Zopiclone, also known by the brand name Zimovane 7.5 mg, is a strong sleeping pill that should be taken immediately before bedtime for a restful night's sleep. Various aspects can affect the recommended zopiclone dosage such as health conditions, body weight and the use of other medications.
The usual recommended dose for adults is one 7.5 mg tablet, taken with a glass of water. Some patients, however, may find a lower zopiclone dosage provides the desired effects with less chance of side effects. You can take this medication with or without a meal. However, a large or high-fat meal can make it more difficult for your body to absorb the medication and this may delay the onset of effects.
Do not take this medication if you are unable to have a full night's sleep. Daytime sleepiness may happen if you do not manage to sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours. In general, a zopiclone dosage schedule should not last longer than 4 weeks when used every day.
Zimovane is rapidly absorbed and reaches its peak plasma concentrations in the body within 0.5 to 2 hours. On average, the duration of effect of a zopiclone dosage is about 6 to 8 hours. For this reason, it is advisable to ensure that you will be able to have uninterrupted sleep. Rare side effects like amnesia are more likely to happen if there is a delay in retiring to bed after taking a tablet or sleep is interrupted.
Should sleep be interrupted, one should avoid taking an additional dose of medication as that could result in unwanted effects.
When used as recommended, this medication has an elimination half-life of approximately 5 hours for healthy adults. In elderly patients, it is usually metabolised at a slower rate so the half-life is typically 7 hours for geriatric patients.
The half-life of a medication is the length of time it takes for the concentration of a medication to reduce to half of the initial dose in the body. The following is estimated length of time it will take for Zimovane to be completely removed from the body in a healthy adult:
The relatively brief half-life of Zimovane usually means this medication is helpful in supporting restorative without causing residual effects the following day like sleepiness. A small percentage of people, however, may feel sleepy or drowsy the following morning after administering a zopiclone dosage.
The manufacturer's leaflet lists daytime sleepiness as an uncommon side effect that may affect up to 1 in 100 people. If you experience daytime sleepiness, avoid activities that require mental alertness like driving or operating machinery until you feel more awake.
Compared to previous generations of sleeping medications, Zimovane is less likely to cause tolerance, dependence or withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal effects are unlikely to happen, particularly if a zopiclone dosage schedule has been limited to 4 weeks. However, if you have taken this medication for a long-term period withdrawal effects may happen if treatment is discontinued abruptly.
If long-term treatment is ended suddenly, typical withdrawal symptoms that may occur include muscle pain, tension, headaches, restlessness and feelings of irritability. Not every patient experiences the same withdrawal effects. The following are ways to manage common withdrawal symptoms:
Another withdrawal symptom that may occur in a small percentage of patients is rebound insomnia. Rebound insomnia is an acute condition whereby the symptoms of sleeplessness which led to Zimovane treatment reoccur in an intensified form upon discontinuation of treatment.
Sometimes, rebound insomnia happens along with other effects like mood swings, nervousness and restlessness. To reduce the likelihood of rebound insomnia, patients are advised to use the lowest effective zopiclone dosage for the shortest possible time. This medication can also be used intermittently, for example, 2 or 3 times a week.
If you have been taking a 7.5 mg zopiclone dosage to cope with a significant life event, it is generally advisable to allow some time for the issue to subside before decreasing the dose. The following points may be helpful when you decide to discontinue treatment:
It is always advisable to avoid taking a higher zopiclone dosage than recommended or for a longer period of time. Gradually reducing your dose at the end of treatment can significantly decrease the likelihood of withdrawal symptoms when taking sleeping tablets.
Updated: 14th January 2021
Review Due: January 2022
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