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What should be considered when taking zopiclone?


Patients who suffer from pathological muscle weakness (myasthenia gravis), severe shortness of breath or severe liver dysfunction should not take the sleeping pill.


When taken at the same time, zopiclone increases the effect of other centrally acting drugs such as pain relievers, anti-depressants and anti-epileptic drugs, allergy drugs and drugs that relax muscles (muscle relaxants).

Drugs that inhibit the breakdown of zopiclone increase the sedative effect. These drugs include, for example, erythromycin and clarithromycin (antibiotics), cimetidine (for heartburn and gastrointestinal ulcers), ketoconazole and itraconazole (for fungal infections) and ritonavir (for HIV).

In contrast, drugs that promote degradation reduce the effect of zopiclone. This applies, for example, to rifampicin (antibiotic), carbamazepine, phenytoin and phenobarbital (for epilepsy and seizures) and St. John's wort (herbal antidepressant).

If the simultaneous use of such active ingredients cannot be avoided, the dose must be adjusted accordingly by the attending physician.

Experts recommend avoiding alcohol during treatment with sleeping pills such as zopiclone.

Driving and using machines

By taking the zopiclone sleeping pills in the evening, the main effect is limited to the night. Nevertheless, the ability to react can also be impaired during the day. Anyone who uses zopiclone should therefore refrain from actively driving and operating large machines. This is especially true when consuming alcohol at the same time.

pregnancy and breast feeding period

Experience in the short-term use of zopiclone during pregnancy is relatively high. Experts do not suspect any long-term consequences for the newborn. However, in the first few days after birth (especially when using sleeping pills in the last trimester of pregnancy), the newborn may experience adjustment disorders.

The better tested diphenhydramine is available as an alternative sleep aid. In addition, experts always recommend non-drug methods such as relaxation exercises for sleep disorders.

Age restrictions

Children and adolescents who suffer from difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep must not be treated with zopiclone.


As with the other non-benzodiazepines, a zopiclone overdose is not life threatening. Symptoms of poisoning with the active ingredient zopiclone are drowsiness, sleepiness and muscle weakness up to loss of consciousness and breathing problems.

However, if the active ingredient is combined with other centrally acting drugs or alcohol, it can lead to a life-threatening increase in effectiveness.