SUMAYYA
04 November 2022
Medically reviewed by
Kajal Jain
M. Pharm
does-zopiclone-cause-weight-gain-or-weight-loss
Table of Contents

Zopiclone is one of the Z drug sedative-hypnotics and has become clinically available in many parts of the world. In the US, it is a controlled substance listed on Schedule IV, and people have access only with a prescription. The increased consumption of Zopiclone might have come at the expense of the declining use of some benzodiazepines. Its rapid onset and short duration make it an excellent short-term hypnotic for treating insomnia.

Data analysis from more than 2.5 billion units prescribed in more than 30 countries shows that Zopiclone is an effective short-term hypnotic for treating insomnia. It is also well tolerated and improved older patients' sleep quality. The effectiveness and safety of Zopiclone in young people under 18 years are less known.

A high level of possibilities can be observed when a person consumes medicine to treat sleep. Sufferings can be varied in different factors. Further, you would know about the case of a change in weight after finishing Zopiclone.

What is Zopiclone?

A commonly prescribed sedative-hypnotic, Zopiclone helps people treat insomnia. It shortens the latency to sleep initiation, lengthens sleep, and lessens episodes of awakening. In general, Zopiclone should not be taken for longer than seven or ten consecutive days. 

Uses of Zopiclone

Indicated for the short-term treatment of insomnia in adults. It is used to treat sleep issues in adults- Difficulty falling asleep, Nighttime awakening, Waking too early, and Severe or upsetting sleep problems caused by mood or mental health problems.

Is Zopiclone a Controlled drug?

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 categorized Zopiclone as a Class C IV-controlled substance. Zopiclone should not be taken for longer than four weeks since it may lead to Abuse. The dose and duration of zopiclone treatment increase the risk of dependence. 

How Does Zopiclone Work?

The sedative zopiclone is a member of the class of medications known as non-benzodiazepine hypnotics. Zopiclone potentiates GABA-mediated neuronal inhibition via binding to type A gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptors in the brain. Zopiclone binds both the benzodiazepine BZ1 and BZ2 GABA receptor subtypes. This makes the person feel relaxed, reduces Anxiety, and induces sleep. Although Zopiclone relieves Anxiety and sleeplessness, it also alters several of the body's essential functions.

Is It Beneficial If You Use Zopiclone For An Extended Period?

Long-term (more than four weeks) usage of Zopiclone for chronic insomnia is not advised because it may result in tolerance and dependency, which could cause withdrawal and rebound insomnia if suddenly stopped. Long-term use of Zopiclone is "off-label" or an unapproved application.

When you take zopiclone, your entire brain becomes less active. This reduces anxiety during the day and insomnia.
In comparison to zopiclone, stronger sleeping aids include zolpidem, triazolam, and zaleplon.
Stopping the medication suddenly could cause anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. The dose reduction has to be gradual.

Does Zopiclone Cause Weight Gain Or Weight Loss?

People who take Zopiclone often gain weight, or weight loss is a common side effect, especially if they are female, older than 60, and have been using the medication for less than a month. Since not everyone experiences it, one out of hundred persons have seen weight gain. This happens due to increased hunger and food-seeking behavior even while you sleep, resulting in weight gain. It also makes you feel more exhausted and less active.

Zopiclone may alter the body's metabolism, resulting in a slower calorie-burning rate. You might observe an increase in body fat percentage during the next several months, particularly in the stomach area.

Study Related To Weight Gain Caused By Zopiclone

The phase IV clinical study examines those who use Zopiclone and gain weight. eHealthme was researched based on FDA reports of 34,337 side effect reports from Zopiclone users. Nine-hundred and thirty-eight subjects (2.73%) have gained weight following zopiclone use.

