Zopiclone Side Effects

Zopiclone Side EffectsZopiclone is non-benzodiazepine drug, with tranquilizing effect. It’s a controlled drug in most of the countries. In the United Kingdom, zopiclone is commercialized under the name of Zimovane.

Like most of the “Z-drugs” (non-benzodiazepine drugs that have similar effects with the drugs in the benzodiazepine class), zopiclone is used to treat persistent insomnia and it is marketed as a sleeping pill. Its main effect is the induction of depression to the central nervous system causing a tranquilizing effect.

Although there aren’t many intended effects for zopiclone, tranquilization being the only intended effect for it, patients may experience quite a range of zopiclone side effects.

The most common and characteristic side effect related to zopiclone treatment is dysgeusia, a condition that enables the patient to experience a taste alteration with metallic or bitter taste. In general, this condition persists for the period the drug is in the patient’s system. This side effect can also be accompanied by other related zopiclone side effects, like dry mouth, and bad breath. Other zopiclone side effects of gastrointestinal nature, with a rarer incidence, can be: nausea, constipation or diarrhea, heart burn or epigastric pain, vomiting, dyspepsia, increased appetite or anorexia.

Other common zopiclone side effects are: dizziness, drowsiness, double or blurred vision or depth perception impediments, malaise, weakness, fatigue, headaches. For patients under medication with this drug, it’s important to know that zopiclone has a severe impact upon the driving skills, double than a social dose of alcoholic beverages. Therefore, it can be said that one of the most important zopiclone side effects is driving skills impairment.

Patients under treatment with this tranquilizer may also experience various zopiclone side effects regarding the nervous system. These can be: amnesia, depression, anxiety, irritability, agitation, aggression, confusion, sleep walking, delirium, nightmares and hallucinations. In case of repeated and frequent mood changes as zopiclone side effects, the immediate interruption of the treatment is recommended.

Zopiclone can also have side effects that interest the reproductive system, like delayed ejaculation, anorgasmia, genital anesthesia, impotence. Nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) or frequent urination are also side effects that can be associated with the intake of zopiclone.

Zopiclone treatment is not recommended to elderly patients because it can induce palpitations or cardiac arrhythmia and increase the risk of cardiac arrest.

Lastly, similar to other medications, zopiclone side effects may include allergic reactions. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to zopiclone include hives, rashes and skin itching, angioedema, troubles breathing or in the worst case scenario, anaphylaxis.

Long-term treatment with zopiclone is not recommended because it generates addiction and the interruption of the treatment generates withdrawal effects. Tolerance to the drug usually develops after a few weeks of treatment.

Withdrawal effects of zopiclone include tachycardia, tremor, excessive sweating, rebound insomnia, anxiety, flushes. Long-term treatment with zopiclone and abrupt cessation of the treatment usually leads to delirium and seizures.

Other withdrawal effects of zopiclone may be: depression, psychosis, hallucinations, hypertension, stomach pain, psychomotor agitation.

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