Published on 07 February 2023

Is Zopiclone Addictive: Things You Should Know

Table of Contents

People go through sleep problems, which might affect them for various reasons. The common reason for it would be stress. So, to cope with it, they opt for various options and start drinking alcohol to get a peaceful sleep, but later they understand that it is not a good choice, so they change their preference to medicine or consult a doctor. 

Most people tend to get Zopiclone as a solution to treat this problem. Zopiclone drug was first introduced in 1986 and is very similar to Lunesta.

From 2017 to 2018, millions of adults have prescribed one or more medicines under review, including sleeping pills. This means that a significant portion of the population is at risk of becoming addicted to drugs like Zopiclone. Let us discover the cause, signs and symptoms, and management of Zopiclone addiction.

What Is Zopiclone?

Zopiclone is a non-benzodiazepine drug used for the short-term treatment of insomnia. It helps you fall asleep easily and prevents you from suddenly waking up in the night or early morning. It is typically used in tablet form and in rehabilitation programs to treat withdrawal symptoms associated with alcoholism.

Zopiclone is classified as a class C controlled drug and you can only buy Zopiclone only through prescription. It's a sedative-hypnotic that has been promoted as a sleep aid in other countries but not FDA-approved. 

This medicine is available under multiple brand names, including Zimovane and more. Zopiclone is not for everyone. It should be taken only by adults 18 years and older. You must consult your doctor to decide if the drug is helpful for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Zopiclone is recommended for the short term. Use of this drug for longer than four weeks should be considered 'off-label.'
Clonidine is significantly better than Zopiclone for analgesia, Patient Safety, tolerability profile, or overall sleep quality.
The effects of Zopiclone were found to show for atleast 8-9 hours.

How Does Zopiclone Work?

Zopiclone works by boosting the effectiveness of a chemical neurotransmitter in the brain known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This neurotransmitter blocks transmission across nerves in the brain and has a soothing and relaxing effect. It can improve sleep onset by 15 minutes and induces a euphoric dream-like state. 

Zopiclone should usually be taken for at most 7 to 10 consecutive days. It should only be taken by people for whom disruptive sleep results in problems functioning during the day.

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How Long Does Zopiclone Stay In Your System?

It is well-known that the working pattern of the human body differs for each individual. That’s why every medicine impacts differently on others. Usually, zopiclone stays in your system for up to 12 hours. If you feel more sleepy, then avoid doing activities that require attention. 

Still, many people think that zopiclone might be an addictive medicine. Is it really?

Is Zopiclone Addictive?

Zopiclone causes a sense of tranquillity and relaxation. However, Zopiclone is addictive because your body quickly becomes tolerant to the effects of this drug, meaning that higher doses are required to get the desired result. It's not recommended for long-term use due to dependence, tolerance, and addiction risks. 

Due to this tolerance, you can develop a physical dependence on Zopiclone, where you consume it just for pleasure or to avoid unpleasant withdrawal symptoms of Zopiclone. An individual can get addicted to Zopiclone when taken on prescription or recreationally.

When addicted to this drug, you will continue taking it despite its negative consequences and experience intense cravings. This can create obstacles to everyday life as you become preoccupied while taking the medication. Zopiclone does have the potential for addiction, but if you are taking medicine as suggested, it is pretty safe.

Signs And Symptoms Of Zopiclone Addictiveness

Like other medicines, getting addicted to Zopiclone may also impact your mental and physical health. Several signs and symptoms that indicate having Zopiclone addiction include.

  • Snorting or injecting Zopiclone
  • Taking Zopiclone tablets that are prescribed for other individuals
  • Taking more Zopiclone than prescribed.
  • Attempting to hide Zopiclone tablets or their usage from others.
  • Buying additional Zopiclone tablets online or through street dealers
  • Becoming isolated and more withdrawn from people
  • Using Zopiclone with alcohol to get more results.
  • Undertaking dangerous, risky, or illegal activity as a result of taking Zopiclone
  • Trying to discontinue taking Zopiclone but can't do it.
  • Being unable to maintain relationships and responsibilities
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms even if the drug isn't used.
  • Lose interest in everyday activities.

Who Can Be More Prone To Addiction?

Any individual taking more than prescribed may get addicted to Zopiclone. However, the following risk factors can increase your chances of becoming addicted to Zopiclone include

  • A history of substance abuse
  • A family history of addiction
  • Using Zopiclone to cope with anxiety, stress, or depression
  • Easy access to Zopiclone
  • A history of trauma for which you use Zopiclone to cope
  • Taking Zopiclone in higher doses or for a more extended period than prescribed by your doctor

Zopiclone Addiction And Withdrawal Symptoms

One of the major concerns of using sleep aids is the incidence of withdrawal symptoms after discontinuing the drugs. Research shows that withdrawal effects are considerably lower when Zopiclone is taken at the appropriate clinical dose than benzodiazepines.

