Zopiclone Long Term: Anyone taking Zoplicone... - Sleep Matters

Sleep Matters

2,907 members663 posts

Zopiclone Long Term

MegaInsomniac profile image
MegaInsomniac

Anyone taking Zoplicone long term for sleep, like years? What is your experience?

15 Replies
Hidden profile image
Hidden

HiI was on zolpidem for years , it got that I was having to take more as time went on , till I got to the stage I was taking twice the maximum amount daily. I was then switched to temazepam, been taking that for over a year now .

MegaInsomniac profile image
MegaInsomniac in reply to Hidden

What is twice the maximum daily amount? I am taking 3.75mg/night.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to MegaInsomniac

10mg is the maximum limit , I slowly increased until 20mg when 10mg did not work the same, hence why I got changed .

MegaInsomniac profile image
MegaInsomniac in reply to Hidden

Oh, I misread your comment. You mentioned Zolpidem(Ambien). I was talking about Zopiclone(Imovane). I tried Zolpidem before but developed tolerance after 3 nights.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to MegaInsomniac

They had tried me with zolpiclone first but it didn’t suit ,do they switched me

Zopiclone specifically is one of the very few sleep aids I have not taken but I did take eszopiclone aka lunesta that is produced from zopiclone. As well as the 2 other extremely similar drugs zolpidem (ambien) and zaleplon (sonata).

The problem will all these z-drugs, as they are often referred to, is that people tend to develop tolerance quickly. Zopiclone and eszopiclone seem to work for a bit longer period of time on average in my experience and what I've heard from others. Lunesta worked ok for several years combined with some otc options like valerian root and very carefully maintaining good sleeping habits until whatever unknown thing no one cares to solve triggered my insomnia to worsen again. For some it will only be a matter of weeks before the effect drops off and they keep raising the dose. Ambien works about 2-3 nights for me and then I might as well not be taking anything.

Not working long term tends to be the only problem with z-drugs though. If you are among those lucky people it works on for a longer period of time then side effects are rare and mild (drowsiness in the morning, maybe a brief mild headache here and there) since these drugs have only a very narrow impact on a single neurotransmitter called gaba and most of it will be gone from your system by morning. Z-drugs were refined from benzos and have very similar but more limited action. It means less risk of addiction, withdrawal, and side effects so they are the safer option to try first

Unfortunately, their quick tolerance build and relatively weak action means I, and many others, find ourselves ending up back on stronger benzos instead. Mostly I only find flurazepam and quazepam(doral) useful for long out of the z-drug and benzo groups. The rest have the same problems of tolerance build and/or they don't last long enough to get me to sleep, much less improve my sleep. Zopiclone has a ~5hr half life for most people. Flurazepam has a 47-100hr half life. If it has less than a 12-14hr half life it probably won't help me much.

A lot of people are too affected by sedating drugs the next day for anything that isn't eliminated by morning to be an option for them. Doctors generally stick to the short acting z-drugs and benzos like diazepam or temazepam with few having even heard of flurazepam or quazepam partially because of that.

Thanks for the info. I had a similar experience with Zolpidem, developed tolerance after 3 nights. The only 2 drugs I have tried that put me to sleep for 7-9 hours are Lorazepam and Zopiclone. I don't know which one I should use long term. Lorazepam gives me the better sleep and I feel better the next day but I've read a lot of worrying stories online about benzo dependence. I've also read about z-drug dependence but the general consensus seems to be that that they are not as harmful as benzos.

I've been on and off benzos for over a decade. I can stop a benzo in about 3 days after taking it for years if I want to be a bit uncomfortable for a few days. If I spend 5-7 days doing it I won't even notice withdrawal symptoms.

Not everyone has the genetics or personality to get addicted to things like that or even experience a bad withdrawal from meds. Honestly, stopping valerian root was worse than stopping any of the benzos for me. It caused more physical symptoms while benzos were just "I feel slightly restless and like something bad is going to happen..... eh, must be benzo withdrawal. "turn on the tv and a computer game at the same time so I don't think about it until it wears off. You can always test it for yourself after taking one for a few weeks or a month or 2. If it's not that big of deal then stopping it after a few years instead isn't likely to be that much worse.

