Medical Advice

Eszopiclone vs Zolpidem: Comparison of Two Sleeping Pills

Eszopiclone vs Zolpidem

As per research, it has been reported that hypnotic use can affect sleeping time and can cause impairment in the normal functioning of the brain. Also, nowadays A certain number of people suffer from sleeping problems, which can vary from chronic insomnia to difficulty maintaining sleep. It can affect people’s day-to-day activities. So, people use Eszopiclone and Zolpidem to treat this disorder. But there are some Eszopiclone vs Zolpidem differences.

Both these drugs act, and regulate the central nervous system (CNS) to cool the mind. Although belonging to the same class of drugs and function in a similar manner, both drugs have unique ingredients and formulations, making them different from one another.

In this blog, we will explain the uses, side effects, and precautions to follow while using Eszopiclone and Zolpidem medications.

What is Eszopiclone?

Eszopiclone is a hypnotic drug used for treating insomnia in patients. This is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The use of this drug makes one feel relaxed and gradually helps to fall asleep as well as improve the quality of sleep. This drug is used for a short period as its long-term use can make the patient addicted to it.

What is Zolpidem?

Zolpidem is a sedative medication used to treat insomnia in grownups. This drug is mainly used for short-term treatment. Its brand name is Ambien and its onset for action is less than 30 minutes. The main function of this medicine is to slow activities in the brain, so as to get a sound sleep.

Comparison: Eszopiclone vs Zolpidem Drugs

1) Uses

a) Eszopiclone

This is a prescription medicine and controlled substance which makes it susceptible to drug dependency. This Eszopiclone medicine is longer acting due to its half-life of 6 hours.

This medicine functions by slowing down brain activity so that the patient falls asleep gradually and stays asleep throughout the night. This drug is used for a short period. By producing a serene effect on the brain, it helps in getting a quick and better sleep and decreases the instances of waking up in the middle of the night.

The half-life of Eszopiclone is 6 hours, i.e., after 6 hours only half of the substance initially taken, remains in the body.

b) Zolpidem

This medicine helps to reduce the time to fall asleep (sleep latency). Combined with the use of alcohol or high doses or taken with other sleep-inducing drugs this medicine can induce fatal sleep-related behaviors such as ‘sleep driving’ that can cause sleepiness.

The half-life of Zolpidem is 2 to 3 hours, i.e., after 2 or 3 hours only half of the substance initially taken, remains in the body.

2) Dosage Strengths and Doses: Eszopiclone vs Zolpidem

a) Eszopiclone

Normally it comes in the form of tablets that one can swallow, and the various strengths are:

  • 1 mg
  • 2 mg
  • 3 mg

The recommended dose is one tablet per day before going to bed or as recommended by the doctor. The doctor on the basis of age, health conditions, and use of other medicines may decrease or increase the dose.

The highest recommended dose of Eszopiclone oral tablet for most adults is 3 mg per day.

b) Zolpidem

It is available as oral tablets that are taken in the mouth by swallowing. The various strengths are:

  • 5 mg
  • 6.25 g
  • 10 mg
  • 12.5 mg

The initial dose of the medicine is 5 mg and the maximum dose is 10 mg. The doctor can prescribe the dosage of Zolpidem tablets based on various factors. The dosage for female patients is less as compared to males. This is due to the factor that Zolpidem is cleared in women body at a lower rate as compared to men.

The brand-name medicine of Zolpidem is Ambien. The common dosage strengths of this drug are Ambien 5 mg and Ambien 10 mg.

3) Side Effects of Eszopiclone and Zolpidem Drugs

a) Common side effects can include

  • Diarrhea
  • Abnormal dreams
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Cold

b) Severe side effects can range from

  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts and behavior
  • Seeing abnormal things beyond reality.
  • Memory problems.
  • Abnormal changes in behavior such as feeling detached, getting aggressive more often, and so on.

4) Precautions with Eszopiclone and Zolpidem Drugs

a) CNS Depressant Effects

Since CNS depressant effects are high in these medicines, taking Zolpidem with other related drugs increases the risks of CNS depression such as an increase in drowsiness, impaired driving ability, etc.

b) Risk of Dependence or Withdrawal with Zolpidem

As the dosage and duration increase, the risk of dependence or withdrawal also increase. This is the reason doctors recommend the lowest dose and the shortest duration of the medicine. A person with a history of alcohol or drug misuse has more risk of being drug dependent.

Withdrawal symptoms can include mild discomfort, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, sweating, tremors, and insomnia.


At the end of this blog, Eszopiclone and Zolpidem drugs are ideal and favorable in treating patients’ sleeping problems. The efficiency of these drugs is similar but both drugs differ in some cases that we have already discussed in our blog. The doctor will decide which drug is matched with the symptoms of the health condition.

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