What is Zopiclone?
Zopiclone belongs to the category of drugs called hypnosedatives. Zopiclone has been greatly promoted as a sleep aid, in other words, a sleeping pill. In the US, UK, and Asian countries, Zopiclone is a prescription-only medicine. It is available in several generic formulations and is marketed under the brand names Zolpidem, Imovane, Rhovane, Zolinox tab, or Zolium tab (manufactured by RANBAXY LABORATORIES). It is one of the most frequently prescribed sleeping pills in the UK and across the globe. It is available in online stores with a prescription. You can buy Zopiclone and avail of it the very next day on various online stores inside and outside the UK. Zopiclone is a tranquilizer drug that is classified as the “Z” category drug sedative-hypnotics. People who have difficulty in sleeping due to various reasons such as anxiety are often prescribed with Zopiclone. This condition is referred to as Insomnia.
Zopiclone is considered a controlled substance in the US and is not available commercially. It is an OTC (Over the Counter) medicine everywhere in the world. Possessing Zopiclone without a physician’s prescription may be illegal. Having said that, Zopiclone is renowned for its recreational use in the European pharmaceutical market. It helps you get a night of better sleep, reduce anxiety, prevent excessive daytime sleepiness, and relieves stress. For people suffering from insomnia, Zopiclone works the best by inducing good sleep. It is recommended for short term use and in exceptional cases, long term use may be recommended.
Zopiclone chemically contains cyclopyrrolone. Zopiclone is considered to be a type-A γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor agonist that enhances GABA-associated neuronal inhibition. Zopiclone is often prescribed for short-term use but people with chronic insomnia such as the elderly may use Zopiclone for a longer time or the rest of their lives.
Zopiclone is available as tablets. For individuals who have difficulty in taking tablets, Zopiclone is also available in liquid form. The cost of Zopiclone varies among the brands. The cost of 11 different brands is available here.
They are white oval, scored tablets. However, they are available in different colours such as orange or blue as well and have doses marked on them. Zolpidem is 5mg or 10mg white oval tablets. Zaleplon is available in capsule forms of 5 mg or 10 mg in white or orange colour.
Other ingredients in the tablet are lactose monohydrate, calcium hydrogen phosphate, maize starch, carmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide, and methyl hydroxypropyl cellulose.
The bioavailability of Zopiclone, i.e. the amount of drug available in the circulation after the drug is taken orally, is 75- 80%. This means that the drug is very effective when taken orally. Zopiclone gets widely distributed in all the tissues including the brain. It reaches the maximum plasma concentration in 1-2 hours and the drug starts acting quite fast. It is metabolized by the liver and excreted in the urine. Zopiclone is available in doses 3.75 mg, 5 mg, 7.5 mg, and 10 mg. The most commonly prescribed dose is 3.75 mg.
Zopiclone significantly improves insomnia and is found to improve the daytime functioning in a large number of individuals who took it. It is very similar to benzodiazepines, another type of sedative drugs.
While Zopiclone relieves your emotional distress and improves your sleep, it may have some adverse effects and contraindications just like any other drugs. You should not be taking Zopiclone without a consultation with your doctor in the first place. Your online health expert may help you with it. After your doctor thoroughly examines your condition, the dosage and duration of your treatment will be determined. This is essentially done to avoid any possibility of drug abuse and addiction. As Zopiclone acts on your central nervous system, it can cause addiction and sometimes withdrawal symptoms after discontinuing Zopiclone if you were on long term treatment.
Some common side effects associated with the use of Zopiclone include; dry mouth, metallic taste in your mouth, excessive sleepiness or fatigue, agitation, and lightheadedness. Some people may be allergic to Zopiclone or any of the ingredients, if you start experiencing symptoms of allergy such as rashes, itching, difficulty breathing, or swollen lips, you should visit your doctor at the earliest.
Some serious side effects of Zopiclone may be, aggressiveness, behavioral disturbances such as hyperexcitement or violent behavior, unsteadiness or feeling clumsy (more common for older individuals), confusion, restlessness or no improvement in anxiety, breathing difficulty, impaired coordination, severe drowsiness, dementia or short term memory loss, signs of depression, suicidal thoughts, sleepwalking, withdrawal syndrome such as vomiting, sweating seizures.
Drugs that affect your nervous system may affect your function and shouldn’t be taken while driving, Zopiclone is not an exception. It has been shown to cause harm to the fetus and should not be taken if you are pregnant. If you’ve consumed alcohol, you should not be taking Zopiclone as it may result in undesirable effects. If you are a lactating mother, have been diagnosed with liver or kidney disease, you should consult with your doctor before taking Zopiclone.
What are the ways by which Zolpiclone acts?
Zopiclone induces sleep by acting on the brain cells. It acts on your central nervous system. It is studied to prolong non- REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep with a profound decrease in REM sleep. REM sleep can be considered as light sleep and so, Zopiclone promotes deep and uninterrupted sleep. When used at doses of 7.5 mg, Zopiclone is found to produce similar effects to that of benzodiazepines which are potent sedative medicines.
The mechanism by which Zopiclone acts may be controlled by several chemicals in the body. The human brain releases certain calming chemicals. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is one of such chemicals that promotes calmness. Zopiclone accentuates the effectiveness of GABA thus making you feel calm.
The mechanism is very much similar to that of benzodiazepines which also acts on the central nervous system and causes sleep. However, Zopiclone is categorized under Non-Benzodiazepines even though the drug chemically binds to the same receptor that the benzodiazepines bind to in our body.
