Zopiclone is a medication used to treat a sleeping problem called insomania. Zopiclone is a sleeping pill that belongs to a group of drugs called non-benzodiazepine hypnotics. It has a different structure to benzodiazepine sedative hypnotics, such as Halcion (triazolam), but has similar benefits and side effects.
This pills helps to reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep (sleep latency), increase the amount of time you sleep for (sleep duration), and decrease the number of times you wake up at night (nocturnal awakenings). Zopiclone starts to work quickly, taking about an hour to work.
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Dosage and strength
Zopiclone tablets come in 2 different strengths: 3.75mg and 7.5mg.
The usual dose is one 7.5mg tablet, taken just before you go to bed. It takes around 1 hour to work.
A lower dose of 3.75mg may be recommended to begin with if you’re over 65 years old or have kidney or liver problems. Taking a lower dose in these cases reduces the risk of excessive sleepiness and other side effects.
How to take it
It’s important to take zopiclone exactly as your doctor has told you. Your doctor might ask you to take a tablet on only 2 or 3 nights each week, rather than every night.
Swallow the tablet whole. Do not crush or chew it.
You can take zopiclone with or without food.
How long to take it for
You’ll usually be prescribed zopiclone for just 2 to 4 weeks.
This is because your body gets used to this medicine quickly, and after this time it’s unlikely to have the same effect. Your body can also become dependent on it.
Do not stop taking zopiclone suddenly without speaking to your doctor. They may suggest you reduce your dose slowly to prevent withdrawal symptoms. However you’re unlikely to have withdrawal symptoms if you’ve been taking it for less than a month.
If you still have sleeping problems after finishing your course of zopiclone, try lifestyle changes to help you get to sleep. See your doctor again if these do not help.