What is Zopiclone?

Zopiclone, typically sold under the brand name Imovane among others, is used as a sleeping pill to get rid of insomnia and enjoy a good night’s sleep. It helps you sleep quickly and prevents you from waking up repeatedly during the night.

Zopiclone is a prescription-only drug and therefore consume only after proper medical consultation because a substance that is perfectly suitable and safe for one person might not be the case for you because each individual has different medical conditions and reactions to various substances.

You may purchase it using a valid doctor’s prescription. If an organization or a website is willing to sell you this drug without a prescription, chances are they would not have any qualms to sell you dangerous counterfeit medications either. To know the usage and benefits of zopiclone, keep reading.

Zopiclone is one of the non-benzodiazepine’s drugs. Typically referred to as Z-drugs (as many of them begin with the letter “z”), are a class of psychoactive drugs that are very similar to a benzodiazepine in nature. They are commonly used in the treatment of sleep problems.

The pharmacodynamics of non-benzodiazepines are almost the same as benzodiazepine drugs. Thus exhibiting similar side effects, benefits, and risks. However, nonbenzodiazepines have completely different chemical structures. Hence, on a molecular level, they are entirely unrelated to benzodiazepines.

How Zopiclone works.

Zopiclone is a type of sedative that works by causing sedation and depression in the CNS. The brain naturally secretes calming chemicals. One such chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA.) is released.

Zopiclone works by amplifying the effects of GABA. This helps in calming the brain and enabling you to get sleep.

It also works by delaying the onset of the REM cycle along with reducing the total amount of time spent on it.

Zopiclone is available in two strengths;

7.5 mg is the usual dose supposed to be taken about an hour before bed.

3.75 is a lower dose and is recommended to begin with if you have liver or kidney problems or if you’re over 65 years old.

How to use Zopiclone

Zopiclone is recommended to be taken at the mildest dose possible and the shortest period of time.

It is meant to be swallowed whole. Do not crush or chew it.

You may consume it with or without a meal.

Not under any circumstances take two doses at the same time. Even if you forget, do not take an extra dose to make up for it; just start again the next night.

It’s crucial that you take it exactly as your doctor has asked you to. Rather than every night, you could be asked to take a dose only 2 to 3 nights a week. Please follow the specific instructions.

What are the alternative sleeping pills one can find in the UK?

  • Zolpidem
  • Eszopiclone
  • Oxazepam

These are some of the alternative pills that are quite similar to Zopiclone to help treat Anxiety.

Side effects

Certain side effects may occur initially while your body adjusts and gets used to the drug;

  • A bitter taste in the mouth
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness during the day
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Stomach ache
  • However, inform your doctor if these effects continue to last or become bothersome.
  • Also, notify your doctor immediately if you experience
  • Abnormally rapid slowed or irregular heartbeat
  • Skin rashes
  • Changes in vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Loss of memory
  • Incoordination
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Other behavioral changes or any other effects that might not be listed above.

Warnings and Precautions

  1. Do not consume this drug during pregnancy as it may cause the baby to be underweight and premature. It can also cause severe withdrawal symptoms post-partum. Consuming Zopiclone while breastfeeding is not recommended either.
  2. Persons under the age of 18 or over the age of 65 are advised to avoid using this medication as they are prone to be more sensitive to its effects.
  3. Zopiclone will cause drowsiness or dizziness due to its effects on the CNS, impairing focus, judgment, and mobility. Hence causing falls, accidents, or severe injuries. Until you understand the way, this affects you, refrain from performing any sort of hazardous activity, operating any heavy machinery, or driving.
  4. Termination of usage of Zopiclone after prolonged use (more than 4 weeks) can cause serious adverse effects after sudden withdrawal such as;
  • Rebound sleeplessness.
  • Muscle pain or cramps or aches.
  • Anxiety.
  • Shaking.
  • Sweating.
  • Feelings of agitation or confusion or panic or irritability
  • Headache.
  • Rapid heartbeat or arrhythmia.
  • Discomfort in the stomach or gut.

In serious cases, you could also get the following:

  • Feeling out of touch with reality.
  • Tingling feeling in fingers and toes.
  • Numbness.
  • Extreme sensitivity to light, noise, and even physical contact
  • Strange feelings or even having hallucinations and nightmares (sensing things that are not real).
  • Recurring seizures/ fits.

Even when Zopiclone is stopped gradually, in some cases, you may experience a few rebound symptoms:

  • your original insomnia might return
  • you might experience mood swings
  • you might feel severe anxiety and restlessness

Zopiclone interactions

Notify your doctor before using any other medication along with Zopiclone, as that interaction may lead to risky and dangerous side effects.

Zopiclone, when combined with another drug or alcohol with can lead to creating an addictive effect, increasing the potential of an overdose by substantially amplifying the adverse effects. Due to these risks and the increased possibility for dependence, alcohol or any other substances should be avoided at all costs while using Zopiclone.

Recreational use and abuse of Zopiclone

If Zopiclone is consumed regularly for a prolonged period of time, a person will build up a tolerance for it, inciting the need to consume it more frequently at much higher doses. Drug misuse can occur either of the two ways:

  1. wherein the drug is consumed to achieve a recreational high,
  2. or when the drug is continued against medical advice for the long-term.

Having non-medicinal uses, it has a high potential for addiction, dependence as well as dosage escalation. It is typically consumed orally via pills and liquids and at times intravenously. It is often combined with alcohol to create a sedative, hypnotic, euphoria-like state.

Various studies have concluded that Zopiclone may be even more addictive than benzodiazepines. The one’s who have had a history of substance abuse or mental health issues have resulted in being at an increased risk of Zopiclone misuse.

Common symptoms of Zopiclone addiction include;

  • depression
  • anhedonia
  • hopelessness
  • slow thought process
  • isolation
  • uneasiness
  • anxiety

Zopiclone, along with various other hypnotic drugs, is often misused to carry out criminal activities such as sexual assaults, kidnapping, and human trafficking.

Reviews from healthcare professionals on Zopiclone

Numerous doctors and pharmacists claim Zopiclone to be an effective medication to treat insomnia when taken carefully and consciously as advised by the doctors. However, misuse of this drug by uncountable people has led to various controversies as to whether it’s a safe option.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is only meant for informational purposes and, under any circumstances, is not supposed to be used as a substitute for any diagnosis, medical advice, or treatment.