Zopiclone Side Effects

Zopiclone Side Effects

Along with its useful effects, sleep medicine like zopiclone, also known by the brand name Zimovane, can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Common side effects are generally easy to manage at home and they are most often short-lived. The benefits of Zimovane sleeping tablets, such as relief from insomnia and anxiety, generally outweigh the risk of adverse effects.

Common Zopiclone Side Effects

In general, Zimovane has no serious side effects among most patients. Nevertheless, if you do happen to experience a side effect, it is likely to be mild. Up to 1 in 10 people experience common side effects which include drowsiness and a bitter taste in the mouth. These zopiclone side effects are generally minor and go away over the course of treatment. It is advisable to keep taking the medication for symptomatic relief from insomnia if you experience mild side effects.

Although common zopiclone side effects are not serious, there are steps that can be taken to reduce them. If you experience tiredness during the day, make sure you get plenty of rest and avoid activities that require mental alertness until you feel better. Try taking sips of water and use a mouthwash if you have a bitter taste in the mouth. These side effects usually go away after the first week of treatment.

Uncommon Zopiclone Side Effects

Uncommon side effects are generally considered to be those that affect up to 1 in 100 people. Therefore, the likelihood of experiencing these side effects is low among the average user. Uncommon side effects include:

  • Feeling sick (nausea) - if you feel sick, try taking this medication with food as this can reduce the likelihood of this side effect. It may also help to stay away from rich or spicy meals and rather choose plain, simple dishes.
  • Feeling dizzy - if you feel dizzy, try lying down and always ensure that you get up from a seated position slowly. This side effect generally improves as your body gets used to the medicine. If it does not wear off within one or two weeks, try reducing the dose.
  • Headache - keeping well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and getting enough rest can reduce the likelihood of headaches. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend an appropriate analgesic pain reliever if headaches persist.

Other uncommon zopiclone side effects include nightmares, feeling mentally or physically tired and agitation. It is important to note that carefully adhering to usage and dosage guidelines can significantly reduce the chance of experiencing uncommon side effects.

Zopiclone Side  Effects

Rare Zopiclone Side Effects

Rare side effects may happen to a very small percentage of people who take this medication. Rare zopiclone side effects that may affect 1 in 1,000 people include the following:

  • Feeling aggressive or irritable
  • Feelings of confusion
  • An itchy or lumpy rash on the skin
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Memory loss (amnesia) is an extremely rare side effect of Zopiclone 7.5 mg. Some people may do things during sleep such as sleep walking, sleep driving or making phone calls after taking this medicine. They typically do not remember participating in any of these activities when they wake up.

The use of alcohol tends to significantly increase the risk of rare zopiclone side effects like sleep walking or other behaviours such as eating food during sleep. In addition, other medicines that cause sleepiness can increase the risk of strange behaviours during sleep so the combination should be avoided.

If you experience a less common side effect or an allergic reaction, it is advisable to seek medical attention. The following groups of patients may be more susceptible to adverse effects with the use of this medication so extra caution is advised:

  • People with liver or kidney problems
  • People with mild breathing problems
  • People with a psychiatric illness like a personality disorder

The following groups of people are advised to avoid the use of Zimovane as these pre-existing health conditions can increase the risk of more serious zopiclone side effects:

  • People with severe breathing problems like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • People with a known allergy to Zimovane or similar medications.
  • People with a condition known as sleep apnoea which is characterised by breathing that continuously stops and starts during sleep.
  • People with a condition called myasthenia gravis which is characterised by abnormally weak muscles.

Zopiclone Effects Explained

Zimovane begins working quickly in the body and you should start feeling relaxed and sleepy soon after taking a dose. This medication has sedative, anxiolytic and muscle relaxant effects. It reduces feelings of nervousness and worry making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. In comparison to other medications, Zimovane has a relatively brief half-life. For this reason, it should help you achieve restful sleep without causing residual zopiclone effects the following day like drowsiness.

This medication acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to promote restful sleep. The active ingredient adds to the tranquillising effect that is already created by the human body. It enhances a neurotransmitter in the brain that slows down the CNS, thereby reducing heightened levels of nervousness and tension. As a result, this medication decreases the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and increases total sleep time.

A clinical study took place to compare the efficacy of zopiclone with nitrazepam sleeping pills in the treatment of chronic insomnia among elderly patients. In total, 74 patients were involved in the study. After a one week washout period, they were given inactive placebo pills to take for 7 days so the effects could be compared to the study treatments.

During the following 7-day period, patients were divided into two groups whereby group 1 received Zimovane 7.5 mg and group 2 were given nitrazepam 5 mg. Assessment tools were used to measure the efficacy of the medications on sleep among patients, including a sleep analogue scale and the Spiegel Sleep Questionnaire.

Residual effects were also measured using a standardised questionnaire, laboratory, clinical and psychometric tests. The researchers found that Zimovane and nitrazepam were more effective than placebo in improving sleep. However, Zimovane was superior for the condition of the patients upon awakening in the morning.

Updated: 14th January 2021
Review Due: January 2022



Fueled with a passion to try and help people less fortunate than himself Steve immersed himself in the medical industry. By researching new and innovative medical advancements and regularly sharing important information on social media Steve intends to make a difference where it matters most, people's health. His wealth of knowledge and keen eye for detail will help keep our readers informed and contribute towards improved health.

Simon Mathers – Mar 05, 2021
Hello Steve, I found your article on Zopiclone side-effects very interesting and wanted to congratulate you on your work. Your knowledge of your subject matter is reflected in your writing and I believe that anyone who reads this article will have a better understanding of this medication, and how to take it for the best results. Simon Mathers

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