Zopiclone (known under the brand name of Imovane among others) is a sedative that can make you tired. After prolonged use, your body becomes used to the effects of zopiclone. If after long term use you stop using it or cut back on its dose, withdrawal symptoms may occur. These include a range of symptoms similar to those experienced during benzodiazepine withdrawal.
Zopiclone Tablets are part of a group of drugs that are often referred to as Z-drugs, these are drugs that have been shown to be less addictive than benzodiazepines. Zopiclone is one of the more popular z-drugs, as it has proven to be an effective treatment for patients who need relief from sleep disorders such as insomnia. It’s recommended not to take zopiclone on a long-term basis due to the side effects associated with its long-term use, including building up a tolerance to the drug and so it becomes less effective.
It is a non-benzodiazepine medication that works in the same way as a benzodiazepine would. It quickly induces and maintains sleep by lowering the total REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and preserves slow wave sleep. Essentially, it reduces the time it takes for you to sleep and increases the time you spend sleeping.
Zopiclone is a short-term treatment for insomnia that can be used to help you sleep better and experience less night-time disruptions. This medicine has low risks of addiction, but it may cause withdrawal symptoms or relapse if people stop using it suddenly without tapering down first, especially after prolonged use, which isn’t recommended.
How it works?
Zopiclone is a medication that works by blocking ghrelin receptors and causing the body to relax. The relaxation allows for increased sleep, making it a perfect choice if you’re struggling with insomnia or anxiety issues as well.
Zopiclone tablets come in 3 strengths: 3.75 mg, 7.5 mg and 10 mg. There is a risk of excessive drowsiness for people who take the higher dosage of Zopiclone in cases where they are over 65 years old or have kidney function problems. In these instances, lower dosages such as 3.75 mg may be recommended by doctors because there’s less chance for side effects.
Directions of Use
Zopiclone takes around 45 minutes to work. Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush or chew it. You can take zopiclone with food. Your doctor may ask that you only use your medication on certain nights of the week rather than every night.
What if you forget to take it?
If you forget to take the medication one evening, never increase the dosage the next evening to make up for it, just continue to take as you would normally. If in any doubt, always consult your doctor or medical professional.
What if you suddenly stop treatment?
It is important that you talk to your doctor before stopping this medication, as it may cause withdrawal symptoms. These could include insomnia returning more severely than before and feeling anxious or restless with mood changes like having trouble concentrating on a task at hand. You may also become very sensitive to light, noise and being touched. Your doctor may suggest reducing the dosage over the course of a few days or weeks. These symptoms are unlikely if you have been taking Zopiclone for less than 4-5 weeks.
What are the side effects?
The following side effects happen in around 1 out of 100 people, and they include:
having a bitter taste in your mouth
feeling dry-mouthed for an extended period of time
getting drowsy easily during the day even when not taking zopiclone.
Talk to your doctor if these symptoms bother you or don’t go away after 2 weeks; however most often this medication has been proven safe with little negative effect on patients who do take it.
Your doctor needs to know about any respiratory illnesses you have, your history of drug use, and if there are other serious conditions that could get worse with this medication. You should also be honest if you think the medications might make it hard for you to stay alert when driving or operating machinery for work.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding with Zopiclone
Think twice before taking zopiclone if you’re pregnant, as it carries a risk of harming the developing baby and can also cause negative side effects in newborn babies.
There is evidence to suggest that taking zopiclone can increase your risk of having a premature birth (37 weeks or earlier) resulting in the baby having a reduced weight at birth.
Zopiclone has been shown to pass into the breast milk, so it is important to discuss feeding options with your doctor or midwife if it’s essential that you take the drug.
Mixing Zopiclone with Other Medications
Make sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal remedies and supplements.
You may experience negative effects from some of these drugs or interactions with them which could be dangerous so it’s important that they know about all the medications you’re using now as well as what vitamins and supplements you take regularly.