ZOPICLONE & ZOLPIDEM
Zopiclone and zolpidem are non-benzodiazepine hypnotics used for the short-term treatment of insomnia.
They are generally taken at night-time.
Zopiclone & zolpidem can be used to treat insomnia for up to 4 weeks.
Tolerance & dependence may develop with long-term use.
The standard dose is 7.5mg zopiclone or 10mg zolpidem.
They should be used with caution in the elderly; half the "standard" dose is typically used in this group.
Zaleplon, another non-benzodiazepine hypnotic, is very short acting & may be used to treat insomnia for up to 2 weeks.
These drugs should not be given if there are any of the following conditions:
- myasthenia gravis
- respiratory failure
- severe sleep apnoea syndrome
- severe liver impairment
Side-effects of zopiclone & zolpidem:
- bitter or metallic taste (zopiclone)
- nausea & vomiting
- dry mouth
- depressed mood
Headache, dependence, hallucinations, nightmares, & amnesia are less common side-effects.
Zopiclone & zolpidem enhance the effects of alcohol.
Drowsiness may persist the next day & affect performance of skilled tasks (eg. driving).