SUMAYYA
22 September 2022
Medically reviewed by
Kajal Jain
M. Pharm
zolpidem-vs-zopiclone
Table of Contents

Zolpidem and Zopiclone are non-benzodiazepine drugs used to treat insomnia. They are categorized as z-drugs, which are more widely prescribed than the traditional benzodiazepines to reduce the overall side effects described by benzodiazepines. They function similarly to benzodiazepine but are structurally different.

To cope with sleep disorders, Zolpidem and Zopiclone are widely prescribed by physicians; however, both have some dissimilarities too, which are discussed below:

The similarities and differences between Zolpidem and Zopiclone are further examined below-

 Generic Name

Zolpidem

Zopiclone

Indications

Insomnia: It is used for short-term and max. for 2 weeks of continuous use

Insomnia: It is used for short-term and max. of 4 weeks of constant use

Class of drug

Non-benzodiazepine, sedative-hypnotic

Non-benzodiazepine, sedative-hypnotic

Binding to receptor

GABA receptor

GABA receptor

Efficacy

30 min from the administration

30 min from the administration

Comparative Assessment

Generic Names

Zolpidem

Zopiclone

Brand Name

Ambien

Zimovane

FDA Approval

Yes, in the year 2007

Not FDA approved

Dosage

  • Recommended daily  dose is 10mg
  • Max. the daily dose is 10 mg (adults)
  • Recommended daily dose is 7.5mg once daily before bedtime
  • The lower dose of 3.75mg is for older

Dosage Form

Are produced as oral tablets only

Available as an oral tablet, sublingual, oromucosal (spray), and rectal formulation

Oral bioavailability

70%

80%

Elimination half-life

2.5 hrs: Drug eliminated through kidney and feces

4-5 hrs: Drug eliminated through urine

Pregnancy category

Category B3

Category C

Best Price

$14 for 6 tablets (10mg)

$0.01- $1 per Pill

What is Zolpidem and Zopiclone?

Zolpidem and Zopiclone are non-benzodiazepine drugs used to treat insomnia. They are categorized as z-drugs, which are more widely prescribed than the traditional benzodiazepines to reduce the overall side effects described by benzodiazepines. They function similarly to benzodiazepine but are structurally different.

To cope with sleep disorders, zolpidem and zopiclone are widely prescribed by physicians; however, both have some dissimilarities, which are discussed below.

Zolpidem vs Zopiclone: Which One Is More Effective?

Zopiclone has been proven to be more effective as compared to zolpidem. Zolpidem is a mainly prescribed Sleeping pill in the US. According to the Study by Sage Journal, Zolpidem was at least as influential as zopiclone. 

Do not drink alcohol while taking drugs- 'zopiclone' or 'zolpidem.' Alcohol makes you sleepy with zopiclone and increases the risks of sleepwalking and hallucinogenic episodes with zolpidem.
The effect of zolpidem during pregnancy depends on how much and how long you took this drug. However, it may cause lower birth weight, pre-term delivery, and withdrawal symptoms in the newborn. Zopiclone is usually not recommended during pregnancy because very little is known about its use. Consult with your doctor if you become pregnant while taking zopiclone.
Zolpidem is a sedative/hypnotic drug that induces sleep and treats insomnia. If you stay awake after taking zolpidem, you are more likely to perform actions and not remember them later. Also, you might experience daytime drowsiness, blurred vision, dizziness, reduced alertness, or prolonged reaction time.

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Possible Side Effects 

Along with the therapeutic action of medicines, they may also cause some unwanted side effects. Although all of these side effects might not occur, if they do occur, they might need medical attention. Talk to your doctor immediately if the following side effects occur:

Zolpidem Zopiclone
Chest pain Feeling low or sad, depression.
Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
Shakiness and unsteady walk Slurred speech
Anxiety Bipolar disorder
Cold sweats Poor memory
Responsiveness, numbness of feet Feeling of unreality, false beliefs, hallucination, delusion
Bloody or cloudy urine Irregular/ pounding heartbeat
Fever, hives, itching, or rash Bloody or cloudy urine
Stomach pain, ulcers, white spots on lips or mouth Skin rash
Drowsiness Drowsiness
Sore throat Stomach upset
Frequent urination Difficulty concentrating

Interactions of Zolpidem And Zopiclone

The interaction of drugs may change how a drug works or increase the risk of severe side effects. Talk to your doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter medication, including

  • Alcohol
  • CNS depressants
  • Narcotic analgesics (such as codeine, morphine, methadone, oxycodone, pethidine, or tramadol)
  • Anti-epileptic drugs
  • Anesthetics
  • Sedative antihistamines (such as chlorphenamine or promethazine)
  • CYP3A4 inhibitors (such as erythromycin clarithromycin, ketoconazole, itraconazole, and ritonavir)
  • CYP3A4 inducers (such as rifampicin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, and St John's wort)

Who Cannot Take Zolpidem Or Zopiclone

Before taking Zolpidem and Zopiclone, you should read the instructions on the leaflet with the product package or go through the medical guide regarding how to take the medications.

If there is any query regarding medicine use, you should ask your doctor or pharmacist. Zolpidem and zopiclone are contraindicated in the following conditions:

  • Respiratory failure
  • Sleep apnea syndrome
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Severe liver impairment
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solutions

The above comparative study concludes that Zopiclone and Zolpidem effectively treat insomnia. However, zopiclone can be more effective in treating sleep disorders. It is more effective than other medications and works more quickly.

The reviews are given by the people who have been consuming the medicine. One fair-quality head-to-head trial found that Zolpidem and Zopiclone were similar in efficacy on patient-rated sleep outcomes and the investigator's global improvement assessment.

Zopiclone caused more rebound sleep latency insomnia than zolpidem. As there is effectiveness to the medicine, some flaws might negatively affect you and eventually return to normal. You can get the treatment after the prescription from the doctor. 

  • Tsutsui S. A Double-Blind Comparative Study of Zolpidem versus Zopiclone in the Treatment of Chronic Primary Insomnia. Journal of International Medical Research. 2001;29(3):163-177. doi:10.1177/147323000102900303 Obtain On 22/09/2022
  • Hajak, Göran, et al. "Abuse and dependence potential for the non‐benzodiazepine hypnotics zolpidem and zopiclone: a review of case reports and epidemiological data." Addiction 98.10 (2003): 1371-1378. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1360-0443.2003.00491.x Obtain On 22/09/2022
  • Victorri-Vigneau, Caroline, et al. "Pharmacoepidemiological characterisation of zolpidem and zopiclone usage." European journal of clinical pharmacology 69.11 (2013): 1965-1972. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00228-013-1557-x Obtain On 22/09/2022
  • Tsutsui, S., and Zolpidem Study Group. "A double-blind comparative study of zolpidem versus zopiclone in the treatment of chronic primary insomnia." Journal of international medical research 29.3 (2001): 163-177. https://doi.org/10.1177/147323000102900303 Obtain On 22/09/2022
  • Nakajima, Toru, et al. "Comparison of the effects of zolpidem and zopiclone on nocturnal sleep and sleep latency in the morning: a cross-over study in healthy young volunteers." Life Sciences 67.1 (2000): 81-90. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0024-3205(00)00603-2 Obtain On 22/09/2022
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