Eszopiclone is a non-benzodiazepine sleeping tablet which is used in the treatment of chronic and transient insomnia. The medication has benzodiazepine-like effects, but it is more commonly used than benzodiazepines.
It is derived from its close cousin, zopiclone. Eszopiclone is also known by the brand name, Lunesta. The medication has several hypnotic elements that encourage deep, restorative sleep in insomnia patients.
Colloquially known as a Z-drug, eszopiclone is more often preferred and prescribed over benzodiazepines - as evidence is showing that it is more effective and safer for individuals. The side effects of eszopiclone are manageable, making it a tolerable medication with less dependence risks.
A study published by Research Gate explored the safety and efficacy of eszopiclone compared to a placebo for the treatment of insomnia.
Insomnia is a public health issue which - conservatively - affects about 6% to 10% of adults in their lifetime. Usually, the use of hypnotics poses a health concern, as it is commonly associated with abuse. However, eszopiclone is a newer hypnotic, belonging to the non-benzodiazepine group.
It has been marked as effective as original benzodiazepines for treating insomnia, while having a higher safety profile and low risk of dependence. The following study aimed to review information from randomised controlled trials to prove eszopiclone's efficacy and safety in treating primary insomnia.
The participants diagnosed with primary insomnia, aged 18 to 65, were chosen for the study. A comparison was made between eszopiclone and the use of a placebo. Primary and secondary outcomes and eszopiclone side effects were noted.
After administration of the tablet, it was shown that the eszopiclone group had improved these factors at the one-week milestone and the one-month milestone:
Eszopiclone tablets were also associated with an increased quality of sleep, leading to a higher ability to function, high alertness levels, and excellent physical well-being at the three to six-month milestone. The most common side effects and solutions were presented and noted in the study:
These side effects of eszopiclone were most common in the elderly group, showing that eszopiclone is not too strong for a compromised or more sensitive system. The study's analysis essentially showed that the medication is a safe and effective treatment for patients with primary insomnia, especially in older patients.
There was little or no evidence of dangerous risks if taken as recommended. There was no evidence suggesting tolerance to the medication or a need to take the medication beyond the treatment plan.
Note: Patients must remember not to perform any concentration-based activities, if they have taken eszopiclone and have failed to attain a full 7-8 hours of sleep.
Zopiclone and eszopiclone have both been used by patients with various types of insomnia, who either experience a difficulty falling asleep or those who are unable to stay asleep for the night. They both belong to the class of non-benzodiazepines or Z-drugs. Both of these medications are effective in treating insomnia, however, each medication has its unique advantages and one may be preferred by some patients over the other.
Individual clinical studies that have used zopiclone at a dose of 7.5 mg per night have found that the agent can reduce sleep latency while increasing total sleep time, and almost eradicating the number of nightly awakenings. It was shown to be as successful as benzodiazepines such as nitrazepam and triazolam.
An EEG (electroencephalography), as per previous and ongoing studies, show that the brain does not have a marked tolerance to the effects of zopiclone. Additional studies have further shown that it does not cause rebound insomnia, next-day psychomotor impairment or dependence potential.
Eszopiclone tablets, used in a dose of 2 mg and 3 mg in adults with long-term insomnia has improved sleep measures, such as latency, total sleep time, wakefulness in the morning, quality and depth of sleep. The medication has been noted to increase the amount of time one spends in the deep sleep stage, which allows the patient to feel more refreshed and rested the next morning.
In the elderly generation, 2 mg of eszopiclone positively affected sleep latency, depth, and quality compared to a placebo. It also decreased the need for naps during the day. They also did not have severe side effects with the medication.
Eszopiclone effects used in reference to the chronic treatment of insomnia for six months have shown that it improves daily functioning and overall health or wellbeing. Long-term treatment has also showed an advantageous effect on sleep maintenance and induction. The treatment is well-tolerated, with no evidence of rebound insomnia or any fatal eszopiclone side effects.
Both eszopiclone and zopiclone appear to be effective treatments for insomnia in adults, including the elderly. The most common side effects of eszopiclone and Zopiclone appear to be mild are headaches, dizziness, bitter taste and an upset stomach.
However, eszopiclone has certain gains over zopiclone, such as:
The use of eszopiclone is a step in the right direction in your journey of fighting sleepless nights. However, experts always advise insomnia patients to pair their treatment plans with simple sleeping habits or recommended sleep hygiene practices. These can help you deal with insomnia more effectively and even further mitigate side effects of eszopiclone if observed.
Below are simple tips to good sleep hygiene:
Recognised by the name Lunesta, eszopiclone is an effective remedy for insomnia and it also helps to assuage symptoms of anxiety and mood changes associated with sleep deprivation. Insomnia has a significant impact on your physical and emotional well-being but taking an eszopiclone 2 mg tablet will help you to feel calmer and more rested.
The side effects of this sleep remedy include having a dry mouth and feeling dizzy or drowsy. After taking a tablet it is recommended that you stand up slowly form a position of sitting or lying down. Many users report that they experience no eszopiclone side effects and that if they do, the benefits of the medication exceed the side effects.
To avoid adverse effects, it is important to adhere diligently to the correct dosage of not more than 3 mg per night. If you prefer, you can start by taking half a tablet at night building up to one tablet depending on your need and tolerance. It is important to remember that this medication must not be taken if you have consumed alcohol.
Eszopiclone is a new generation medication and it is considered to be better for some people than other similar sleep remedies. The elderly and people with a pre-existing health issue do better when they take an eszopiclone 2 mg tablet versus another sleeping medication.
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Updated by Admin: 13 January 2021