Precautions You Should Take While Consuming Zopiclone

Precautions are a must for you to not fall under side effects. You are likely to suffer from side effects due to not following the precautions and the advice given by the doctor. It would be best if you looked at the following things:

  • Before taking Zopiclone, let your doctor know if you are allergic to Zopiclone or other medications.
  • Before you take Zopiclone, tell your doctor if you have kidney failure, liver illness, respiratory issues, myasthenia gravis, a history of opioid addiction, depression, epilepsy, or allergies.
  • Inform your doctor if you take any prescription or over-the-counter drugs, including antidepressants, narcotic painkillers, sedatives, and treatments for epilepsy.
  • Never start taking a medicine or stop without talking to your doctor.
  • Make sure you have at least 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep before taking Zopiclone to help lower the chance of some adverse effects.
  • Avoid driving or operating machinery requiring complete mental alertness after taking Zopiclone.
  • Zopiclone may cause sleepwalking or other strange behaviors while not fully awake. Contact your doctor if you encounter any of the symptoms.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Zopiclone. Alcohol can intensify the effects of Zopiclone and cause you to sleep very deeply, impairing your ability to breathe or making it difficult for you to wake up.

How Should You Consume Zopiclone?

It is always necessary for you to take Zopiclone as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Apart from that, it would be best if you also went through the medicine leaflet for the information. You can take Zopiclone by mouth, swallowing the tablet with a glass of water. 

It is not a good option for you to crush or chew zopiclone tablets. Take this medication before bedtime in a single dose. Treatments typically last between two and three weeks. Do not stop taking Zopiclone without consulting your doctor. Sudden discontinuation of Zopiclone may result in a withdrawal effect. 

The usual recommended dose is 7.5mg tablet at bedtime
Lower dose 3.75mg is recommended for older adults (> 65 years).

Possible Side Effects Of Zopiclone

A high chance of you suffering from side effects can be possible because of the components present in the medicine. There are two variations in the Side effects, Common side effects can be cured as per the time, but severe effects should be taken more care of and get medical assistance.

Common side effects Severe Side Effects
Drowsiness or sleepy breathing problems,
Dry mouth, chest tightness,
mood changes, severe drowsiness,
clumsiness, vomiting,
lack of coordination memory problems

Interactions With Zopiclone

If you use Zopiclone and the following medications, your risk of experiencing side effects may arise- Ritonavir, a protease inhibitor (used to treat AIDS). Some antibiotics- clarithromycin or erythromycin, some medications for fungal infections- are ketoconazole and itraconazole.

Some medications may reduce the action of Zopiclone- carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin; rifampicin, products containing St. John's wort - an herb used to treat depression and mood swings- may reduce the action of Zopiclone. 

Concurrent use of Zopiclone with opioids increases the risk of drowsiness, breathing problems (respiratory depression), and coma. Concomitant use of alcohol with Zopiclone can increase the effects of Zopiclone and make you sleepy and may cause breathing difficulties.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Zopiclone is a sleeping aid used for treating insomnia and sleep disorders. Most people do not experience the side effects of Zopiclone; however, some people do. Weight gain is an uncommon side effect of Zopiclone in older female patients. 

If you experience severe symptoms, speak with a doctor and consider what you can do to treat them. Take Zopiclone as prescribed by your doctor until instructed; otherwise, it will create problems for your health.

  • Döble, A., et al. "The mechanism of action of zopiclone." European Psychiatry 10 (1995): 117s-128s. https://doi.org/10.1016/0924-9338(96)80093-9 Obtain On 01/11/2022
  • Pérez-Díaz H, Iranzo A, Santamaría J. Conductas complejas durante el sueño inducidas por zolpidem [Zolpidem-induced sleep-related behavioural disorders]. Neurologia. 2010 Oct;25(8):491-7. Spanish. PMID: 20965000. Obtain On 01/11/2022
  • Diav-Citrin O, Okotore B, Lucarelli K, Koren G. Pregnancy outcome following first-trimester exposure to zopiclone: a prospective controlled cohort study. Am J Perinatol. 1999;16(4):157-60. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-993850. PMID: 10458526. Obtain On 01/11/2022
  • Najam, R., A. Nasir, and S. S. Khan. "Comparative study on the effect of zopiclone and flurazepam." Journal of Chemistry (2011): 60-72. Obtain On 01/11/2022
  • Zopiclone and Weight gain - a phase IV clinical study of FDA data Available From: https://www.ehealthme.com/ds/zopiclone/weight-gain/ Obtain On 01/11/2022
What's on your mind?

Start a conversation, Post with kindness.