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Is Zopiclone Addictive?

30th June 2022

A question many people will ask when they are prescribed medications is whether or not they are addictive. When something is addictive, you will not be able to operate properly without it. There is a difference between addiction and dependency. Dependence often refers to having a physical dependence, meaning that the body requires a substance to perform properly, addiction, on the other hand, is not physical and refers more to people feeling like they need a substance to feel like themselves.

It is only natural to be concerned about becoming addicted to a medication, especially when it is prescribed to treat conditions that are affecting someone's way of life. This is exactly the case for Zopiclone. In this article, we will answer the question of whether Zopiclone is addictive or not, as well as what Zopiclone is, what it treats, and whether there are any side effects. 

A sleeping man holding a pillow.

What is Zopiclone?

Zopiclone is a short-term medication that is used to treat insomnia. Zopiclone affects a chemical in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid, also known as GABA. GABA is a chemical released in the brain that has a calming effect. Its main effect is to get you to sleep quicker, as well as to keep you asleep during the night. Zopiclone usually takes around one hour to work and is only usually prescribed for short periods of around two to four weeks. After this period your body will become used to its effects, so will not respond in the right way. 

What is insomnia?

Zopiclone is a medication that treats insomnia. Insomnia is a condition that means you find it difficult to fall asleep, as well as struggling to remain asleep. The common symptoms of insomnia include struggling to fall asleep, struggling to stay asleep, lying awake at night, difficulty napping even though you are tired during the day, feeling irritable during the day, and finding it hard to concentrate during the day. Insomnia is caused by many different factors. The most common causes of insomnia include stress and anxiety, an uncomfortable sleeping environment due to temperature or noise, and usage of recreational drugs, alcohol, or nicotine.  

Is Zopiclone addictive?

It is difficult to say whether or not a medication is addictive as people react to medications differently. Some substances such as alcohol and nicotine are addictive as they release chemicals that the body craves. Other substances, such as painkillers, are addictive as they provide the taker with relief from ailments that they are struggling from. This is called dependency, as people will feel like they need the medication in order to live their lives. 

Zopiclone, when taken for the prescribed amount of time, is unlikely to become addictive for the taker. However, if you take the medication for longer than the prescribed duration you may become dependent on it. People that experience good results from Zopiclone are more than likely going to become dependent if they take the medication for longer than is prescribed as they may choose to lean on it as a permanent fix. If you are concerned about coming off of Zopiclone then you should talk to your doctor when you have been prescribed it. 

What are the side effects of Zopiclone?

As with many other medications, some people can experience some side effects whilst taking Zopiclone. There are some side effects that are more common than others, and some that are rarer. The most common side effects of Zopiclone include:

  • A metallic taste in the mouth
  • A dry mouth
  • Feeling sleepy during the day

Just because these are the more common side effects does not mean that everyone will experience them, and they will in fact still be rare. 

Can you get withdrawal symptoms after taking Zopiclone?

If someone becomes dependent on Zopiclone they may find it difficult to cut it out of their routines. When someone does stop taking Zopiclone after previously having a dependence then they may begin to experience some withdrawal symptoms. These can be similar to the symptoms of insomnia, only made worse as they are not being treated by Zopiclone. 

As long as you do not take Zopiclone for longer than your prescribed period you should not become addicted and thus will not experience withdrawal symptoms.