GABA is involved in the transmission of impulses across the nerves within and outside the brain that is responsible for the sedative and hypnotic effects. Thus, by boosting the efficiency of GABA, Zopiclone enhances your sleep. Over a prolonged period of time, the body gets accustomed to it. This happens in individuals who have been taking Zopiclone for a significantly long period of time such as chronic anxiety in the elderly. In such patients, on discontinuation of the medicine, various chemical changes happen in the nervous system which will make the body want more Zopiclone which may result in addiction or drug dependency. If discontinued in such patients, there can be various manifestations of withdrawal symptoms like other drugs acting on the central nervous system.
Due to these reasons, Zopiclone is included in the prescription drug category and is recommended only when necessary and in the safest possible doses. For short-term uses, Zopiclone acts best when compared to other drugs that are used to treat similar conditions.
Benefits of taking Zopiclone
Many researched have reported that Zopiclone acts superior to or equal to benzodiazepines. In comparison with other drugs, it has been found that individuals taking Zopiclone showed better quality and duration of sleep and took less time to fall asleep. Zopiclone also reduces the number of awakening during sleep ensuring healthy sound sleep. They also reduced psychomotor impairment and residual impairment during sleep and was found to be one of the safest drugs to be administered for insomnia.
Benzodiazepine usage may cause excessive drowsiness and impairment of cognitive function in individuals with a certain pre-existing psychological condition such as dementia. The use of Zopiclone eliminates the chances of such adverse events. When administered at typical doses (Zopiclone 3.75 mg), Zopiclone is not associated with cognitive impairment as benzodiazepines.
Although Zopiclone has the potential to cause withdrawal symptoms, when compared to other drugs such as the benzodiazepines, the incidences of rebound effect and withdrawal symptoms are less common. It is also found to have the least abuse potential.
How should you take Zopiclone.
Zopiclone is an oral drug. It is available as tablets or syrup. It should be taken just before you go to bed. Your doctor may ask you to take Zopiclone only at night as it may interfere with your daily function if taken in the morning. Zopiclone can make you sleepy and hence it should only be taken before sleep. Always take a full glass of water along with the tablet. Zopiclone shouldn’t be crushed or chewed. Your doctor will recommend the lowest effective dose for you. Never take more than what is recommended by your doctor.
It is always best to take Zopiclone after your meal. Do not take Zopiclone on empty stomach. A high-fat meal before drug consumption may not change the absorption of Zopiclone but can reduce the onset of its action.
The most recommended dose for adults is Zopiclone 7.5 mg orally once daily just before sleep. In the elderly, the dose may be lowered to 3.75 mg as initial therapy. Based on the effectiveness and tolerability, the doctor may increase or decrease the doses.
Zopiclone is not recommended for adolescents and children below 18 years, however, in some children with rare disorders, Zopiclone may be used under strict observation.
In individuals with abnormal hepatic (liver) and/or Renal (Kidney) functions, the doses may be reduced to half. These individuals need to be constantly monitored for any undesirable effects due to poor metabolism and excretion of the drug from the body. Online prescriptions may not be a good option for patients with liver o0r kidney problems and an in-person consultation is necessary before taking Zopiclone.
Zopiclone is a nervous system depressant and should be used with caution in patients with respiratory disorders as it may worsen the breathing difficulty. In such patients, doses of more than 3.75 mg are not recommended.
Zopiclone tablets may not be appropriate for individuals with known allergy to milk or milk products as the tablet contains lactose. You can go for an alternative formulation that does not contain lactose. Zopiclone tablets (Zimovane 3.75mg/7.5 mg) may also contain wheat starch and may not be suitable for individuals who are allergic to it.
Zopiclone may interact with certain medications that you are taking. These reactions may result in the unwanted effect of both the drugs in the body. They are shown to interact with antibiotics and antivirals such as Rifampicin, Azoles, Rotanavir and erythromycin, histamine receptor antagonists such as Cimetidine and Ranitidine, certain anti-depressants, antipsychotics, and benzodiazepine antagonists. It can interact with certain other drugs that cause sedation.
If you are taking Rifampicin, you may require a larger dose of Zopiclone as Rifampicin is found to increase the metabolism of sedative drugs. Whereas, drugs such as cimetidine, ranitidine, ketoconazole, and erythromycin may augment the effects of Zopiclone and induce more sedation due to inhibition of metabolism. Although safe to take, individuals who are taking other medications should always consult a physician before taking Zopiclone and discuss the safety issues prior.
Sleeping pills have the potential to cause addiction and other unwanted effects and should be taken with adequate precaution. Even though Zopiclone is safe for use in adults, the usage involves certain risks as mentioned above. You should keep this drug away from the reach of children. If you experience any sort of psychological disturbances, consult your treating physician at the earliest. It should also not be used with alcohol as it may result in euphoria. This tendency is greatly seen in people who tend to abuse Zopiclone. Consuming Zopiclone without a prescription may be harmful to your body and may have legal consequences (if zopiclone is detected in your blood) and hence is not recommended. However, under lower doses (Zopiclone 3.75 mg), Zopiclone is very safe and works well in relieving your stress and promoting good sleep. Good sleep improves your mental and physical health and is necessary for the optimal functioning of your brain.
Zopiclone works by blocking some of the ghrelin receptors that usually help the body produce and release energy, and this blocking allows the body to relax while allowing sleep. These are the two main metabolism brakes that work to keep us awake, and Zopiclone’s increased value comes from the fact that it blocks them more effectively than other sleeping pills, meaning it prevents sleep interruptions and can keep people asleep throughout the night.
To use zopiclone, take a pill shortly before bed. Zopiclone is the preferred sleep aid for many insomnia sufferers around the world.