Insomnia is classified within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) as a sleeping disorder associated with difficulties in falling asleep, staying asleep and early morning awakenings. These sleeping difficulties may be caused by other co-morbid conditions, such as depression, anxiety, panic disorders, and critical health problems that keep you up at night and so on.
Zopiclone is available on prescription and must be used for at least 10 days for desired effects to be achieved. This medication takes about 1 to 2 hours to kick in and is usually advised to be taken at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
Because of the short onset period of this medication, it is important to ensure you will have at least seven to eight hours of sleep (18-60 years) or seven to nine hours (60 years and above). Usually a 7.5mg or 10mg dose is prescribed for adults between the ages of 18 and 60 and a lower dose of 3.75mg or 5mg is prescribed for individuals 60 years and above. This is a great option for those having sleep difficulties as the rapid onset period allows for individuals to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep throughout the night.
How does Zopiclone work to induce sleep?
Sleep is an important part of life as it aids in growth and development. Inadequate sleep may cause heart problems and weight gain among other conditions. Therefore having a good night’s rest will help the body heal, be fit and ready for the next day ahead.
If you are experiencing sleeping difficulties, it is important to get treated before unwanted difficulties occur. This is why zopiclone is one of the best options to help people adjust their sleeping patterns correctly. This non-benzodiazepine medication is a short-term treatment for people suffering from sleeping difficulties, such as insomnia.
This hypnotic is a cyclopyrrolone and works by releasing and increasing the activities of the GABA receptor to produce relaxing and calming effects in the brain. These effects aid in inducing sleep and bringing the body to a tranquil state. The workings of this medication are similar to those of benzodiazepines, although studies have shown that this medication causes fewer adverse effects on psychomotor abilities, respiratory functions, memory and physical dependency. It is the most prescribed medication globally for treating insomnia in recent times.
How long does the therapeutic stay in my system?
The medication is available as an immediate release and extended release tablet. The immediate release form will last for about 5 to 6 hours in your system, while the extended release can last for about 8 to 12 hours. During this time, uninterrupted and a peaceful sleep should occur. Immediate release is usually taken by those who need to wake up early the next morning, and extended release can be taken by those who are able to have their full 8 hour sleep.
Generally, the elderly may be prescribed immediate release and adults between 18 and 65 may be prescribed the extended release because of the different time periods needed for sleep. Because of the long time in which the medication stays in your system, safety measures must be taken to avoid unnecessary risks the next day. For example, after taking the medication, one must be able to rest and not use heavy tools or machinery as imbalances and sleepiness may occur.
What are benefits if this medication?
Chronic insomnia is prevalent in about 15% of the world’s population and transient insomnia in about 80% of the population. Almost all people experience insomnia at least once in their life, and it becomes a great concern if sleeping difficulties continue for more than 3 months. Therefore, using a medication that will aid in inducing sleep is beneficial to help your body and mind return to normal functioning. Below are the top benefits for using zopiclone:
- Lower dependency: The therapeutic has a lower risk of dependency than some benzodiazepines. This is because it acts immediately to induce sleep and produces results effectively. Individuals using this medication will find it easy to gradually discontinue this medication after experiencing the effects promised, because they will find no use after their sleeping patterns have adjusted.
- Immediate induction of sleep: Whether it an immediate release or extended release tablet is used, the results are immediately noticed due to the fast onset rate of the medication.
- Less harmful: Unlike other benzodiazepines, this therapeutic has proven to cause less harmful adverse effects with only reported cases of dry mouth, bitter taste, and difficulty waking in the morning. The percentage of participants reporting the above effects for the study were 1.6%, 3.6% and 1.3% respectively.
- Low risk of tolerance: Because of this medication commonly being used as a short-term treatment, there is no time for one to develop a tolerance for the medication. Usually you doctor will prescribe the correct dose for you, so there would be no need to increase dose unadvised. The above study mentioned, also reported that most of the participants tolerated the medication well and has shown great results.
Precautions when using the medication
When using medication it is important to follow the correct dose and instructions that would be given to you. The same applies to the hypnotic in subject because of the sedative effects it produces. Here are a few general precautions you can take to ensure no serious adverse effects are experienced:
- Do not use this medication together with alcohol or other sedatives and hypnotics as the interaction may increase the risk of serious side-effects. Sedation may increase causing you to sleep for a longer time which may impair and interfere with daily activities. Interactions with this medication may cause side-effects to worsen and may be harmful to your health.
- Do take this therapeutic at least 30 minutes before sleep time and make sure you will have adequate amount of sleep needed.
- Do not take this medication if you are planning to stay awake and perform routine activities (such as driving, working, studying, operating machinery, etc.).
- Make sure to monitor the use of this medication so that you do not take it over a long period of time.
- Consult with a professional before increasing dose, as a re-evaluation might need to be done by your doctor.