Zopiclone belongs to the group of medicines called central nervous system (CNS) depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or less alert). zopiclone is used to treat insomnia (trouble in sleeping). Zopiclone helps you get to sleep faster and sleep through the night. In general, when sleep medicines are used every night for a long time, they may lose their effectiveness. In most cases, sleep medicines should be used only for short periods of time, such as 1 or 2 days, and generally for no longer than 1 or 2 weeks.
Before Using zopiclone
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For zopiclone, the following should be considered:
Sleep medicines may cause a special type of memory loss or ``amnesia''. When this occurs, a person does not remember what has happened during the several hours between use of the medicine and the time when its effects wear off. This is usually not a problem since most people fall asleep after taking the medicine. In most instances, memory problems can be avoided by taking zopiclone only when you are able to get a full night's sleep (7 to 8 hours) before you need to be active again. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you think you are having memory problems.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to zopiclone or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Studies on zopiclone have been done only in adult patients, and there is no specific information comparing use of zopiclone in children with use in other age groups.
Confusion, lack of coordination, and falling are more likely to occur in the elderly, who are usually more sensitive than younger adults to the effects of zopiclone.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking zopiclone, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using zopiclone with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Using zopiclone with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of zopiclone. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Alcohol abuse (or history of) or
- Drug abuse (or history of)—Dependence on zopiclone may develop
- Emphysema, asthma, bronchitis, or other chronic lung disease or
- Mental depression or
- Myasthenia gravis or
- Sleep apnea (temporary stopping of breathing during sleep)—Zopiclone may make these conditions worse
- Kidney disease or
- Liver disease (severe)—Higher blood levels of zopiclone may result, increasin