Zopiclone is one of the most popular sleeping pills that is prescribed to people who have sleeping problems and insomnia. This medication belongs to a group called Z-drugs. The Z-drugs are a group of nonbenzodiazepine. And nonbenzodiazepine “are a class of psychoactive drugs,” according to Wikipedia. The reason why they are called Z-drugs is that most of the medications used for sleeping disorders or insomnia start with the letter “z.”
Medications Prescribed from the Z-drugs Include:
- Zolpidem, which is also sold under the brand names of Ambien, Ambien CR, Stilnox, Stilnoct, and Intermezzo.
- Zaleplon, which is also sold under the brand names of Starnoc, Sonata, and Andante.
- Zopiclone, which again sold under the brand names of Zimovane, Imovane, and Imrest or as esZopiclone, which is the very well-known brand of Lunesta.
The Zopiclone tablets are widely spread and used. And, according to TheGuardian, which is a British website, in 2011, “15.3 million NHS prescriptions were made,” out of which, 5.4 million prescriptions were written only for Zopiclone. Furthermore, the Economic and Social Research Council reported that 1 in 10 people are using some type of sleeping pills on a regular basis.
Although the statics above may appear shocking to some extent, the good news is that reports of abuse and addiction to the Zopiclone sleeping pills is not as alarming. So here is a list of reports of addiction dependence and withdrawal syndrome or symptoms.
Reports of Addiction (Dependence and Withdrawal Syndrome or Symptoms) Cases:
- June 1997, there were 46 reports of dependence and 42 reports of withdrawal syndrome, found in the WHO database
- Starting from March 1994 until June 1997, “Rhône-Poulenc Rorer received 17 spontaneous reports of dependence and 13 of withdrawal syndrome or symptoms.”
The reported cases above are significantly low in number. But they do not include all reports. For instance, the Tranx Services, Auckland, which is an organization that assists people who have to withdraw from addiction and minor sedatives, reported that they had 24 clients who needed help while taking Zopiclone (in 2.5 years period).
Reports from Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM)
CARM is in the New Zealand Centre. They have received three reports of dependence or withdrawal problems while patients were taking Zopiclone:
- The first report – the patient has been taking the 15mg dose for 2.5 years and reported that he missed one dose and became depressed and irritable. He also claimed to have a “fuzzy head.”
- The second report – the patient has been taking the 7.5mg dose for 6 months, every night. With abrupt withdrawal, he reported that he felt “strange in the head” for two or three days. However, he did not experience any physical effects.
- The third report – the patient was taking the 82.5 mg dose, 11 tablets per day, while also taking lithium carbonate and thyroxine. He reported that he experienced withdrawal phenomena, not described, with discontinuation.
Reports from Tranx, Christchurch
Eight people have turned to the Tranx, Christchurch in a two-week period. The individuals in question were using from a 7.5mg tablet on a daily basis to one tablet alternate days, to four tablets daily. Their ages ranged from the 20s, not specified, to 72 years-old. The patients were one male and the rest females. Below, you will see a description of what the individuals reported:
- One patient had previously taken Zopiclone for a year, 8 tablets every night.
- One client had a previous history of drugs – opioids.
- Another user had previously used benzodiazepines and antidepressants. However, the individual in question has been drug-free for six months before initiating Zopiclone.
- Three patients have been taking the sleeping pills for two months, but most of them have been taking the tablets, from 18 months to 2 years.
These individuals reported signs of withdrawal symptoms. They have felt anxiety, difficulty sleeping, diarrhea, and tremor.
There are three factors that must be kept in mind here, one – these patients have had previous experience in drug abuse. Two, they were taking other medications while taking the Zopiclone tablets. Three, they have been taking the sleeping medication for more than two-four months, which is usually how long this medication should be taken.
Having in mind these three major and important factors, it is safe to say that Zopiclone is not dangerous when it comes to side effects and drug abuse. As the saying goes “people are responsible for their own actions” but, sometimes, mistakes do happen, and in such cases, medical help is required. After proper examination, patients must follow their doctor’s instructions carefully.
Most Popular Symptoms of Zopiclone Dependency:
- Muscular Weakness
- Aching Limbs
- Appetite Problems (reduced or increased hunger)
So what is the conclusion here?
- Never self-medicate!
- Always talk to your doctor!
- Strictly follow the instructions of your GP!
- Inform your doctor if any changes appear!
Apply those “rules,” and the chances of having any problems, whether they are side effects, allergic reactions to any of the ingredients the Zopiclone is made of, including addition, will be reduced significantly.