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Short Description:

Zopiclone is a type of sleeping pill that can be taken for short-term treatment of severe insomnia. It helps you fall asleep more quickly, and also helps stop you waking up during the night. It works by affecting a calming chemical in your brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Zopiclone comes as tablets. It also comes as a liquid for people who find it hard to swallow tablets, but your doctor will have to order this specially. This medicine is only available on prescription.

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What is Zopiclone?

Zopiclone is a hypnosedative medication for acute insomnia in adults. It belongs to a group of drugs known as non-benzodiazepine hypnotics. It is quite different from benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotics; however, it has similar benefits and side effects. Its primary use is to help you fall asleep at night and prevent you from waking up in the middle of the night. Zopiclone can be easily provided on a prescription basis only and comes in tablet form.

What is the primary function of Zopiclone?

Zopiclone's main function is to help you fall asleep at night by affecting a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). As a result, it reduces the time taken to fall asleep, known as sleep latency, while increasing your sleep duration and simultaneously decreasing your nocturnal awakening; the number of times you wake up at night from your sleep.

Zopiclone is readily available in the form of tablets but can also be found as a liquid for those who cannot swallow pills.

How does Zopiclone work?

This medication works by boosting the calming chemical present in your brain, known as Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid. Zopiclone helps you fall asleep easily by minimising the number of times you will wake up through the night, offering you peaceful sleep throughout. In addition, Zopiclone is responsible for enhancing the quality of sleep and relieving insomnia.

Zopiclone belongs to CNS depressants, the drugs that make you drowsy and induce sleep.

How long does Zopiclone take to act?

Zopiclone's effect can be observed within an hour. It is impactful for curing short-term insomnia. If you take this medication properly and on time, it will successfully treat your insomnia.

How should you take it?

As Zopiclone can easily get addictive, therefore you must take it in amounts strictly prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist. You must also not exceed the prescribed dosage. If taken in the pill form, swallow it as a whole without crushing, breaking, chewing, or dissolving the tablet.

Different dosages and strengths

Zopiclone is available in the market according to different dosages and strengths. Your healthcare advisor will prescribe the dosages depending on your age, health history, and severity of your issue. You may also find branded and generic versions of Zopiclone available in the market.

The right dose for you

The dosage for this medication varies from patient to patient. Do not abruptly stop the usage without the doctor's suggestion. If you're taking Zopiclone on a long-term basis, do not abruptly stop your dosage, gradually reduce the dosage and slowly stop to prevent withdrawal symptoms.

The standard dose of Zopiclone is typically 7.5 mg tablet. However, for those suffering from any particular disease like liver disease, kidney disease, or any other problem, the dosage can be reduced to 3.75 mg.

If you miss a dose

If you happen to miss your dosage at bedtime, do not worry. Skip on that dosage and take your next dosage at the respective time the following night. It is strictly advised not to take two doses at the same time to make up for a missed dose.

What happens if you overdose?

As Zopiclone can get addictive quickly, one must be cautious while taking this medication. If you happen to overdose, rush to the emergency or consult your doctor. These may be the side effects of overdosing:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Deep sleep possibly leading to coma
  • Hypotonia
  • Lightheadedness and dizziness due to low blood pressure
  • Loss of balance or ataxia
  • Respiratory depression or shallow breathing

What are the side effects of Zopiclone?

The following are the side effects of Zopiclone:

  • Allergic reactions include; rashes, swallowing issues, breathing issues, swollen lips, face, throat, or tongue.

If you happen to experience any of these symptoms, rush to the emergency right away and discontinue the medication.

If you are experiencing any of the following side effects, which are usually rare, consult your doctor as soon as possible.

These mainly include:

  • Amnesia since the start of this medication. This problem may not occur if you have 7-8 hours of undisturbed sleep after taking Zopiclone.
  • Seeing things that are not real, i.e. visual hallucinations.
  • Hearing things that are not real, i.e. auditory hallucinations.
  • Imagining things that are not real, i.e. delusions.
  • Feelings of sadness and depression.

In addition to the above-mentioned side effects of Zopiclone, if the following side effects last longer than a few days, immediately consult your doctor.

  • Dry mouth
  • Bitter taste or a metallic taste in the mouth
  • Feeling drowsy or sleepy all the time

Precautionary measures to take while taking Zopiclone

If you're taking Zopiclone, you must avoid drinking alcohol as alcohol can amplify the drug's effect, causing you to go into a deep sleep, which may have severe side effects.

You must also avoid driving or operating any sort of machinery after you take this medication.

Interactions with other medicines

Before taking this medication, you must tell your doctor about all the medication you are currently taking, as this medication can interact with other medicines that can produce serious results.

Zopiclone may alter the effects of following medications

  • Antipsychotics for mental problems
  • Medication of depression
  • Anticonvulsants for epilepsy
  • Anaesthetics for surgery
  • Hypnotics for reducing anxiety and sleep issues
  • Sedative antihistamines for hay fever and allergies
  • Narcotic analgesics for moderate to severe pain

There may be medicines that can increase your chances of side effects if taken with Zopiclone. You can consult your doctor to reduce the chances of side effects by lowering your dosage.

  • Antibiotics like clarithromycin or erythromycin
  • Medication for fungal infections
  • Ritonavir for HIV infections

Some other alternatives for treating insomnia

Other alternatives exist to treat your insomnia if you are allergic to Zopiclone or cannot tolerate the dosage. These include

  • Diazepam
  • Zolpidem
  • Loprazolam
  • Alprazolam
  • Eszopiclone
  • Clonidine
  • Temazepam

Who cannot take Zopiclone?

If you experience the following conditions, you must consult your pharmacist before taking Zopiclone

  • If you are under 18
  • If you suffer from drinking problems
  • If you suffer from drug addiction
  • If you suffer from severe sleep apnea
  • If you experience breathing difficulties
  • If you suffer from psychiatric disorders
  • If you suffer from kidney problems


Zopiclone is colloquially known as the Z-drug.

Zopiclone is strongly addictive if dependency is increased more than the prescribed dosage.

Zopiclone is used for treating insomnia.

Zopiclone takes less than an hour to work.

You can strictly take only one tablet of the prescribed dosage per night.

You can buy Zopiclone under your prescription from your nearest pharmacy.

You can take Zopiclone at night an hour before sleeping.

Zopiclone works by releasing GABA in your brain, which induces sleep.

Zopiclone stays in your system for 8-9 hours for a peaceful sleep.

Weight gain or weight loss are some side effects of Zopiclone, but you must consult your doctor if you're experiencing it.

Yes, Zopiclone is a controlled drug in the US, Canada,  and a few other countries.

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