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Zopiclone vs Zolpidem for Insomnia: Are They Same?

Zopiclone vs Zolpidem For Insomnia

In the world of medications, Zopiclone and Zolpidem are two drugs used to treat insomnia(sleeping problem). It is the most common type of sleeping disorder that has a negative intermission with the wake and sleepy pattern of a patient. People may face this disorder due to stress, pain, age, etc. Both sleeping medications may sound similar but differ in some cases. Today in this blog our aim is to provide a brief analysis of Zopiclone vs Zolpidem that helps an individual to choose their best medications.

So, let’s start the blog!

Comparison: Zopiclone vs Zolpidem Drugs

Overview and Mechanism

Zopiclone Drug

Zopiclone is in less the category of hypnotic non-benzodiazepine, but it falls under the non-benzodiazepine group of medicine that is used in the treatment of various ailments. It is a drug which acts as a relaxant to help the neurons to function in an unconventional way, and augment the efficacy of the GABA neurotransmitter.

GABA is the inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system that plays a critical role in controlling neuronal hyperactivity or hyperexcitability and also in preventing the unessential transmission of neural impulses. This results into a proportional decrease of agitating signal which acts as a tool that puts the CNS into a relaxing state hence improving sleep and quality of sleep.

Zolpidem Medicine

Zolpidem is usually used in the treatment of sleep disorders which mainly include sleepy or insomnia disorders. It belongs to the group of medicines known as Miscellaneous anxiolytics and Sedatives and Hypnotics group of drugs that are known to enhance the secretion of GABA neurotransmitter that has inhibitory effects on brain activities. The brand name of this generic drug is Ambien.

This drug is especially known to assist in cutting down the amount of wake time required in order to alleviate the symptoms of Insomnia in the patient. This might be used for the patient who wakes up in the middle of the night and is very likely to find it difficult to go to sleep again.

Uses : Zopiclone vs Zolpidem


Zopiclone is mainly indicated for the management of insomnia, a condition that is defined by the inability to initiate sleep or maintain it, or by reduced sleep quality.

Its approved uses include:

  • Insomnia: Zopiclone is a prescribed sedative that acts on the brain to treat insomnia and it should be used for a short term only after other options have not produced the desired effects.
  • Sleep Maintenance: In this context, it can maintain a person asleep at night; that is to say, there might be less disruption of sleep and interrupted intervals.

Off-label uses:

  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS)


It is commonly used with Zolpidem for insomnia sleep disorder. It can also be suggested for other indications that are not classified within its approved uses.

  • Insomnia: Zolpidem is a hypnotic that is indicated for use in the short-term treatment of insomnia. After taking this drug, it dissolves rapidly in the mouth and takes half an hour to one hour. Zolpidem is ideal for people who require assistance in managing their sleeping disorders and is particularly made for people who find it hard to fall asleep.
  • Sleep Onset: Zopiclone is also involved in the process of initiating sleep, enabling a patient to go to sleep faster from the waking state.

Used off-label Uses:

  • Restless leg syndrome (RLS)
  • Neurological disorders (that triggers sleep disturbances)

Dose and Dosage:

Zopiclone and Zolpidem drugs are sold under various brand names in different countries. Notably, these are prescription drugs, require a medical consultation before consuming it.

Zopiclone oral tablets are available in adjustable dosage strengths, including:

  • Zopiclone 3. 75 mg
  • Zopiclone 5 mg
  • Zopiclone 7. 5 mg

These varying dosage strengths help patients to increase or decrease the dosage according to the patient’s specific needs and the severity of insomnia.

Zolpidem oral tablets are available in adjustable dosage strengths in two forms, including:

  • Immediate-release tablets: 5 mg and 10 mg
  • Extended-release tablets (or controlled-release or CR) : 6. 25 mg and 12. 5 mg

Zolpidem is a rapidly absorbed medication, with peak effects occurring within 1-2 hours. Its duration of action is relatively short, making it suitable for short-term insomnia management. But, prolonged use can lead to tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation.

The brand drug of this generic medicine is available in the dosage strengths of Ambien 5 mg and Ambien 10 mg.

Side Effects: Zopiclone vs Zolpidem

It’s important to follow the prescribed dosage and not combine these sleeping pills with alcohol or other sedative drugs to avoid adverse effects and risks.

Zolpidem should be used cautiously, especially in elderly patients and those with a history of substance abuse, due to its potential for misuse and adverse effects.

Zopiclone Side effects-

Here are a few side effects of Zopiclone, including:

  • Delusions
  • Nightmares
  • Dizziness
  • Coordination difficulties
  • Constipation
  • Paraesthesia
  • Drowsiness
  • Muscular weakness
  • Double vision
  • Rashes
  • Amnesia
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty while breathing
  • Tingling
  • Staggering
  • Urticaria

Zolpidem Side effects-

Here are a few side effects of Zolpidem, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Chills
  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Hoarseness
  • Blindness
  • Apathy
  • Euphoria
  • Dysphagia
  • Eructation
  • Malaise
  • Scleritis
  • Vaginitis
  • Anorexia
  • Renal pain
  • Abscess

Precautions for Zopiclone and Zoldipem Drug:


  • Long-term uses of Zopiclone can cause physical or psychological dependence. Therefore, avoid taking it for more than 4 weeks.
  • Do not mix alcoholic beverages with this drug, it can cause severe dizziness and altered vision. Also, fatal symptoms can occur in rare cases.
  • It is important to have 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep, before taking Zopiclone drug. It can help to remove the intensity of adverse effects.
  • Always share currently using drugs and medical history with the doctor. It can help the patient to get the best dosage with low risk.


  • Avoid taking Zolpidem, if the patient consumed alcohol recently, like during the day or just before bed.
  • Do not take Zolpidem for longer than prescribed by the physician and in larger amounts.
  • Patients have to share To get the best dosage with low risk, it is required to share the patient’s medical history and concurrently use drugs during the consultation.
  • Children cannot take the Zolpidem drug. Also, its recommended dosages are different for men and women.

In conclusion, both Zopiclone and Zolpidem are effective medicines for managing sleep disorders. However, they differ from each other in some cases that we mentioned above. To prevent misuse and potential abuse proper prescription and monitoring are essential. ultimately, professionals should work closely with their patients to find the most effective and suitable medicine to manage sleep disorders.

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