Guide on Lunesta (Eszopiclone) – Side Effects, Interactions, Doses, Precautions and More
Insomnia is a condition that can cause a lot of trouble for the patient when it comes to sleep. And if someone is not getting enough or any sleep at all, they may start to get annoyed, irritated or angry for small reasons and that can destroy their social and personal life as well.
So to help people get a good night’s sleep and make them stay asleep throughout the night, some short-term use medicines are introduced, and Lunesta (Eszopiclone) is one of them. This guide is about knowing what it is, how it works, what its side effects are and more. So let’s get started:
What is Lunesta?
Lunesta, which is the brand name of Eszopiclone, is a sedative that is used for the treatment of Insomnia which is a condition that causes trouble in going to sleep or staying asleep. There is another drug similar to Lunesta, which is Zolpidem (Ambien) that helps the user sleep as well. However, there are reports that Zolpidem users can sometimes wake up while it’s still night.
But the use of Lunesta might be better than Zolpidem when it comes to staying asleep. What Lunesta does is that it causes relaxation to the user so that they can fall asleep and then stay asleep until morning. Keep in mind that eszopiclone or Lunesta might also be used for the purposes that are not listed in this guide.
Why is Lunesta Used?
Lunesta is widely used for the treatment of a certain sleep issue, which is insomnia. So with the use of Eszopiclone, the user may fall asleep quickly and then stay asleep for a longer period of time. It can also lessen the frequency at which someone can wake up during the night which means the user can get better rest at night.
Though it may seem like a benzodiazepine, remember that it is a nonbenzodiazepine and comes under ‘sedative-hypnotics’ class of drugs. And if you don’t know, a class of drugs contains medicines that have a similar effect and are used to treat the same conditions.
Keep in mind that Lunesta is a short term drug, which means you cannot use it for more than two weeks. So if your insomnia persists after this period, you should ask your doctor to consider other treatments.
How Lunesta Works?
Lunesta (Eszopiclone) is used to help people fall asleep and then stay asleep. Though experts are not quite sure how this drug works but they believe that it affects the GABA receptors in the brain. GABA receptors have the ability to make the person go to sleep.
So by interacting with them, the drug causes the GABA receptors to release natural chemicals that are related to sleep, and that’s how Lunesta induces sleep in the users.
Side Effects of Lunesta
There are many common and serious side effects associated with the use of Lunesta (Eszopiclone) and no matter what type of side-effects you feel; we suggest that you always call your doctor to be on the safe side.
Also, DO NOT take Lunesta or any sleep medicine with alcohol because it can worsen its side effects or can even cause death. So with that said, let’s look at some side effects of the drug:
Common Side Effects:
- You may feel a Headache
- You may feel pain in lower back or sides
- There is a possibility of daytime drowsiness
- You can also feel dizziness or lightheadedness
- Loss of coordination can also occur
- Things like heartburn, vomiting and nausea may also occur
- You may feel the unpleasant taste in your mouth
- You can also have dry mouth
- Seeing unusual dreams is also a possibility
- The desire for sex may also decrease
- Women can experience painful menstrual periods
- Men can experience breast enlargement
Serious Side Effects:
- You may get rash, hives or itching
- Swelling can occur in areas such as the face, lips, eyes, hands, throat, ankles, lower legs or feet
- Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
- You can also feel your throat closing
- Hoarseness is also a possibility
If any of these above-mentioned serious side effects occur, you should IMMEDIATELY call your doctor or 911 as it can be a medical emergency.
Lunesta and Drug Interactions
Let’s start with the food because it can interact with Lunesta as well. So if you have just eaten a heavy meal or a high-fat food then make sure to avoid taking this drug at least for one hour afterwards. The reason is that this food will make it harder for the Eszopiclone to be absorbed in your body.
Now if we talk about drugs, then the use of Lunesta with drugs that can make you drowsy or slow down your breathing or taking it with alcohol can result in serious side effects and can even cause death. Also, make sure to ask your doctor before you take any sleeping pill, an opioid medication, muscle relaxer or medicine for seizure or anxiety with Lunesta.
There are several other types of drugs that can interact with Lunesta, including both over the counter and prescription medications as well as the herbal products and vitamins. So make sure to always tell your doctor about the medication that you are already taking and the medication that you may take in the future.
Precautions to Take Before Using Lunesta
Firstly, if you are allergic to Eszopiclone, you should not take Lunesta and secondly, make sure to inform your doctor if you currently have any medical conditions or had some medical issues including:
- Breathing disorder
- Liver disease
- Mental illness
- Depression or suicidal thoughts
- Addiction to alcohol or drug
Also, make sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant or are doing breastfeeding because the drug can cause problems for you and your newborn.
Dosage of Lunesta
When it comes to the dosage of Lunesta, you need to understand that the drug is approved for adults. So this dosage that we have mentioned below is the typical dose taken by adults. And keep in mind that we are not suggesting that you take this dose, you should always talk to your doctor before you start taking Lunesta, or increase its dose. So with that said, let’s see the usual dose of Lunesta taken by adults.
- Starting Dosage: The starting dose of Lunesta is typically 1mg that is immediately taken before bedtime
- Maintaining Dosage: The dose that is usually maintained after sometime is either 1mg or 3mg and is immediately taken before bedtime
- Maximum Dosage: The maximum dosage of Lunesta should not exceed 3mg and is immediately taken before bedtime
If your insomnia remains even after seven to 10 days of using eszopiclone, you should get yourself reevaluated by your doctor.
Tips for Taking Lunesta
- When taking Lunesta, always go for the lowest effective dose. The generally recommended dose for starting Lunesta is 1mg, and it can be increased to 2 or 3mg, but you should know that the higher the dose, the greater risk of feeling its sedating effects the next day.
- Do not take it with the meal or immediately after it as food can delay its effects. Take Lunesta before you go to bed because it works very fast.
- Only take Lunesta if you know you can get 7-8 hours of sleep afterwards because its sedating effects can impair your ability to do things with full consciousness for a few hours.
- When you wake up in the morning after you have taken Lunesta, you may still feel its effects, so make sure to not drive or operate machinery until you come into full senses.
- Higher doses of eszopiclone can also result in addiction and dependency, so make sure to increase the dose under the supervision of your doctor.
- Do not drink alcohol before, with or after taking Lunesta because it can worsen its drowsy effects and can even result in death. Avoid alcohol for the whole day if you plan on taking Lunesta and for the whole day after talking it.
- If you are taking Lunesta and performing activities like driving, having sex, talking on the phone or making/eating food and don’t remember doing them, immediately talk to your doctor about it.
- Talk to your doctor for the possible underlying reasons behind your insomnia like depression or anxiety. Also, if you experience symptoms such as suicidal thoughts or depression, talk to your doctor immediately.
Over to You:
So that concludes our guide on Lunesta (eszopiclone) make sure to pay close attention to your condition after you start using this drug and see if you are getting any side effects mentioned above. If you do get any, talk to your doctor right away because that may not be a good sign.
Furthermore, DO NOT start using or adjusting the dosage of Lunesta (eszopiclone) on your own, always consult with your doctor first and only use it if prescribed by your doctor.