What is Zopiclone Used to Treat?
Zopiclone, commonly known as Imovane or Zimovane, is a medication often prescribed to people experiencing sleep disturbances, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep throughout the night. This non-benzodiazepine hypnotic calms the central nervous system, allowing for a more restful sleep. In this blog post, we will shed light on what Zopiclone is typically used to treat and also take a closer look at its side effects and usage guidelines.
Insomnia and Sleep Disturbances
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder affecting a huge portion of people worldwide. It can manifest as sleep-onset insomnia (trouble falling asleep) or sleep-maintenance insomnia (waking up in the middle of the night and having difficulty falling back asleep). Various factors, including stress, anxiety, depression, medical conditions, medications, and lifestyle habits, can cause insomnia. Prolonged insomnia can severely impact an individual's quality of life, leading to daytime fatigue, memory lapses, and a weakened immune system.
One of the primary uses of Zopiclone is to treat insomnia and other sleep disturbances. Zopiclone belongs to a group of medicines called Z-drugs (Zolpidem, Zopiclone, and Zaleplon), renowned for their soothing effects in promoting sleep. These medications act on the brain's gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptor, enhancing GABA's natural calming effect on the nervous system, which induces drowsiness and sleep.
How to Use Zopiclone Safely?
Zopiclone is a prescription medication, and following your doctor's instructions is essential. The typical dose for adults is 7.5mg, taken just before bedtime, and should not be used for more than seven to ten days at a time. Zopiclone has a relatively fast onset time, with soothing effects occurring within 60 to 90 minutes, so taking it on an empty stomach is advised for more rapid absorption.
Since Zopiclone is a potent hypnotic agent, it is imperative not to consume alcohol or other sedatives when using this medication. Doing so can cause excessive drowsiness and increase the risk of accidents or injuries. In addition, not driving or performing tasks requiring mental alertness after taking this drug is also crucial.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take Zopiclone unless explicitly prescribed by a doctor, as it can impact the baby's health. In addition, it is essential to disclose any medications, supplements, or herbal remedies you are taking to your doctor before using Zopiclone to avoid potential drug interactions.
Side Effects and Withdrawal Risks
While Zopiclone can be helpful for the short-term treatment of insomnia, it is not without side effects. Some common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, headache, and changes in taste sensation. More severe but less common side effects may include amnesia, hallucinations, depression, or sleepwalking.
In addition to its side effects, Zopiclone has the potential to cause dependency if used for an extended period. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, tremors, and rebound insomnia (a return of sleep problems that are even worse than before) when the medication is taken for over four weeks.