Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders and is believed to affect almost all of us at some point in our lives. The symptoms and severity of insomnia vary greatly from person to person, but the disorder is usually characterized as having difficulty falling asleep or sleeping long enough to feel rested the next morning.
Treatment for insomnia includes changing sleep habits, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and sleeping pills if needed. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at two types of insomnia drugs – zopiclone and circadin – to compare how they work, how they are taken, their effectiveness, and more.
What is Zopiclone?
Zopiclone is a hypnotic containing hypnotic zopiclone. This active ingredient targets GABA receptors in the brain, resulting in a sedative effect. This medication is used to treat insomnia in adults and the elderly with the condition.
What is Circadin?
Circadin is also a medication used to treat insomnia, however, this medication is intended exclusively for people over 55. Circadin contains the sleep hormone melatonin, which, along with your body’s Irkadian rhythm, signals your mind and body when it’s time to sleep.
What is the difference between zopiclone and circadin?
Both of these drugs are available in pill form. Zopiclone tablets are available in two different flavors: 3.75 mg and 7.5 mg. They are available in boxes containing 28 tablets. Circadin, on the other hand, is available in 2 mg doses and can be found in boxes of 30, 60, or 90.
Who can take them?
Zopiclone is intended for adults with insomnia. This medicine is not suitable for people who:
- Under 18
- Currently pregnant or breastfeeding
- Suffers from irregular breathing during sleep
- Allergy to any of the ingredients
- Have a condition called Myasthenia Gravis
- You are currently taking any other medications that may interact with Zopiclone (see Zopiclone Patient Fact Sheet for more information)
It is important to talk to your doctor before taking this medicine. Especially if you are elderly, suffer from kidney or liver problems, have breathing problems, have mental illness, or have ever abused alcohol or drugs.
Circadin is intended only for the treatment of primary insomnia. Primary insomnia refers to a sleep disorder that has no identifiable cause, including medical, mental, or environmental causes. It should only be used by adults aged 55 and over and is not suitable for the following:
- Persons aged 0-18
- People with allergies to any of the components of the drug
- Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- People with kidney or liver disease
- People with intolerance to some sugars
- People with autoimmune diseases
- If you have recently taken any medications that may interact with this drug (see the Circadin Patient Information Leaflet).
Smoking and drinking alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of circadine. Always consult your doctor before starting any new medication.
Zopiclone tablets are intended to be swallowed whole with a glass of water. The recommended doses are as follows:
Adults: Two 7.5 mg tablets daily just before bed.
Elderly, frail or patients with reduced kidney, liver or lung function: Starting dose of 3.75 mg per day to be taken just before bed.
Do not exceed these doses. Zopiclone is for short-term use only (a few days to two weeks). The use of this medication should not exceed 4 weeks, including the tapering period.
Circadin should also be swallowed whole with a little water. The recommended dose for this medication is:
Adults: One 2 mg circadine tablet daily by mouth, after meals, 1 to 2 hours before bed.
This dosage can last up to 13 weeks. Circadine tablets should not be crushed or cut in half.
Like any medicine, Zopiclone and Circadine have a number of side effects. A complete list of side effects for each drug can be found in the Patient Information Sheets, but here are the most common:
Zopiclone: Drowsiness over the next day, decreased alertness, bitter taste in the mouth and dry mouth.
Circadin: Nausea, anxiety, diarrhea, headaches, lethargy and nightmares.
If you experience any of the following symptoms while taking these medications, stop taking the drug and seek immediate medical attention:
Zopiclone: Allergic reaction: skin rash, itching, swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue, difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Circadin: Chest pain, loss of consciousness or fainting, severe chest pain due to angina, palpitations, depression, blurred vision, blurred vision, disorientation, dizziness (feeling dizzy or “spinning”), red blood cells in urine , a decrease in the number of white blood cells in the blood, or a decrease in the level of platelets (which increases the risk of bleeding or bruising in psoriasis).
Zopiclone first underwent clinical testin g in 1986. The study found that the drug helped improve sleep in both healthy volunteers and those with insomnia. The report states that “after taking zopiclone, the duration and quality of sleep increased, and the time to sleep onset and the number of awakenings decreased more than after taking the placebo.” Since initial testing, Zopiclone has since been recognized as an effective treatment for patients with insomnia, and is now widely prescribed for patients with insomnia who are battling the disorder with other therapies.
A study was conducted on melatonin (the active ingredient in the drug circadine) in patients between the ages of 55 and 80 to evaluate the drug’s efficacy for treating insomnia. The results showed a significant decrease in sleep latency (the time it takes patients to fall asleep) when taking the pills. The results also showed that the participants’ quality of life improved significantly during these trials.
We hope this article has provided you with a good overview of the similarities and differences between Zopiclone and Circadin to help you decide which insomnia sleep aids might be most suitable for you. It is important to note that before starting any new medication, you should always consult a doctor who can advise you based on your individual needs and circumstances.