Zopiclone belongs to a group of medications called cyclopyrrolones. It acts on receptors in the brain (GABA receptors) causing the release of a chemical called GABA (gamma amino butyric acid). GABA is a major inhibitory chemical in the brain involved in inducing sleepiness and control of anxiety and fits.
Zopiclone acts by increasing the activity of GABA, thereby reducing the functioning of certain areas of the brain. This results in sleepiness, a decrease in anxiety and relaxation of muscles.
Zopiclone is most commonly used to treat insomnia. It decreases the time taken to fall asleep and increases the length of time spent sleeping. As zopiclone remains active in the body for many hours, drowsiness may occur the next day.
Dosage and administration
Most patients are instructed to take one 7.5mg Zopiclone tablet shortly before sleeping. Tablets should be swallowed whole and washed down with a full glass of water. Patients are only advised to use this medication when they have 8 or more hours to sleep, as waking earlier may result in drowsiness until the effects have completely worn off. Do not exceed the dosage your doctor has prescribed you.
Dizziness or loss of balance
Allergy to active ingredients (hypersensitivity)
Disturbances of the guts such as diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain
Drowsiness and lightheadedness the next day
Bitter or metallic taste
Zopiclone is not suitable for use by any patients under the age of 18 years old. It is also not safe for patients who are pregnant or breast feeding, or those who have reduced liver function, respiratory failure, sleep apnoea syndrome, or myasthenia gravis.
Do not operate any vehicles or heavy machinery the morning after using this medication until you are fully aware of how you are affected the morning after. Patients can experience drowsiness or dizziness for some time after waking up, making all activities with safety risks that require concentration unsafe. The risks of these effects occurring decrease the more time has passed since dosing, whilst the opposite is also true, in that the less time has passed (i.e. less than 8 hours) the higher the risks are that drowsiness and/or dizziness will occur.
Alcohol can react negatively with this medication, causing severe drowsiness. As a precaution, patients should never consume alcohol while under the effects of this medication.
If you have any past history of drug or alcohol abuse, always consult your doctor before using this medication to discuss the risks involved. Your doctor may deem it unsafe for you due to the risk of forming a dependency on this medication to be able to sleep.
Seek immediate emergency medical attention if you suffer an allergic reaction. Symptoms to watch for, which may be indicative of a reaction, include skin rashes, hives, swelling of the face or limbs, trouble breathing, and trouble swallowing.
Always use Zopiclone as you have been prescribed by your doctor. Never self-medicate or change your dosage without first consulting your doctor. The correct dosage can vary depending on your health, medical history, and the severity of the condition being treated.
This medication may not be safe for all patients. Before you begin using it always disclose the following to your doctor:
If you suffer from any allergies.
If you suffer from any other health conditions or illnesses.
If you are using any other medicine (including all non-prescription).
If you are using any supplements, vitamins, or herbal products of any kind.