Similarities and differences between Zolpidem and Zopiclone
Zolpidem and Zopiclone tablets are both nonbenzodiazepine drugs and are prescribed to treat insomnia. Insomnia is a condition in which an individual feels difficulty falling or staying asleep. This blog will inform you about the similarities and differences between Zolpidem and Zopiclone, so you can make the right decisions and advantage of these medicines to enhance the quality of your life.
First of all, let us learn what insomnia is and how these drugs treat it.
What is insomnia?
Before we learn about Zopiclone and Zolpidem, let us briefly describe what insomnia is and why we use these Z drugs to treat this condition. Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult for a person to fall asleep, stay asleep, or experience restless sleep. It can occur because of many reasons, such as stress, anxiety, medical conditions, or an unhealthy lifestyle.
When lifestyle changes and non-pharmacological solutions, like good sleep hygiene, don’t provide relief from insomnia, a doctor may recommend any of these two medications according to the condition of the patient.
Understanding Zolpidem and Zopiclone
Zolpidem sedative hypnotics
Zolpidem a sedative hypnotics is often sold under the generic name Ambien, is a medication drug, and is classified as a sedative hypnotic medicine. It is normally prescribed by doctors for the short-term treatment of insomnia. Zolpidem works by affecting certain neurotransmitters in the brain. It slows down the central nervous system while causing a calming effect in the brain. This calming of the central nervous system promotes a peaceful sleep.
It is a prescription medication and cannot be taken without a prescription from a professional healthcare provider. The second important thing about Zolpidem is, you cannot stop taking this medication without the permission of your doctor as it can cause serious withdrawal symptoms. You also cannot overdose and under dose it without consulting with your doctor or pharmacist as it also involves serious risks.
Zopiclone sleeping pill
Zopiclone is also a nonbenzodiazepine drug prescribed and available on the market with the generic names Imovane and Zimovane. This prescription drug is also recommended by doctors to treat short-term sleep problems like insomnia. Like zolpidem, it also acts on neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, promotes a calming effect in the brain, and induces sleep.
Zopiclone vs Zolpidem actions
Mechanism of Action
Both Zolpidem and Zopiclone act on the central nervous system to promote deep sleep but in slightly different ways. Zolpidem primarily targets the GABA-A receptors in the brain and enhances the inhibitory effects of GABA, which is a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and sleep.
While Zopiclone, on the other hand, works on a wider range of neurotransmitter systems, making it a bit more complex in its action and functioning.
Which is stronger Zolpidem or Zopiclone to treat insomnia?
To know about which is more effective Zopiclone or Zolpidem let us go through the effectiveness of both hypnotic drugs. The effectiveness of Zolpidem vs Zopiclone varies from person to person and condition to condition. It happens that what works best for one individual may not be as effective for the other person using the same medication because the condition and symptoms of every individual are different.
It is mandatory to note here that the perception of strength and effectiveness is subjective depending on the condition and patient it has been used for
For some individuals, Zolpidem may be more effective in helping them fall asleep quickly and experience less symptoms. While in other case, Zopiclone might be preferred by those who need help staying asleep throughout the night. This is due to the fact that Zopiclone has longer duration of action which makes a person to sleep for a long time.
It totally depends on your doctor to whether prescribe Zolpidem or Zopiclone according to your specific needs, medical condition, and medical history. The choice of medication here also depends the type of insomnia a patient is experiencing. So, it totally depends on your doctor’s decision to whether prescribe Zolpidem or Zopiclone and is strictly prohibited to use these medications without the permission of a consultant in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms and reactions.
Duration of action Zopiclone vs Zolpidem sleep latency action
Zopiclone normally takes 1 hour to start its action, and this timing also varies with the quantity of the drug you are taking. The effect of Zopiclone lasts longer as compared to the significant effect of Zolpidem. This means that Zopiclone may help you stay asleep throughout the night, while Zolpidem is only better at initiating sleep.