A review of studies investigating the abrupt stopping of Zopiclone found no rebound effect on sleep and only a few withdrawal effects, such as vertigo and anxiety. Another study found that 0.05% of people suffer from withdrawal reactions like agitation, headache, or anxiety. Withdrawal symptoms of Zopiclone can include:

  • Sleep issues
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Confusion and agitation

Reducing the amount of Zopiclone slowly is recommended instead of stopping the drug abruptly to limit the risk of withdrawal symptoms. It would be best if you discussed this with your healthcare provider.

Does Zopiclone Addiction Affect You Lifetime, And How?

Addiction to Zopiclone can severely inhibit your ability to function at the levels necessary to maintain steady employment. You are more likely to miss work regularly, be late, and make fundamental mistakes in your daily work duties. This can hugely impact your financial well-being.

It can also have severe consequences for personal relationships with partners, children, and other family members. These issues can cause further mental and emotional distress, fueling addiction.

Possible Side Effects Of Zopiclone Addiction

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advises that the lowest possible dose of Zopiclone should be used for the shortest period, warning about the many risks associated with hypnotics, such as falls, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms, and cognitive impairment, are well recognized.

Common Side Effects 

Severe Side Effects 





Frequent nodding off, 





Stomach pain, 

Memory loss, 

Heart palpitations

Above mentioned side effects are not the complete list of zopiclone addiction. If you want more details, then kindly contact your doctor, as it may vary from person to person.

Detoxification Managed Medically

Detoxification is a process of getting rid of a substance of dependence from the body in a way that does not hinder the body’s physiology. The symptoms of Zopiclone addiction can be dangerous. The individuals are advised to take detox treatment under the care of trusted physicians in a medical detox facility.

During detox, doctors usually taper the user off the drugs, as abruptly quitting sleep aids can make detox much more difficult. When an individual completes the treatment, is stable, and meets all the conditions for discharge, they exit the detox facility to pursue further inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment, which includes therapy and counseling sessions. 

Here, the psychological aspect of Zopiclone addiction is treated. Patients receive mixed therapy sessions using cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and other holistic treatments.

Precautions Of Zopiclone

Taking precautions is a must, not only for zopiclone but for other medicines as well. If you do not take preventive measures, you may be affected by side effects. So, to avoid these effects, the following precautions should be taken.

  • Contact your doctor immediately if you notice a sudden change in sleep behavior, are not fully awake after waking up, or are having trouble doing activities you generally do.
  • It would be best to wait at least 8 hours after taking medicine before driving or operating machinery. 
  • The effects of Zopiclone may even remain the next day after you wake up, so it's better to take about 7 to 8 hours of sleep after taking Zopiclone. 
  • older adults are more sensitive to the undesirable effects of Zopiclone, especially dizziness or confusion. 
  • Do not stop taking Zopiclone without informing your doctor, as it may cause drug withdrawal symptoms like nausea or vomiting. 
  • If a person takes Zopiclone for a few weeks, there are fewer chances of getting addicted to drugs. However, you may be dependent on the medicine if you take it for more than four weeks. 
  • Do not consume Zopiclone if you have severe liver disease, sleep apnoea, breathing problems, extreme muscle weakness, kidney problems, or any history of depression or mental illness.

Drug Interactions

Interacting zopiclone with other drugs may cause side effects, so always get guidance from your doctor before taking zopiclone. The following drugs might interact with the following zopiclone:

  • High blood pressure-lowering medicines (Metoprolol)
  • Antidepressants (sertraline, bupropion, desipramine, fluoxetine, venlafaxine, escitalopram, amitriptyline, citalopram, duloxetine, mirtazapine, fluvoxamine)
  • Opioid painkillers (oxycodone, hydrocodone, naloxone, tramadol)
  • Antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, rifampicin)
  • Antifungal drugs (ketoconazole)
  • Anti-anxiety drugs (alprazolam, Clonazepam, Lorazepam)
  • Muscle relaxants (cyclobenzaprine)
  • Antiallergics/antihistamines (diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine)
  • Antiepileptic drugs (gabapentin, pregabalin).

Zopiclone might also interact with caffeine and St John’s wort. Also, avoid alcohol intake as it might increase the risk of dependence, psychomotor impairment (slowdown of thought process and reduced physical movements), sleepwalking, or sleep-driving.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

Many have suggested that the addictive potential for Zopiclone and other “Z” drugs is less compared to most benzodiazepines. Precautions should be taken when consuming this drug for insomnia. 

Zopiclone can potentially be an agent of abuse and addiction but is considered a safer alternative to benzodiazepines. Ideally, prescriptions will be given quickly and within the recommended dosage guidelines. Zopiclone is not allowed a long-term solution to treat insomnia, but it may give you some relief.

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