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Lunesta Side Effects

Lunesta is a prescription only drug used in short term relief of insomnia. Generic name is eszopiclone. This drug is long acting medication in non-benzodiazepine hypnotic drug family. It will help you to fall asleep as well as maintain the sleep for at least eight hours.

Similar to benzodiazepines, Lunesta Modulate GABA type A receptors in the brain, increase their action and increase the inhibitory neurotransmission. But they are called Non benzodiazepine hypnotics.

This medication is available as tablets. Tablets should be taken with full glass of water without crushing, to minimize side effects. It can be taken with or without meals. This is a very short acting drug. So patients should take this medication immediately before sleep. Never share this medication with anyone.

What are the dangerous side effects?

Lunesta is known to cause serious allergic reaction called anaphylactic reaction. Signs are hives, shortness of breathing, swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop taking Lunesta and get emergency medical help, if you got any of the above signs.

What are the common side effects?

Drowsiness can be continued to the next day, if taken in the night. So operating machinery and driving is not recommended in the following day.

Other common side effects are numbness in extremities and menstrual pain. Reduced muscle strength and co-ordination problems of movements are side effects as well. Poor mental concentration, restlessness, confusion and memory loss are other side effects.

One of the main problems with Lunesta is dependence and withdrawal symptoms. Dependence and withdrawal means getting adverse effects when the drug is stopped. Unlike other hypnotics, tolerance is not reported with usual use. Tolerance means requiring increased amount of the drug to achieve the same benefit.

What are the relatively rare side effects?

Rarely patients can get gastro intestinal effects such as nausea and vomiting. Certain patients may get respiratory depression.

Some patients can get hallucinations. Certain patients may get depressed with this medication. So if a patient is having feelings of worthlessness, suicidal ideas or sad mood after taking this drug, he/she must see a doctor. Complex sleep related behaviors such as sleep driving, making phone calls or eating food has been reported rarely.

Disturbance of smell is another side effect some patients may experience. Hearing and speech disturbances are also reported with some patients.

What the doctor should know before writing the prescription?

The doctor must know whether the patient has following problems.

* Kidney diseases

* Liver diseases

* Breathing disorders

* Clinical depression

* Ataxia (poor control of body movements)

* Myasthenia gravis

The doctor should know about over the counter medications patient may be taking.

The doctor may not prescribe this medication to pregnant and nursing mothers. Adverse effects to the new born are reported in regular use, especially in the last three months of the pregnancy. This medication increases adverse effects of alcohol and other recreational drugs as well.


British National Formulary