowsiness. Here are the medications to watch out for:
- Anti-psychotic drugs
- Anti-epileptic drugs
- Other sleeping tablets
- Very strong opioid painkillers
- Antihistamines with sedating effects
These medications can boost the level of Zopiclone in the bloodstream and can heighten the sedation effect, thus exposing patients to other side effects.
Zopiclone is known to pass into the breast milk in very minimal amounts. If you plan to take this medication then consult your doctor first to know more about your other breastfeeding options.
Always consult with your doctor before taking Zopiclone and other sleep-inducing medications. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the side effects mentioned above or where your condition has not improved or has gotten worse.