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Generic Name:

eszopiclone, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Lunesta
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for eszopiclone

Oral tablet
1

Eszopiclone is used to treat insomnia (trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both) in adults.

2

This drug comes in the form of a tablet you take by mouth.

3

Eszopiclone is available as a brand-name drug called Lunesta. It’s also available as a generic drug.

4

The more common side effects of this drug include dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, and common cold symptoms.

5
In some cases, eszopiclone can cause serious side effects. These can include abnormal thoughts and behaviors, doing activities while you’re asleep and having no memory of doing them, memory loss, and severe allergic reactions.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Next day drowsiness

Even if you take this drug as prescribed, you may still have significant drowsiness, trouble thinking, mental fogginess, and weakness the next day. This can happen with all doses, but it’s more likely if you take the 2 mg or 3 mg doses. You shouldn’t drive, use machinery, or do other activities that require alertness the day after taking this drug until you know how it affects you. You may still feel drowsy even though you’re fully awake. You may become tolerant to this effect over time. However, you may not become tolerant to it if you take the 3 mg dose. You should still be cautious with activities that require you to be alert.

Abnormal behaviors

This drug can cause abnormal thinking and behavior changes. You may also do activities while you’re not fully awake. These include sleep driving, preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex. Call your doctor right away if this happens.

Suicide

Call your doctor right away if you have any suicidal thoughts (thoughts of harming yourself).

Alcohol use

The use of drinks that contain alcohol can increase your risk of side effects, such as drowsiness, sleepiness, and confusion. You shouldn’t take this drug if you had any alcohol that evening before going to bed. If you had a few drinks early in the day, you can take this drug that evening as long as you’re no longer intoxicated.

What is eszopiclone?

Eszopiclone is a controlled substance. It’s available as an oral tablet.

Eszopiclone is available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in all strengths or forms as the brand-name version. Talk to your doctor to see if the generic version will work for you.

Why it's used

Eszopiclone is used to treat insomnia. This is a sleep problem that includes trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.

How it works

Eszopiclone belongs to a class of drugs called hypnotics. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

More Details

How it works

Eszopiclone belongs to a class of drugs called hypnotics. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Eszopiclone works by slowing activity in your brain. This allows you to sleep.

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SECTION 2 of 5

eszopiclone Side Effects

Oral tablet

More Common Side Effects

The more common side effects of eszopiclone can include:

  • unpleasant taste in your mouth

  • dry mouth

  • drowsiness

  • dizziness

  • headache

  • symptoms of the common cold, such as:

    • sneezing
    • runny nose

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Doing an activity while you’re not fully awake. You may not remember doing these activities. Examples include:

    • preparing and eating food
    • talking
    • having sex
    • driving a vehicle
  • Abnormal thoughts and behavior. Symptoms can include:

    • acting more outgoing or aggressive than normal
    • confusion
    • agitation
    • hallucinations (seeing or hearing something that isn’t real)
    • new or worsening symptoms of depression. Symptoms can include:
      • sadness
      • loss of interests
      • feeling guilty
      • fatigue
      • trouble concentrating or thinking
      • loss of appetite
    • suicidal thoughts or actions (thoughts or behaviors of harming yourself)
  • Memory loss

  • Anxiety

  • Severe allergic reaction.

  • Severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

    • swelling of your tongue or throat
    • trouble breathing
    • nausea
    • vomiting
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

You shouldn’t take eszopiclone unless you’re able to stay in bed and have a full night’s sleep (7–8 hours) before you must be awake again. You should take this drug right before you get in bed. You shouldn’t take it any sooner. Don’t take a dose higher than what your doctor prescribed.

Eszopiclone can cause drowsiness and dizziness. You shouldn’t drive, use machinery, or do other activities that require alertness the day after taking this drug until you know how it affects you. You may still feel drowsy even though you’re fully awake. You may become tolerant to this effect over time. However, you may not become tolerant to it if you take the 3 mg dose. You should still be cautious with activities that require you to be alert.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

eszopiclone May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Eszopiclone can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Food interactions

You shouldn’t eat heavy, high fat-meals right before or right after taking eszopiclone. It can reduce how well the drug works.

Alcohol interaction

The use of drinks that contain alcohol can increase your risk of side effects from this drug. These include drowsiness, sleepiness, and confusion. You shouldn’t use eszopiclone if you drank any alcohol that evening or before bed. If you had a few drinks early in the day, you can take this drug that evening as long as you’re no longer intoxicated.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Drugs that cause more side effects

Taking eszopiclone with certain medications may cause more side effects. These drugs include:

  • Antipsychotics, such as haloperidol, fluphenazine, and olanzapine. Taking these drugs with eszopiclone may slow your brain function.
  • Muscle relaxants, such as baclofen, cyclobenzaprine, or methocarbamol. Taking these drugs with eszopiclone may slow your brain function.
  • Antivirals, such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, and fluconazole. Taking these drugs with eszopiclone increases your risk of all side effects. Your doctor should watch you more closely for side effects if you take these drugs together.
  • Antibiotics, such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, and chloramphenicol. Taking these drugs with eszopiclone increases your risk of all side effects. Your doctor should watch you more closely for side effects if you take these drugs together.
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) drugs, such as atazanavir, ritonavir, and darunavir. Taking these drugs with eszopiclone increases your risk of all side effects. Your doctor should watch you more closely for side effects if you take these drugs together.
  • Heart drugs, such as verapamil and diltiazem. Taking these drugs with eszopiclone increases your risk of all side effects. Your doctor should watch you more closely for side effects if you take these drugs together.

