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Lunesta Side Effects

Generic Name: eszopiclone

Note: This page contains information about the side effects of eszopiclone. Some of the dosage forms included on this document may not apply to the brand name Lunesta.

In Summary

Common side effects of Lunesta include: infection, drowsiness, and unpleasant taste. Other side effects include: nausea, dizziness, and xerostomia. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

For the Consumer

Applies to eszopiclone: oral tablet

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by eszopiclone (the active ingredient contained in Lunesta). In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

Severity: Moderate

If any of the following side effects occur while taking eszopiclone, check with your doctor or nurse as soon as possible:

More common:
  • confusion—more common in older adults
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness—more common in older adults
  • daytime anxiety and/or restlessness
  • difficulty with coordination—more common in older adults
  • mood or mental changes
Less common:
  • Drowsiness (severe)
  • shortness of breath
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • tightness in chest
  • wheezing
  • skin rash
  • aggressiveness
  • behavior changes
  • Memory problems—more common in older patients
  • behavior or mental changes
Symptoms of overdose:

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking eszopiclone, get emergency help immediately:

  • Clumsiness
  • unsteadiness
  • mental or mood changes
  • drowsiness (severe)
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • sluggishness
  • reduced physical activity
  • unusual sleepiness
  • loss of consciousness

Severity: Minor

Some of the side effects that can occur with eszopiclone may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

More common:
  • Dizziness
  • Dryness of mouth
  • heartburn
  • impaired vision
  • increased appetite
  • indigestion
  • loss of appetite—more common in older adults
  • stomach upset
  • difficulty speaking
  • constipation
  • decreased muscle tone
  • weight loss
Less common:
  • Agitation—more common in older adults
  • chills
  • fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat—more common in older adults
  • feeling of heaviness of arms and legs
  • increase in the amount of saliva—more common in older adults
  • increased sweating—more common in older adults
  • tingling, burning or prickly sensation
  • trembling and shaking of fingers, hands, arms, feet, or legs—more common in older adults
  • vomiting—more common in older adults

Side Effects: Post Treatment

After you stop taking this drug, it is possible that you may still experience side effects that need medical attention. If you notice any of the following side effects check with your doctor immediately:

  • Abdominal or stomach cramps or pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • more difficulty in sleeping than before treatment
  • muscle cramps or discomfort
  • anxiety
  • nervousness
  • irritability
  • restlessness
  • increased sweating
  • tremors
  • seizures

Zopiclone may cause you to have a coated tongue, bad breath, or a bitter taste. These effects are to be expected when you are taking this medicine.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to eszopiclone: oral tablet

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache
Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, migraine, somnolence
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Ataxia, decreased reflexes, hypesthesia, hypertonia, incoordination, memory impairment, neurosis, nystagmus, paresthesia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Abnormal gait, hyperesthesia, hypokinesia, neuritis, neuropathy, stupor, tremor
Postmarketing reports: Dysosmia[Ref]

A dose-response relationship appears to exist for the side effects of dizziness and unpleasant taste. In patients aged 65 years or older, headache and unpleasant taste have been very commonly reported and dizziness, nervousness, and neuralgia have been commonly reported. Somnolence has also been reported in this patient population.[Ref]


A dose-response relationship appears to exist for the side effect of hallucinations. Abnormal dreams have been a commonly reported side effect in patients aged 65 years or older.[Ref]

Common (1% to 10%): Anxiety, confusion, depression, hallucinations, nervousness
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abnormal thinking (mainly difficulty concentrating), agitation, apathy, emotional lability, hostility, insomnia
Rare (less than 0.1%): Euphoria
Frequency not reported: Abnormal dreams[Ref]


Rare cases of angioedema involving the tongue, glottis, or larynx have been reported in patients after taking the first or subsequent does of eszopiclone (the active ingredient contained in Lunesta) and that required medical therapy in the emergency department. Some patients have had additional symptoms such as dyspnea, throat closing, or nausea and vomiting that suggest anaphylaxis. If angioedema involves the tongue, glottis or larynx, airway obstruction may occur and be fatal. Patients who develop angioedema after treatment with eszopiclone should not be rechallenged with the drug.[Ref]

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Allergic reaction, photosensitivity[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Peripheral edema
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Hypertension
Rare (less than 0.1%): Thrombophlebitis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Rash
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Acne, alopecia, cellulitis, contact dermatitis, dry skin, eczema, skin discoloration, sweating, urticaria
Rare (less than 0.1%): Erythema multiforme, furunculosis, hirsutism, maculopapular rash, vesiculobullous rash
Frequency not reported: Angioedema[Ref]

A dose-response relationship appears to exist for the side effect of rash. Pruritus has been commonly reported in patients aged 65 years or older; rash has also been reported.[Ref]


A dose-response relationship appears to exist for the side effect of dry mouth. In patients aged 65 years of age or older diarrhea, dry mouth, and dyspepsia have been commonly reported. Abdominal pain and nausea have also been reported in these patients.[Ref]

Very common (10% or more): Unpleasant taste
Common (1% to 10%): Dry mouth, dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Cholelithiasis, halitosis, melena, mouth ulceration, thirst, ulcerative stomatitis
Rare (less than 0.1%): Colitis, dysphagia, gastritis, rectal hemorrhage, stomach ulcer, stomatitis, tongue edema
Frequency not reported: Diarrhea[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Dysmenorrhea, gynecomastia, decreased libido
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Amenorrhea, breast engorgement, breast enlargement, breast neoplasm, breast pain, cystitis, dysuria, female lactation, hematuria, kidney calculus, kidney pain, mastitis, menorrhagia, metrorrhagia, urinary frequency, uterine hemorrhage, urinary incontinence, vaginal hemorrhage, vaginitis
Rare (less than 0.1%): Oliguria, pyelonephritis, urethritis[Ref]

Urinary tract infection has been commonly reported in patients aged 65 years or older.[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anemia, lymphadenopathy[Ref]


Rare (less than 0.1%): Hepatitis, hepatomegaly, liver damage[Ref]


A dose-response relationship appears to exist for the side effect of viral infection.[Ref]

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Viral infection
Rare (less than 0.1%): Herpes zoster
Frequency not reported: Flu syndrome[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Anorexia, hypercholesterolemia, increased appetite, weight gain, weight loss
Rare (less than 0.1%): Dehydration, gout, hyperlipemia, hypokalemia[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Arthritis, bursitis, joint disorder (mainly swelling, stiffness, and pain), leg cramps, myasthenia, neck rigidity, twitching
Rare (less than 0.1%): Arthrosis, myopathy
Frequency not reported: Back pain, myalgia[Ref]


Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Conjunctivitis, dry eyes
Rare (less than 0.1%): Iritis, mydriasis, photophobia, ptosis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Chest pain
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Ear pain, face edema, fever, heat stroke, hernia, malaise, otitis externa, otitis media, tinnitus, vertigo, vestibular disorder
Rare (less than 0.1%): Hyperacusis
Frequency not reported: Accidental injury, pain[Ref]

In patients aged 65 years or older, pain and accidental injury have been commonly reported. Asthenia has also been reported in these patients.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Respiratory infection
Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Asthma, bronchitis, dyspnea, epistaxis, hiccup, laryngitis
Frequency not reported: Pharyngitis, rhinitis[Ref]


1. "Product Information. Lunesta (eszopiclone)." Sepracor Inc, Marlborough, MA.

Not all side effects for Lunesta may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

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