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Zolpidem vs Zopiclone: Knowing your z-drug

Today we’re going to look at Zolpidem vs Zopiclone: which is better for your sleep disorder? We’re also going to cover whether you can take Zopiclone and Zolpidem together. We’ll investigate which drug is more addictive and, whether you can mix Zopiclone or Zolpidem with alcohol. 

These medications are sedative hypnotics, which interact with the brain function to calm the mind and set the stage for sleep. Both solutions are also intended as short-term solutions to sleeping issues, due to potential side effects and addiction. 

When treating sleep disorders and sleep deprivation, medical professionals often suggest various medications and therapeutic solutions. Benzodiazepines are a common choice for short-term sleeping issues, as they can help to induce sleep and reconfigure your circadian rhythm.

Zolpidem and Zopiclone are two benzodiazepine-like hypnotic agents for sleeping, offered to people for whom benzodiazepines may not be the best treatment option. Benzodiazepine-like hypnotics are often referred to as z-drugs due to the alliteration in their naming.

So how you choose, Zolpidem vs Zopiclone? Which z-drug is best?

Zopiclone vs Ambien: Are they the same?

Zopiclone is the generic name for the brand “Imovane”, while Zolpidem is the generic name for “Ambien”, a popular sleeping drug

Both of these medication options are very similar, because they’re both hypnotic agents. Double-blind studies comparing the Zolpidem vs Zopiclone for the treatment of insomnia have shown they’re both as effective as each other for initiating sleep.

According to studies, the sleep improvement rates for both hypnotics range between 60 and 70%. What’s more, in treatment reports, scientists have noted all sleep parameters improve by the end of treatment with both of these drugs. 

This means you’re more likely to fall asleep easier, achieve longer periods of sleep, and boost sleep efficiency, when taking these medications. 

Compared to other medications, Zopiclone and Zolpidem can actually be more beneficial, as they don’t have any negative on REM sleep, unlike other therapeutic solutions like Triazolam. 

Zolpidem is also associated with lower cyclic alternating sleep pattern rates, indicating an ability to achieve better sleep stability, and more natural sleeping experiences.

So, if both of these drugs are so similar, how do doctors know which to prescribe?

Is Zolpidem a good sleeping pill?

Zolpidem, or Ambien, is a well-known and largely well-tolerated treatment for sleep disorders. Intended for short-term treatment of up to two weeks, this substance is generally seen as non-addictive, it can only cause symptoms of dependence after long-term use. 

Before offering a patient Zolpidem, a doctor will consider the specific situation in depth. Zolpidem can sometimes interact poorly with other medications, and it may not be the right treatment option for those who are suffering from deeper underlying sleep issues, like restless leg syndrome. 

Zolpidem is typically taken before bed, as it causes feelings of drowsiness making it difficult to operate as normal. Additionally, this medication is only considered at times when the patient has time for a full night of sleep – lasting 7 to 8 hours. If your doctor deems Ambien a suitable treatment for your condition, it’s an excellent product for encouraging sleep, with high rates of success.

Zolpidem vs. Zopiclone: Zolpidem side effects

Almost every sleeping pill or treatment for insomnia comes with a set of side effects to consider. Your risk of side effects will increase depending on certain factors. 

If you have any existing medical conditions or you’re taking other substances with your pills. The higher your dosage of Zolpidem, the greater your risk of side effects may be – the dosage is usually dependent on your medical conditions, age, gender, and other factors. 

Doctors will usually prescribe a maximum dosage of 10mg per day of Zolpidem. This will improve sleep, while minimizing feelings of drowsiness when you wake up. You may receive a lower dosage of this medication if you’re female, because women process the substance more slowly than men. 

Common Zolpidem side effects may include:

  • Drowsiness 
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Stuffy or running nose
  • Back pain
  • Forgetfulness
  • Confusion 
  • Lightheadedness
  • Irritability
  • Emotional issues (like depression)

Significantly troubling side effects demanding immediate medical attention are uncommon with Zolpidem, but they may happen. If you’re given this medication by your doctor and you encounter side effects you’re uncomfortable with, seek medical attention.

Imovane vs Ambien: Is Zopiclone a good sleeping pill?

