Brand names: Lunesta
Lunesta is prescribed for insomnia, defined as the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. It's used for adults who have trouble getting to sleep, wake frequently during the night, or wake up too early in the morning.
Rarely, Lunesta can cause changes in behavior or thinking. Call your doctor immediately if you or your family notice any of the following:
Sleep problems are usually temporary and require only short-term treatment with medication, typically 7 to 10 days. If your insomnia continues or becomes worse, contact your doctor.
Take Lunesta only when you are ready to get in bed or if you are already in bed and have trouble falling asleep. Do not take it unless you are able to get 8 or more hours of sleep before you have to be active again.
For Lunesta to work best, do not take it with or immediately after a high-fat, heavy meal. Swallow the tablet whole; do not split, crush, or chew it.
Do not stop taking Lunesta suddenly or change your dose without your doctor's approval. You could experience signs of withdrawal such as abnormal dreams, anxiety, nausea, sleeplessness, or upset stomach.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe to continue using Lunesta.
Currently, there are no known contraindications for Eszopiclone.
Use Lunesta with caution if you have problems with metabolism or blood circulation, breathing problems, or severe liver disease.
You must be ready for bed or already be in bed before you take Lunesta. If you stay awake after taking Lunesta, you may become dizzy or lightheaded and may risk falling. To prevent injury to yourself and others, never attempt to drive a car, operate any machinery, or engage in hazardous activities after taking Eszopiclone. Also, you could have memory problems while taking Lunesta, especially if you are 65 or older.
Sometimes drugs used for sleep can affect you the next day. Be cautious when planning activities the day after taking Lunesta until you know its effects.
Drugs like Lunesta can lead to psychological or physical dependence, especially if you have a history of alcohol or drug abuse, or if you have mental and emotional problems. Be sure your doctor is aware of your complete medical history.
Depression can sometimes worsen when taking drugs like Lunesta. It is important to notify your doctor right away if you become more depressed or if you or your family notice unusual thoughts or behaviors, especially thoughts of suicide.
After stopping Lunesta, you may have trouble falling asleep (known as rebound insomnia). This should go away after the first night or two.
Lunesta has not been studied in children.
When Lunesta is used with certain drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Lunesta with drugs that relax the central nervous system, such as medicines used for allergies, anxiety, seizures, or sleep; or any of the following:
Taking Lunesta after a high-fat, heavy meal could slow or reduce its effect.
Also, it's best to avoid drinking alcohol while taking Lunesta, since this may increase the drug's effects.
The effects of taking Lunesta during pregnancy have not been studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, contact your doctor immediately.
It is not known whether Lunesta appears in breast milk; talk to your doctor if you plan to breastfeed.
ADULTS 18 YEARS AND OLDER
The usual starting dose is 2 milligrams taken immediately before bedtime. If you have trouble staying asleep, the doctor may increase your dosage. If you have severe liver disease, the usual starting dose is 1 milligrams, not to exceed 2 milligrams in one night.
If you are 65 years or older and have trouble falling asleep, the usual starting dose is 1 mg taken immediately before bedtime. Your doctor may increase the dose to 2 mg if you cannot stay asleep.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek emergency treatment immediately. There is little information on overdoses with Lunesta. Overdoses of similar drugs have been known to cause confusion, dizziness, and possibly loss of consciousness.