How does Zopiclone 10 mg work
Zopiclone comes under a psychoactive class of drugs called cyclopyrrolone (it’s a nonbenzodiazepine drug, colloquially called Z drugs). It works as a sedative-hypnotic, that is, reduces excitement or irritability and helps with anxiety. It acts as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant and decelerates the brain’s activity. Zopiclone helps induce, maintain, and lengthen sleep. It does so by increasing the concentration of neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the CNS.
Uses of Zopiclone 10 mg
Zopiclone is a sleeping pill, that is, it is used to treat insomnia in people who find it difficult to fall asleep and who have difficulty in sustaining their sleep. It will reduce the sleep onset duration and ensure a long sound sleep. Zopiclone is strictly meant to be used for the short-term (one or two weeks, at most). One should read the medication guide properly before they start taking this drug.
You should take the medicine as per your doctor’s prescription. Usually, it’s recommended that you take a Zopiclone 10 mg tablet orally right before going to bed, on an empty stomach. If your doctor has asked you to take a tablet every day, it is better to do so at the same time each day. This will ensure a consistent level of medicine in your body throughout the day. However, do not take this pill daily if your doctor hasn’t asked you to do so because Zopiclone is a habit-forming drug and can cause addiction. The pill will take about an hour to take effect.
Remember, the dosage will be determined by your doctor depending on your condition, age, gender, and other medicines you might be taking during the treatment. Older people and women are prescribed lower doses as they’re slow to process this drug.
Taking Zopiclone pills at a set time every day will reduce the chances of missing a dose. But if you have already missed a dose, make sure you have 7-8 hours of sleep time left before you take the missed dose. You might feel dizzy or experience memory loss if you wake up before 7-8 hours as Zopiclone reduces your alertness and sedates your brain. Never take a double dose as it may have serious repercussions.
In case of an overdose, immediately contact your doctor. The effects and symptoms will depend on the amount of overdose, the range spreads from drowsiness to coma. In mild cases, one will experience drowsiness, lethargy, and confusion. In severe cases, one may suffer from ataxia, hypotonia, hypotension, AV-block, breathing issues, methemoglobinemia, and even coma. Therefore, avoid an overdose at all costs.
You must tell your doctor about your allergies, especially if you are allergic to Zopiclone or any other sleeping pill. Also, tell your doctor about your medical history so that any potentially harmful condition can be avoided. People with the following health problems need to exercise caution in taking Zopiclone 10 mg:
- If you suffer from hepatic insufficiency (a lower dose is recommended)
- If you suffer from renal insufficiency (a lower dose is recommended)
- If you suffer from respiratory problems like sleep apnea or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD (a lower dose is recommended)
- If you have a genetic or personal history of substance abuse
- If you have a personal or family history of sleepwalking or seizures
- If you suffer from myasthenia gravis
Zopiclone may easily cause side effects in children and old people as they’re more sensitive to this drug. Safe use of this Zopiclone in children has not been established yet. Pregnant and lactating women are advised to refrain from taking this medicine as it may make the child (even an unborn child) dependent on it and the child may show withdrawal symptoms later.
Side effects of Zopiclone 10 mg
If taken as per the physician’s prescription, Zopiclone is a pretty safe drug. It may lead to some common side effects that go away easily like dizziness, drowsiness (even in the daytime), bitter or metallic taste, dry mouth, diarrhea, and headache.
However, if taken in an overdose or in case of an allergic reaction, serious symptoms may occur.
- Rapid and irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty in breathing
- Slurred speech
- Abnormal vision
- Memory loss
- Excessive drowsiness
- Confusion and incoordination
- Behavioral changes
- Suicidal thoughts
Get immediate medical help if any of these symptoms are shown in the patient. Note that this list doesn’t contain all the possible side effects.
Interaction With Other Drugs
Tell your physician about all the medications you take (prescription-based and over-the-counter drugs), including herbal medicines and nutritional supplements. Here are some potential drug interactions (this is not an exhaustive list):
- Sodium oxybate (GHB)
- Antifungals like ketoconazole
- St. John’s wort
- Opioid cough or pain relievers (codeine, hydrocodone)
- Marijuana or its derivates
- Other drugs to help with anxiety or sleep (zolpidem, lorazepam, alprazolam)
- Antidepressants and anti-seizure drugs
- Medicines to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia
- Medications to treat infections (clarithromycin or erythromycin)
- Ritonavir (to treat HIV)
- Herbal remedies that might make you sleepy
Interaction With Alcohol
Zopiclone 10 mg should not be taken with alcohol as the combination can put you in a deep sleep where you may have breathing difficulties. Also, avoid taking caffeine with it.
Proper storage conditions increase the shelf-life of medicines. The recommended storage conditions for Zopiclone are:
- Store in the original package at room temperature (not exceeding 30 degrees)
- Away from direct sunlight
- Away from moisture (avoid keeping the pills in bathroom cupboard)
- Keep them away from the reach of children and pet animals
- Discard the empty package and expired pills properly, do not flush them
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Is Zopiclone 10 mg addictive?
Ans- Yes, being a psychoactive drug, it can be addictive. However, this can be avoided by sticking to the short-term course prescribed by your doctor. Also, people with a family or personal history of substance abuse are more prone to getting addicted to this medicine.
Q2. Does it make you sleep instantly?
Ans- Although the drug starts working as soon as it gets into your system, it takes about 50-60 minutes to reach its full potential. But it is recommended that you take it just before you go to bed or when you have tried sleeping but couldn’t.
Q3. Is Zopiclone safe?
Ans- It’s a usually safe sleeping pill if taken as per the doctor’s prescription. However, stopping the medicine abruptly or taking an overdose can be dangerous. Abrupt discontinuation can lead to withdrawal symptoms whereas an overdose can lead to side effects like drowsiness, hallucinations, breathing problems, depression, memory loss, and even coma.
Q4. Should I take Zopiclone 10 mg every night?
Ans- Only if prescribed so by your doctor. If not, try to sleep without the help of a sleeping pill. Practice sleep hygiene techniques.
Q5. Will Zopiclone reduce my anxiety and help me relax?
Ans- Yes, Zopidone usually decreases anxiety during waking hours and induces sleep, making you more relaxed. It will help you get a sound sleep for 7-8 hours.