Precautions and Warnings With Eszopiclone
Going over all the precautions and warnings with eszopiclone before starting the medication can help minimize potential risks. For example, you should not take eszopiclone if you are allergic to any components of the medicine. There are also a number of side effects associated with the use of eszopiclone, including memory problems, changes in behavior, and hallucinations.
- Sleep apnea or other types of respiratory disease, such as emphysema or COPD
- Liver disease or liver failure, including cirrhosis
- A history of any addiction
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
- Are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding
- Drink alcohol.
Also, tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may currently be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some warnings and precautions with eszopiclone to be aware of include:
- Eszopiclone can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Eszopiclone).
- If you drink alcohol, let your healthcare provider know prior to starting eszopiclone. In general, people should not use alcohol when taking eszopiclone because it can increase the risks of developing eszopiclone side effects (see Lunesta and Alcohol).
- Eszopiclone can cause drowsiness and other sedating effects. Taking eszopiclone with other medications that cause drowsiness can increase the risk of side effects.
- Eszopiclone is considered a pregnancy Category C medicine. This means that eszopiclone may not be safe to use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking eszopiclone if you are pregnant (see Lunesta and Pregnancy).
- It is not known if eszopiclone passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about this.
- Eszopiclone is a sedative-hypnotic type of medication. If you notice any changes in your behavior (such as anything unusual or disturbing) while taking eszopiclone or other sleep medicines, notify your healthcare provider immediately. As with most sedatives or hypnotics, withdrawal symptoms are possible with eszopiclone if it is stopped suddenly (see Lunesta Withdrawal).
- Sedative-hypnotic medications (such as eszopiclone) can cause life-threatening allergic reactions. An allergic reaction to eszopiclone can occur even with your first dose of the drug. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any signs of an allergic reaction, such as an unexplained rash, itching, hives, wheezing or trouble breathing, or unexplained swelling (especially of the throat, lips, or mouth).
- There have been reports of "sleep-driving," "sleep-eating," or other unusual behaviors in people taking sedative-hypnotic medications. In general, people do not remember doing these things when they wake up in the morning. These activities can be dangerous, since people are not fully awake or alert.
- Insomnia can be a sign of other physical or mental problems. If your insomnia does not improve within seven to ten days of taking eszopiclone, talk to your healthcare provider about other insomnia causes that may be affecting you.
- Because eszopiclone works very quickly, it should be taken right before bedtime. After you have taken a dose of eszopiclone, do not do anything that requires complete alertness, such as driving, operating machinery, or piloting an airplane. Taking eszopiclone while staying awake can result in memory problems, hallucinations, and other problems.
- Eszopiclone has not been studied in people with sleep apnea or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Talk to your healthcare provider before taking eszopiclone if you have any lung problems, including COPD or sleep apnea.
- Elderly people may be more sensitive to the effects of eszopiclone and may need to be started at a lower dose.
- If you have depression, talk to your healthcare provider before taking eszopiclone, as depression can be a eszopiclone side effect (see Lunesta and Depression). Suicide is more common in people with depression, and some people may intentionally take a lethal overdose of eszopiclone (see Suicide by Lunesta).
- Eszopiclone should not be used in people with severe liver problems, including liver failure or cirrhosis.
- Eszopiclone is a controlled substance and may be habit-forming. Abuse or dependence with eszopiclone is more likely to occur when higher doses are used for long periods of time and in people with a history of drug or alcohol addiction. If you have an addiction problem, talk to your healthcare provider before taking eszopiclone.