Zopiclone or Imovane is another similar sleeping treatment offered by doctors around the world. This substance is often regarded with more caution than other sleeping treatments, because of the potential for side effects – which include addiction and substance abuse

Similar to Ambien, Zopiclone is best taken before bed, when you don’t need to do anything else before going to sleep. You will often feel drowsy immediately after taking Zopiclone and should not operate any machinery after using this medication.

Similar to Zolpidem, Zopiclone is also short-term use only for two weeks or less. The body can adapt to this drug very quickly, meaning you’re less likely to see an effect after a few weeks. The prolonged use of the drug can also severely increase your risk of dependence. 

That said, taking the correct dosage of Zopiclone just before bedtime should have a positive impact on sleeping patterns in most cases. The drug is effective at causing calmness and drowsiness. 

You should make sure you have a full night to rest before taking this pill, and it’s worth speaking to your doctor about taking it only when you need it – rather than on a nightly basis. 

Zopiclone addiction: Why is Zopiclone banned in the US? 

Zopiclone is no longer legal in the US as it was considered to create increased tolerance. In studies this substance is often considered more dangerous than Ambien, because of its more addictive properties. 

The side effects associated with Zopiclone can also be more dangerous when the drug is paired with other medications, recreational drugs, and alcohol. 

Only intended for adults over 18, Zopiclone can place a person into a very deep and dangerous state of sleep when combined with alcohol. It may not be suitable for some people and should always be given at a low dose – often between 3.75mg and 7.5mg. 

The most significant side effects of Zopiclone is the risk of addiction and withdrawal. However, some people can also experience issues like:

  • Nausea and sickness
  • Headaches
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Bad breath

If you notice a negative response to Zopiclone when taking it on a doctor’s prescription, it’s important to seek medical advice as quickly as possible. 

When taken according to the guidelines of a medical professional, the risks associated with Zopiclone are minimal, but there are still risks you could end up facing a more severe reaction to this treatment. 

Eszopiclone, allowed in the US since 2004, is an updated version of Zopiclone. It is sold under the name Lunesta and intends to reduce the risk of this substance dependence issue. It is thought to have fewer side effects and can be used for longer.

Are Ambien and Zopiclone the same thing? 

While Ambien (Zolpidem) and Imovane (Zopiclone) are similar products, they are often used in very different circumstances. The risks with Zopiclone are often perceived to be much higher than those present in Zolpidem. 

Zopiclone is rarely prescribed for more than 2-4 weeks. If sleeping issues have not subsided by this point, some people can fall into substance abuse to attempt to get relief from sleep deprivation.

Zopiclone, used correctly, can help people to abate symptoms of sleep deprivation, but it can also lead to abuse and addiction, as well as a number of dangerous side effects. Particularly when mixed with other medication and substances. 

This is why doctors and medical professionals will need to consider the conditions of any sleep deprivation issue carefully, before prescribing this medication.

Can you take Zolpidem and Zopiclone together? 

Taking Zolpidem and Zopiclone together is not advised under any circumstances.

Though Zopiclone is often considered to be more problematic for patients from an addiction perspective, it’s also worth noting Ambien can be dangerous when mixed with the wrong substances too. 

It’s best to avoid taking any sleeping medications with alcohol or other recreational drugs. Taking additional substances with sedative properties can lead to unpredictable side effects, and escalating issues. 

Combining Ambien or Zopiclone with opioid pain killers, alcohol, and other benzodiazepines can lead to symptoms like memory loss, hallucinations, delusional thinking, learning problems, anxiety, depression, and severe addiction.

Which sleeping pill should you take? Zolpidem vs Zopiclone

Sleeping pills are a complicated area of medication. Most medicines intended to help with sleeping problems are only offered on a short-term basis. 

The conclusion of Zolpidem vs Zopiclone is that they’re somewhat equal, maybe favouring Zolpidem a little as studies show less addictive properties.

Usually, the best way to deal with sleeping problems is to adjust behavioural and lifestyle factors. All medications come with side effects, and many common sleeping pills cause issues with withdrawal and addiction.

Though medications for sleeping can be helpful in the right circumstances, it’s important to listen to your doctor’s advice about how to use the medication you’re given correctly. 

Make sure you explain the full extent of your situation to a doctor when discussing possible treatment solutions, and do not mix your medications with other substances like alcohol.

You can learn more about common sleeping pills, antidepressants for sleep and treatment methods for insomnia here on Siestio. 

Siestio. Sleep Matters.

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