What is zopiclone used for?
Zopiclone tablets are sleeping pills (hypnotics) which work by acting on the brain to cause sleepiness. They may be used for short term treatment of difficulties in falling asleep, waking up at night or early in the morning or difficulty in sleeping caused by events, situations or mental illness, which is severe, disabling or causing great distress.
How should I take zopiclone?
Always take Zopiclone tablets exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist when you are not sure.
The tablet should be taken together with liquid immediately before going to bed.
How do I store zopiclone?
Zopiclone is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store zopiclone in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of zopiclone that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush zopiclone down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using zopiclone?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of zopiclone or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
- You have any kidney or liver problems.
- You suffer from mild breathing problems.
- You have taken zopiclone or other similar medicines for more than 4 weeks.
- You have a history of mental illness.
- You have or have ever had a history of, or tendency to alcohol or drug abuse or personality disorders. The risk of dependence to Zopiclone tablets (physical or mental effects produced by a compulsion to keep taking the medicine) increases in these patients, and with dose and length of treatment.
Do not take Zopiclone tablets if you:
- Are allergic to zopiclone or any of the other ingredients in the tablet. An allergic reaction may include a rash, itching, difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue.
- Have severe liver problems
- Suffer from breathing problems whilst sleeping (Sleep Apnoea Syndrome)
- Suffer from severe muscle weakness (myasthenia gravis)
- Have severe breathing problems
- Are under the age of 18. The safety and efficacy has not been established.
Like other medicines used for sleep problems, Zopiclone can cause slowing of your normal brain function (central nervous system depression). The risk of psychomotor impairment including driving ability is increased if:
- You take Zopiclone within 12 hours of performing activities that require mental alertness.
- You take higher than the recommended dose of Zopiclone.
- You take Zopiclone while already taking another central nervous system depressant or another medicine that increases levels of Zopiclone in your blood, or while drinking alcohol.
Do not engage in hazardous activities requiring complete mental alertness such as driving or operating machinery after taking Zopiclone, and in particular during the 12 hours after taking your medicine.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There isn’t enough information about the safety of using zopiclone during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking zopiclone.
What side effects can occur from zopiclone?
Stop taking Zopiclone and see a doctor or go to a hospital straight away if you have an allergic reaction. The signs may include: a rash, swallowing or breathing problems, swelling of your lips, face, throat or tongue.
Common side effects include:
- A mild bitter or metallic taste in your mouth or a dry mouth
- Feeling drowsy or sleepy
- Dry mouth
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with zopiclone?
Zopiclone may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Products that may interact with this drug are:
- Medicines to treat mental illness (antipsychotics)
- Medicines to treat depression
- Other sleeping pills
- Medicines to treat anxiety and other tranquillizers
- Narcotics (strong pain killers) e.g. codeine, morphine
- Medicines used to treat epilepsy
- Anaesthetics (used during surgery)
- Antihistamine medicines which cause sleepiness
- Medicines inhibiting liver enzymes e.g. cimetidine, allopurinol, propranolol. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which medicines have this effect.
- Erythromycin (an antibiotic to treat infections).
Does food or alcohol interact with zopiclone?
Zopiclone may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with zopiclone?
Zopiclone may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using zopiclone.
What is the dose of zopiclone for an adult?
Adults: 7.5mg before going to bed.
Elderly: A lower dose of 3.75mg may be used initially. This dose may be increased to 7.5mg.
Patients with liver disease: Usually a lower dose of 3.75mg at night. Up to 7.5mg can be given.
Patients with kidney disease: Treatment should be started with a dose of 3.75mg.
Children: not recommended.
What is the dose of zopiclone for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is zopiclone available?
Zopiclone is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of zopiclone, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: November 20, 2017 | Last Modified: December 19, 2019
Zopiclone. https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/18157. Accessed November 20, 2017
Zopiclone. https://patient.info/medicine/zopiclone-tablets-zimovane. Accessed November 20, 2017