Lunesta Side Effects, Warnings, & Risk Of Addiction

Lunesta is a pharmaceutical sleep aid. It's side effects include drowsiness, impairment, and short-term memory loss.

Eszopiclone (brand name Lunesta) is a sedative-hypnotic prescription drug used to help those suffering from sleep disorders or insomnia. Lunesta acts as a sleeping pill to help one achieve a full night’s sleep.

Lunesta is a Schedule IV controlled substance according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means Lunesta can be habit-forming and lead to physical dependence or addiction.

There are also a number of warnings to be aware of before taking this medication. Although Lunesta may help one achieve the hours of sleep they need, this prescription medication causes a number of side effects ranging from common to severe.

Side Effects Of Lunesta

Lunesta is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. It works by increasing the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, slowing down activity and creating a calming sensation.

Because of this, Lunesta can create a number of side effects. Those who abuse the drug may experience more harmful effects.

Common Side Effects

Some of the short-term common side effects of Lunesta may include:

  • impairment
  • unpleasant taste
  • sleepiness
  • dry mouth
  • difficulties to wake up the next day
  • drowsiness
  • memory loss

Severe Side Effects

One of the serious side effects of eszopiclone is memory loss. Some who take Lunesta may experience memory impairment and forget the activities they participated in the night before, including making phone calls, preparing food, or having sex.

Sleepwalking and sleep-driving are additional activities a person may not remember the next day when they wake up. Sleepwalking can be dangerous, as accidental falls or drownings can occur which may lead to life-threatening injuries.

Sleep-driving can also be hazardous, as car crashes can tragically happen, creating a situation for others to accidentally be harmed as well. Inform your doctor immediately if you suffer from any of these severe side effects.

Lunesta Warnings

Before taking Lunesta, there are a number of warnings you should know. Taking this prescription drug may cause adverse reactions for a number of people with certain health conditions.

Combining Medications

Combining medications with Lunesta is not advised unless you’ve spoken to your doctor. In fact, there are a number of medications to avoid, especially CNS depressants.

Drug interactions can take place, which is why knowing the drug information of the medicine you take is important.

Some of the medications to avoid while taking Lunesta include:

  • other sleep aids such as zolpidem tartrate (Ambien)
  • benzodiazepines
  • painkillers
  • over-the-counter supplements or vitamins
  • certain antidepressants
  • muscle relaxants
  • certain antifungal medications such as ketoconazole

Always speak to a healthcare provider, as serious allergic reactions can take place.

Worsened Health Conditions

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s important to ask your doctor for medical advice before taking Lunesta if you have the following health conditions:

  • liver disease
  • a history of depression or suicidal thoughts
  • pregnant or breastfeeding
  • family history of alcohol addiction
  • health conditions which require you to take multiple medications

Women who are breastfeeding may accidentally pass Lunesta to the child through breast milk. When this occurs, it can cause withdrawal symptoms or a potential overdose for the baby.

Older adults may be prescribed a small dose of Lunesta to avoid any unwanted side effects. From here, your doctor may add to your dose if necessary.

Lunesta Overdose

Those who take Lunesta in high doses may be more likely to experience a Lunesta overdose. Taking higher doses of this medication in addition to partaking in other forms of drug abuse can result in life-threatening effects.

Some of the symptoms of a Lunesta overdose may include:

  • loss of consciousness
  • seizures
  • difficulty breathing
  • change in sleep behaviors

If you suspect that you or a loved one has suffered a Lunesta overdose, seek urgent medical attention and contact 911 immediately.

Risk Of Lunesta Addiction

Those who partake in Lunesta drug abuse may become more likely to experience a Lunesta addiction. Those who have a family history of addiction can also be more likely to develop an addiction to Lunesta.

Lunesta addiction is characterized by noticeable behavioral changes, such as spending the majority time using or searching for Lunesta, as well continued use despite troubling consequences.

Physical Dependence & Withdrawal

Physical dependence can occur after a period of long-term use and suggests the risk of addiction is significant. This means that those who abruptly stop taking this medication may experience

Lunesta withdrawal symptoms, which can include:

  • sleep problems
  • tremors
  • nausea
  • behavior changes
  • vomiting
  • anxiety or suicidal thoughts
  • rebound insomnia
  • sweating

In the case of severe withdrawal symptoms, a medical detox program may be recommended. These programs help patients manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings in a safe and supervised environment.

Get Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one are at risk of Lunesta addiction, we can help. To learn more, please contact us today.

Written by
Northeast Addition Editorial Team

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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