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Gazzetta Medica Italiana - Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2022 July-August;181(7-8):572-81

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.22.04792-1

Copyright © 2022 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Drug treatment of insomnia: impact of zopiclone

Ramadhan ORUCH 1 , Mohammed A. HUNEIF 2, Ian F. PRYME 3, Ole B. FASMER 4, Anders LUND 5

1 School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Najran University, Najran, Saudi Arabia; 2 Department of Clinical Medicine, Section of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Najran University, Najran, Saudi Arabia; 3 Department of Biomedicine, School of Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; 4 Section of Psychiatry, Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; 5 Division of Psychiatry, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway



Chronic or long-term insomnia is a common disorder. It can also make it hard to stay asleep. It affects a wide spectrum of societies almost all over the world. It saps an individual’s energy in such a way one still feels tired during daytime. The condition consequently affects mood, life quality, health, and performance of normal daily activities. Acute or short-term sleeplessness that lasts days or a few weeks may be attributed to stressful life events including socioeconomic burdens. In this review work, we discuss the drug treatment of this illness that includes antihistamines, melatonin, benzodiazepines, and the Z-drug (zopiclone). We compare both the advantages and disadvantages of these agents with special emphasis on the benzodiazepine (diazepam DZP) and the Z-drug zopiclone (ZPC). As an alternative to benzodiazepines, the pharmacology of zopiclone including side effects, intoxication, and how to treat this will be discussed here in this work. Currently available hypnotic agents have no selective actions thus have a wide spectrum of drawbacks such as tolerance, addiction, and thus withdrawal effects. The main purpose of this work is to instruct junior doctors, general practitioners, and other health caregivers on how and when to prescribe these agents to individuals that suffer from insomnia when other means like sleep hygienic and psychological means are of no help or as an adjunct to these.


KEY WORDS: Sleep initiation and maintenance disorders; Anxiety; Hypnotics and sedatives; Melatonin; Zopiclone; Diazepam

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