GENERIC NAME: eszopiclone
BRAND NAME: Lunesta (formerly known as Estorra)
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Eszopiclone is a non-benzodiazepine, oral, sedative drug ("sleeping pill") that is used for treating insomnia. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 50 million Americans suffer from insomnia. Symptoms of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, awakening frequently during the night, waking up too early, an inability to fall back to sleep, or awakening in the morning not feeling refreshed. Most drugs that have been used to treat insomnia are benzodiazepines, for example, flurazepam (Dalmane), lorazepam (Ativan), triazolam (Halcion), and temazepam (Restoril). Zolpidem (Ambien) was the first non-benzodiazepine approved for insomnia in over 20 years. Eszopiclone was approved by the FDA in December 2004.
PRESCRIBED FOR: Eszopiclone is used for the treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulty falling asleep and/or difficulty maintaining sleep during the night and early morning.
SIDE EFFECTS: The most common side effects of eszopiclone are:
- dry mouth,
- unpleasant taste,
- stomach upset, and
- loss of coordination.
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