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Generic Name: eszopiclone (es-ZOE-pi-klone)
Brand Name: Lunesta

Lunesta is used for:

Treating sleeping problems with symptoms such as difficulty falling asleep and difficulty staying asleep during the night.

Lunesta is a hypnotic or "sleep medicine." It works by helping to increase certain natural chemicals in the brain that cause sleep.

Do NOT use Lunesta if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Lunesta

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: Need To Catch Some Shut-Eye? Tips on Getting the Sleep You Need

Before using Lunesta:

Some medical conditions may interact with Lunesta. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have or have had a history of depression or other mental or mood disorders, or if you have a history of suicidal thoughts or behavior
  • if you have a history of alcohol, drug, or other substance abuse or dependence
  • if you are very ill or have poor health, or you have a history of lung or breathing problems or liver problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Lunesta. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Lorazepam or rifamycins (eg, rifampin) because they may decrease Lunesta's effectiveness
  • Azole antifungals (eg, itraconazole, ketoconazole), HIV protease inhibitors (eg, nelfinavir, ritonavir), macrolide antibiotics (eg, clarithromycin, erythromycin), nefazodone, olanzapine, perampanel, or telithromycin because they may increase the risk of Lunesta's side effects
  • Antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline), antihistamines (eg, chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine), medicines for mental or mood disorders (eg, haloperidol, thioridazine), or medicines for seizures (eg, carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin) because the risk of their side effects, including drowsiness and decreased coordination, may be increased by Lunesta

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Lunesta may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Lunesta:

Use Lunesta as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Lunesta comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get Lunesta refilled.
  • Take Lunesta by mouth. Do not take Lunesta with, or immediately after, a high-fat, heavy meal.
  • Lunesta works very quickly. Only take it immediately before or just after going to bed. This will help to decrease the risk of falling and other side effects.
  • If you miss a dose of Lunesta and you are taking 1 dose daily at bedtime, skip the missed dose. Do not take the dose in the morning or take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Lunesta.

Important safety information:

  • Lunesta may cause drowsiness or dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Lunesta with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you feel fully awake.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are taking Lunesta.
  • Check with your doctor before you use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Lunesta; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or take for longer than prescribed without checking with your doctor.
  • When you first start taking Lunesta, it may have a "carryover" effect on you the next day. Use extreme care while doing anything that requires complete alertness (eg, driving a car).
  • Lunesta may cause a special type of memory loss or amnesia. To avoid memory problems, be sure to use Lunesta only when you are able to get a full night's sleep (8 hours) before you need to be active again. Be sure to talk with your health care provider if you think you are having memory problems.
  • Some patients taking Lunesta have performed certain activities while they were not fully awake. These have included sleep-driving, making and eating food, making phone calls, and having sex. Patients often do not remember these events after they happen. Such an event may be more likely to occur if you use a high dose of Lunesta. It may also be more likely if you drink alcohol or take other medicines that may cause drowsiness while you use Lunesta. Tell your doctor right away if such an event happens to you.
  • If your symptoms do not get better within 7 to 10 days or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
  • When you stop taking Lunesta, you may notice some trouble sleeping the first few nights after the medicine is stopped. This usually goes away after 1 or 2 nights.
  • If you or your family notice any changes in your behavior (eg, more outgoing or aggressive behavior than normal, confusion, strange behavior, agitation), or if you have any unusual or disturbing thoughts, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Use Lunesta with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Lunesta should not be used in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Lunesta while you are pregnant. It is not known if Lunesta is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Lunesta, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

When sleep medicines are used every night for more than a few weeks, they may lose their effectiveness to help you sleep. This is known as TOLERANCE. Sleep medicines should usually be used only for short periods of time, such as a few days and generally no longer than 1 or 2 weeks. If your sleep problems continue, contact your doctor.

When used for longer than a few weeks or at high doses, some people develop a need to continue taking Lunesta. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction.

If you stop taking Lunesta suddenly, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. This may include unpleasant feelings. In more severe cases, you may have anxiety, abnormal dreams, nausea, or stomach upset.

Possible side effects of Lunesta:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Anxiety; common cold symptoms; decrease in sexual desire; difficulty with coordination; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; indigestion; light-headedness; nervousness; unpleasant taste.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); breast enlargement; chest pain; confusion; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; hallucinations; increased or painful urination; memory problems (such as amnesia); mental, mood, or behavior changes (eg, aggression, agitation, depression); painful menstrual periods; painful or burning sensation; severe headache; sudden or severe nausea or vomiting; suicidal thoughts or behaviors; swelling of hands or feet; unusual or disturbing thoughts.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include loss of consciousness; severe drowsiness.

Proper storage of Lunesta:

Store Lunesta at room temperature, between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Lunesta out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Lunesta, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Lunesta is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Lunesta or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Lunesta. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Lunesta. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Lunesta.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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