Drugs that reduce the blood level of eszopiclone
  • Antibiotics, such as rifampin, rifabutin, and rifapentine. These drugs reduce the levels of eszopiclone in your body. This means that it may not work as well to treat your insomnia.

  • Anticonvulsants, such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, and phenobarbital. These drugs reduce the levels of eszopiclone in your body. This means that it may not work as well to treat your insomnia.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Eszopiclone warnings
People with history of liver problems
People with history of liver problems

This drug is broken down by your liver. If you have liver problems, you may not be able to break down this drug well. It may build up in your body and cause more side effects. These include trouble thinking or concentrating, drowsiness, and problems with coordination.

People with mental health issues, such as depression
People with mental health issues, such as depression

If you have a history of depression, you may be at an increased risk of suicidal thoughts (thoughts of harming yourself) while taking this drug. Your doctor should give you a lower dose to help you with your sleep.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

Eszopiclone is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should only be used if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Women who are breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

It isn’t known if eszopiclone passes into breast milk. If it does, it may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed.

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors
For seniors

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

If you’re over the age of 65 years, you have an increased risk of mental and motor side effects from this drug. These include trouble thinking or concentrating, drowsiness, and problems with coordination.

For children
For children

This drug hasn’t been studied in children. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 18 years.

When to call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if you still have trouble sleeping after taking this drug for 7–10 days.

Allergies
Allergies

Eszopiclone can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • swelling of your tongue or throat
  • trouble breathing
  • nausea
  • vomiting

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take eszopiclone (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Insomnia

Generic: Eszopiclone

Form: oral tablet
Strengths: 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg

Brand: Lunesta

Form: oral tablet
Strengths: 1 mg, 2 mg, 3 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years):
  • Typical starting dosage: 1 mg once per day, taken right before bedtime
  • Dose increases:Your doctor may increase your dose to 2 mg or 3 mg if lower doses aren’t helping with your sleep problems.
  • Maximum dose: 3 mg once per day, taken right before bedtime
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years):

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for use in people younger than 18 years. It shouldn’t be used in children.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older):
  • Typical starting dosage: 1 mg once per day, taken right before bedtime
  • Maximum dose: 2 mg once per day, taken right before bedtime

Dosage Warnings

Don’t take a dose higher than what your doctor prescribed. Higher doses can increase your risk of extreme drowsiness.

Special Considerations

Severe liver problems: Your total dose shouldn’t be more than 2 mg once per day, taken right before bedtime.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Eszopiclone comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug or don’t take it at all

If you don’t take this drug at all, you’ll still have trouble sleeping. If you stop taking it suddenly, you may experience withdrawal. Symptoms can include:

  • anxiety
  • strange dreams
  • nausea
  • upset stomach

Don’t stop taking this drug without talking to your doctor. If you need to stop taking eszopiclone, your doctor will slowly reduce your dose so you don’t go through withdrawal.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

If you miss a dose, you may not sleep as well as you would if you took the medication. You should take this drug immediately before bedtime. If you take it too early, you may feel sleepy before your bedtime. If you take it too late, you increase your risk of feeling drowsy in the morning.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms can include:

  • excessive drowsiness
  • coma (being unconscious for a long time)

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

If you don’t take your drug right before bedtime and remember to take it with less than 7–8 hours left to sleep, you shouldn’t take the medication. This could make you very drowsy the next day.

How to tell if the drug is working

You should be able to fall asleep and stay asleep better.

Eszopiclone is used for short-term treatment.

Don’t take eszopiclone with food. Taking this drug with food will make it not work as well.
Don’t take eszopiclone with food. Taking this drug with food will make it not work as well.
Take eszopiclone immediately before bedtime
Take eszopiclone immediately before bedtime
You can cut the tablet in half
You can cut the tablet in half
Store this drug carefully
Store this drug carefully
See Details
A prescription for this medication is refillable
A prescription for this medication is refillable
See Details
Travel
Travel
See Details
Clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
Your diet
Your diet
See Details
Insurance
Insurance
See Details

Store this drug carefully

  • Store eszopiclone as close to 77°F (25°C) as possible. It may also be kept at a controlled room temperature between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C). Keep it away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues include:

  • excessive drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • reduced mental functioning
  • liver function

Your diet

You shouldn’t eat heavy, high fat-meals right before or right after taking eszopiclone. It can reduce how well the drug works.

Insurance

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does eszopiclone Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for eszopiclone

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for eszopiclone on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on November 19, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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