Zopiclone

Common Uses

Zopiclone is used, on a short-term basis, to most commonly treat insomnia. Long-term use is not recommended, as over time a patient can become dependent on the drug and the patients body can build up a tolerance. It has sedating effects, and works by essentially tranquillizing the patients nervous system and relax the muscles in the body. For this reason, it is classed as a sleeping pill. It helps the patient fall into a deep sleep, preventing them from waking up during the night.

Important facts

Zopiclone is a sleeping pill and will just send you to sleep, however, you still should consult your doctor before taking it. Especially if you have kidney or liver problems, suffer from a personality disorder and/or depression, have asthmatic problems, and have plans to be or are pregnant.

Alcohol should not be consumed when taking Zopiclone, the sedating effects can be increased, triggering extreme fatigue.

Zopiclone should be taken at the lowest dose possible and for the shortest time possible.

You should not drive or operate machinery whilst taking Zopiclone. Some patients are not affected by the drug, however just in case, you are encouraged to not to drive or operate anything whilst you are still taking the medicine.

If you have diabetes or have been told that you have an intolerance to certain sugars, consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking Zopiclone tablets as these tablets contain lactose.

If you are elderly, it is recommended that you do not take more than 3.75 milligrams, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor or local pharmacist.

An overdose of zopiclone will present usually in immediate sedation, a patients respiratory system will decrease and sometimes even cease to function, resulting in the patient slipping into a coma. If you accidentally take an overdose of Zopiclone, you must go to the A&E immediately.

Side effects

Zopiclone is quite a powerful drug, and like all medicines, does have side effects. Although, not everyone who takes Zopiclone will experience them. The most common side effects include being generally fatigued and drowsy, confused; the drug can cause depression, hallucinations and nightmares and sometimes amnesia. This is due to the medicine having affecting the patients central nervous system. The medicine can also take it’s toll on the patients gastrointestinal system, and the symptoms of this include vomiting, feeling sickly, experiencing a bitter taste in the mouth and/or having a dry mouth.
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Generally, most patients only experience a few symptoms and they’re usually very mild. However, if any of these symptoms occur often or worsen over time, it is advised that you speak to your doctor immediately.

The lesser common side effects include heartburn, constipation, diarrhoea, nausea and decreased appetite. Palpitations can also occur in older patients. Patients could also experience disorientation and feeling drunk. Dizziness has also been reported.

Zopiclone can have addictive tendencies, which is why it should not be used for a prolonged period of time. Patients who have been taking Zopiclone for more than two or three weeks (depending on the dosage amount) can suffer withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly stop taking it and may struggle to sleep. Some doctors will instruct patients to take Zopiclone alternate nights instead of every night to decrease the chance that the patient will become addicted.

Directions for use

Zopiclone should be taken just before you go to bed, the drug will start to work as soon as you have taken it and will start to feel drowsy. You should make sure that get at least 7 to 8 hours sleep, to ensure that the side effects will not be as severe or prominent the next day. You can take them before or after you eat.

Missing a dose

Missing a dose of Zopiclone isn’t that big of deal. Missing a dose one night will not have an overall effect on the treatment, like it does if you miss a dose of antibiotics for example. It may mean that the night you didn’t take a tablet, your old symptoms return and you have difficulty sleeping, however, the next night you can carry on taking your regular dose and continue the routine without fussing too much. It is vital that you never take a double dose. If you forget to take your tablets for a few nights rather than just one night, if you have been taking the Zopiclone for a few weeks you may experience some withdrawal symptoms. Although, if you haven’t been taking it for a longer period of time, you shouldn’t experience any withdrawal.

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