If you go the route of benzos for an extended period of time odds are it won't matter if you start with the zdrug or the benzo anyway. You'll take one for months to maybe a couple years if lucky, then the other, then go back to the first or on to a third...... I rotated through benzos and z drugs every few months except the one whole year lunesta worked for. While also periodically taking mirtazapine, rozerem(useless), or trazadone. Somewhere in there we land on flurazepam because I came across it researching something else. While it still has an effect something like 8 years later I was also taking amitriptyline, gabapentin, and eventually some seroquel at the same time rather than relying on mostly a benzo anymore.

5 or 6 more years go by and I decide that drugging away my insomnia with sedatives was just plain never going to work because I had gotten to 800mg of seroquel with amitriptyline, gabapentin, and benzos all at the same time. That's what it often looks like when you have insomnia with no end. Usually you need a med a lot longer lasting than a benzo and to be less med resistant than me to sedate away insomnia when decades go by.

I stopped it all and restarted with a combination of daytime supplements that actually help me sleep that night, evening otc supplements, light therapy(basically the whole house is on a timer with daylight spectrum lights everywhere), and after retesting a few meds I decided on some basic ones to stick with. I take relatively low doses of clonidine er, hydroxyzine, belsomra, and only a few days ago added flurazepam back in. I tend to have more trouble sleeping when the weather is changing in spring and fall and it will likely only help temporarily. Unless I manage to get the elusive doral I will probably not be on a benzo again in a few months.

Several of my meds though help things that aren't sleep but may contribute some such as suppressing an overactive immune system or reducing busy adhd thoughts. Belsomra is specifically for sleep but it is not a sedative. It counters the release of alerting substances in the body and people with adhd tend to experience a spike of energy right at bedtime that belsomra stops. Belsomra also has no tolerance build, no withdrawal, and no addiction in studies so basically no downsides.

Everything I take now does a specific thing instead of just being sedating. What I take during the day is also just as important as the right mix of meds at night when we are talking life long symptoms. Insomnia treatment is 24hrs a day. Not just before bed.

and don't think some idiot doctors didn't stubbornly try to solve my insomnia with behavior changes, strict schedules, cbt, suggestions of meditation attempts, things like accupuncture, chiropractors, professional massages....... Over and over and over again throughout the years even after something repeatedly failed to show any improvement in my sleep.

I found that after a few weeks it wasn't working for me anymore and had to take extra than prescribed to get to sleep so that was the time to stop taking them I am not on sleeping meds- well my GP reluctantly gave me 12 low dose tablets which last me a year now- any more and try various other ways . I have accepted my sleep will not get back to the 7-8 hours nightly that I want AND LOVE THE NIGHTS WHEN I GET 6 HOURS PLUS. It's taken me 25 years to get to this point x Anita

How much where your originally prescribed and how much extra did you end up taking?

Can’t remember the dose but 2 tablets at most and I took 3 after a while but then stopped as knew it would need more as body gets used to them -take care. I have a Himalayan salt lamp on in my bedroom before I go to sleep and listen to a mediation app. X

I've been taking it for 7 years but only because the withdrawals were too extreme. I used to only take 3.75mg a night which meant I got to sleep around 2am instead of 4am but it stopped working after around a year plus I was only prescribed 14 tablets a month so I couldn't take them every night. I cut down to half a 3.75mg tablet around 5 years ago and even though I weaned myself them over 4 months I was so ill when they were out of my system I restarted them. I take half a 3.75mg a night just to keep in my system to stop withdrawals...i know people who take 7.5mg a night have done for 5 plus years and they still work for sleep

Didn't realize the withdrawals could be that bad, thanks for letting me know.

If you've been on them for 6 months or less it's much easier with less withdrawals but after years like me it's pretty awful...good luck

Yes been on zopiclone 7.5 3 years. Trying wean off. Last year missed one night. By midday out lunching had to leave suddenky noise everywhere panic. By 8.30 pressure in head so bad scared me. It went when i tiok zooiclone. Im on a benzo 3 yrs too and mirtaz. So drugged a.m. on own zopuclone didnt work mkre than week so added benzo my gp!! Now i read of horrendous withdrawals and rebound insomnia i have had panic since never had in life

You may also like...