- Zopiclone is a type of medication called a non-benzodiazepine sedative and hypnotic. Non-benzodiazepines are sometimes referred to as “Z-drugs” and were initially created in attempt to find a safer, more effective alternative to benzodiazepines.
- Whether or not this class of psychoactive medicines is superior to that of benzodiazepines is controversial, to say the least. Z-drugs have been shown to have greater efficacy, in some cases, as well as a lower potential to be misused, when compared to benzodiazepine substances. However, there are studies in which these advantages have not been scientifically proven.
- Non-benzodiazepines affect the body by blocking the impulses between nerve cells and the brain. The transmission of chemical messages is influenced by the therapeutic attaching itself to the receptors of gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA.
- The principal role of GABA is to inhibit the transmission of nerve impulses between nerve cells and the brain, and it is this role which is further enhanced by the action of non-benzodiazepines.
- Benzodiazepines act in a similar manner to depress the central nervous system (CNS), but Z-drugs are thought to be more specific and precise in their therapeutic action, an aspect which relays to the lower abuse potential and safety of the medicines.
Does Zopiclone Work?
In a review of the pharmacological properties and efficacy of zopiclone as a hypnotic agent, Wadworth and Mctavish (1993) found that:
- Single oral doses administered to patients with insomnia, as well as those undergoing surgery the day after treatment, revealed that a 7.5mg dosage of this Z-drug was efficaciously equivalent to 0.125mg to 0.5mg triazolam, 5mg nitrazepam and 15mg flurazepam too. This optimal dosage improved the sleep of clinical trial patients significantly.
- The medication caused minimal impairments to cognition, with regard to psychomotor performance and mental alertness, the day following the administered dosage
- The non-benzodiazepine was typically well-tolerated by patients of all ages
- The therapeutic was presented with a good tolerability profile and relatively short duration of action
These researchers concluded that the non-benzodiazepine hypnotic agent was a suitable alternative to benzodiazepine sleep medicines, especially in cases where patients may be particularly intolerant to the residual effects of other hypnotics.
The above-mentioned study is only one review of the success of this Z-drug, as there are many clinical trials which indicate the safety and efficacy of this medicine in improving symptoms of insomnia and anxiety too.
How Long Does Zopiclone Take To Work?
Zopiclone is generally prescribed for a treatment period of 2 to 4 weeks, and this medication takes about an hour for the therapeutic effects to come to prominence.
However, the onset of action may be influenced by certain factors, such as:
- Formulation: certain medicines are created for the slow-release of active ingredients, whilst others are developed for the immediate-release of said components. The formulation of a medication is one of the factors that determine the onset of action. In general, conventional tablets take about 30 minutes to work, as they have to be passed through the digestive system prior to being absorbed by the bloodstream.
- Quantity of medicine: typically, the higher dose of a medication you use, the quicker the therapeutic effects can be experienced. With that said, greater amounts of a therapeutic can also result in heightened adverse effects.
- Body type and genetics: the body chemistry of a specific individual can affect how quickly a medicine works. Those with slower metabolisms may take longer to process a therapeutic, in comparison to those with faster metabolisms.
- Age: those who are older in age often processed medications at a much slower rate than those who are younger.
Can You Use Zopiclone Every Day?
- This sleep aid should be used on an ‘as-needed’ basis, especially when using the tablets for the management of insomnia symptoms. This therapeutic is prescribed for the short-term treatment of sleep initiation and sleep maintenance.
- Those with severe sleep disorders may use the medicine on a much regular dosing schedule, and it is in these cases that the tablets be taken every night, an hour prior to going to bed.
- The treatment duration of these sleeping pills is normally one to weeks, as using the non-benzodiazepine hypnotic in the long-term can result in tolerance and dependency.
- If you use this medication for longer periods of time, you may be at risk for developing withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation of treatment. Withdrawal can set in a few hours to a few days after to stop using the medicine and the severity of these symptoms may range from mild to moderate.
- Although uncommon, there are certain cases where withdrawal from a particular medication can be life-threatening. One of these cases is the onset of delirium tremens. This is a psychotic condition, resulting from the abrupt withdrawal from a medicine, and is characterised by disorientation, hallucinations and tremors as well.
Does Zopiclone Work for Anxiety?
These sedative-hypnotic tablets have been proven efficacious for the safe and effective treatment of sleep difficulties. The primary action of these tablets are to assist those with insomnia fall asleep quicker as well as sleep for longer periods of time, but there is evidence showing the effectiveness of this therapeutic in the treatment of anxiety too.
Anxiety and insomnia are often interlinked. Cases of insomnia may cause distress and anxiety in an individual, similarly to how those with anxiety disorders can experience sleep disturbances. Ultimately, treating one condition may assist in the treatment of the other.
A double-blind study on the anti-anxiety and hypnotic effects, comparing the effectiveness of this Z-drug with nitrazepam, was conducted on patients with insomnia and generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). It was reported that the clinical trial patients improved in the quality and duration of their sleeping patterns, for both the administered hypnotics. However, the Z-drug was shown to improve other parameters, such as the levels of anxiety of the patients, with greater superiority to nitrazepam.
Evidence, albeit limited, also shows the use of this Z-drug to be associated with fewer incidences of rebound insomnia, when compared to benzodiazepines. Based on the favourable safety profile, propensity for success and positive medical and user reviews, it is not surprising why more patients are buy the medication online for their insomnia and related treatment plan.