If you wake up frequently during the night and you are taking Zolpidem then talk to your as may be Zopiclone could be a better choice but it is all up to your doctor to prescribe you Zopiclone or other drugs that better suit your condition.
Zolpidem, on the other hand, takes only 30 minutes to start its action and make you feel sleepy. The action time of both these drugs may also vary depending on the age of the patient and the dosage consumed.
Half Life of Zopiclone & Zolpidem sedative drugs
Half life means the time any medicine or drug takes to eliminate half of its amount from your body.
Zolpidem has a shorter half life of 2-3 hours as compared to Zopiclone which is why it is also a highly recommended drug. It is cleared from your body more quickly than Zopiclone. If you are a working person and concerned about morning drowsiness then Zolpidem may be a better option since it is less likely to cause residual effects the next day after taking it.
Zopiclone on the contrary has half life ranges from 4.5-6 hours in most individuals. The half life of both these sedative hypnotic drugs may vary from person to person, for instance, it may be different in a person with liver problems, age-factor, and other medical conditions. It is essential to follow the instructions of your doctor while using both of these drugs to improve the quality of your life.
Tolerance and dependence
Both of these drugs have the potential for tolerance and dependence if used for an extended period of time without recommendation from your doctor or pharmacist. It is important to use these prescription drugs as directed by your health care provider and not to exceed the dosage avoid risks. Prolonged use of any of these medicines should be closely monitored by your health care provider to minimize the risk of dependency.
Side effects of Zolpidem and Zopiclone
Like all other active drugs, both Zolpidem and Zopiclone have side effects, which may include
Gastrointestinal Upset and Stomach Ace
Changes in Taste Perception
The side effects of these medications are almost the same and are not problematic until they get worse.
Switching from Zopiclone to Zolpidem
Switching from one medication to another, such as Zopiclone to Zolpidem, should always be done under the guidance and supervision of a certified health care professional in order to avoid any potential risks.
Your health care providers understand your medical condition and unique needs and they can asses your specific situation to determine whether you need Zopiclone, Zolpidem, or any other drug, or whether the change is actually required or not.
Your doctor can develop a plan for your safe transition from one medicine to another. This plan will help you by gradually reducing your current medication Zopiclone while simultaneously introducing the new one Zolpidem in a controlled manner to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
All these precautions are mandatory because both of these drugs are medications that can lead to physical and psychological dependence if used for an extended period or without a prescribed dosage.
Suddenly discontinuing one drug and starting the other can lead to withdrawal effects, which can be uncomfortable and potentially harmful. So, get help from your medical practitioner to manage this transition while minimizing the effects.
It has been proven by Teikyo University Mizonokuchi Hospital that both Zopiclone and Zolpidem are very effective and safe to treat insomnia. The researchers at Teikyo University Mizonokuchi Hospital have tested these drugs on different patients, including elderly people and people with other medical conditions, to find out their adverse effects. They concluded that both Zopiclone and Zolpidem are good for people with sleep problems.
To sum up the discussion about the similarities and differences between Zolpidem and Zopiclone, we can say that there is no definitive answer as to which medication is better. This is because it depends on your individual needs and the type of insomnia you are experiencing that which medication will suit you.
Both of these Z drugs have their benefits and side effects, so the choice should be made after consultation with your health care professional, not with your personal choice.
It is important to note here that this medication is only one part of the solution for managing insomnia; there are also other factors too to follow, such as lifestyle changes, morning walks, exercise, healthy and on-time food, good sleep hygiene, and addressing the underlying causes of insomnia.
If you are experiencing sleep problems and are considering medication, talk to your doctor, as only he can help you determine the most appropriate treatment for your specific situation.
Sound sleep is necessary for your overall well-being, so take important steps to achieve it, whether that involves Zolpidem, Zopiclone, or other techniques for improving your sleep quality, as your health, happiness, and immunity depend on a good sleep.