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.

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.

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.

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

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

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


Very common (10% or more): Unpleasant taste (up to 34%)
Common (1% to 10%): Viral infection (3%)
Frequency not reported: Lymphadenopathy, ear pain, otitis externa, otitis media, tinnitus, vestibular disorder, and hyperacusis have been reported infrequently
Postmarketing reports: Dysosmia

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects including headache (up to 21%), somnolence (up to 10%), dizziness (up to 7%), nervousness (up to 5%), depression (up to 4%), anxiety (up to 3%), confusion (up to 3%), and hallucinations (up to 3%) have been reported. Headaches (up to 15%), dizziness (up to 6%), abnormal dreams (up to 3%), neuralgia (up to 3%), and nervousness (up to 2%) have been reported in patients 65 years of age and older. Agitation, apathy, emotional lability, hostility, hypertonia, hypesthesia, incoordination, insomnia, memory impairment, neurosis, nystagmus, paresthesia, decreased reflexes, abnormal thinking (mainly difficulty concentrating), and vertigo have been reported infrequently. Abnormal gait, euphoria, hyperesthesia, hypokinesia, neuritis, neuropathy, stupor and tremor have been reported rarely.


Respiratory side effects including infection (up to 10%) have been reported. Asthma, bronchitis, dyspnea, epistaxis, hiccup, and laryngitis have been reported infrequently.


Gastrointestinal side effects including dry mouth (up to 7%), dyspepsia (up to 5%), nausea (up to 5%), and vomiting (up to 3%) have been reported. Dry mouth (up to 7%), dyspepsia (up to 6%), and diarrhea (up to 4%) have been reported in patients 65 years of age and older. Anorexia, cholelithiasis, increased appetite, melena, mouth ulceration, thirst, and ulcerative stomatitis have been reported infrequently. Colitis, dysphagia, gastritis, hepatitis, hepatomegaly, liver damage, stomach ulcer, stomatitis, tongue edema, and rectal hemorrhage have been reported rarely.


Dermatologic side effects including rash (up to 4%) have been reported. Pruritus (up to 4%) has been reported in patients 65 years of age and older. Acne, alopecia, contact dermatitis, dry skin, eczema, skin discoloration, sweating, and urticaria have been reported infrequently. Erythema multiforme, furunculosis, herpes zoster, hirsutism, maculopapular rash, and vesiculobullous rash have been reported rarely.


Genitourinary side effects including dysmenorrhea (up to 3%), gynecomastia (up to 3%), and decreased libido (up to 3%) have been reported. Urinary tract infections (up to 3%) have been reported in patients 65 years of age and older. Amenorrhea, breast engorgement, breast enlargement, breast neoplasm, breast pain, cystitis, dysuria, female lactation, hematuria, kidney calculus, kidney pain, mastitis, menorrhagia, metrorrhagia, urinary frequency, urinary incontinence, uterine hemorrhage, vaginal hemorrhage, and vaginitis have been reported infrequently. Oliguria, pyelonephritis, and urethritis have been reported rarely.


Oncologic side effects reported in animal studies have included an increase in mammary gland adenocarcinomas, pulmonary carcinomas, and carcinomas plus adenomas in females and an increase in thyroid gland follicular cell adenomas, carcinomas, skin fibromas, and sarcomas in males.

The increase in thyroid tumors in animal studies may be due to increased levels of TSH secondary to increased metabolism of circulating thyroid hormones, a mechanism that is not considered to be relevant to humans. The skin tumors were due to skin lesions induced by aggressive behavior in the animal population studies. This mechanism is also not considered to be relevant to humans.


General side effects including pain (up to 5%) and accidental injury (up to 3%) have been reported in patients 65 years of age and older. Chest pain was reported frequently. Cellulitis, facial edema, fever, halitosis, heat stroke, hernia, malaise, neck rigidity, and photosensitivity have been reported infrequently.


Hypersensitivity side effects including allergic reaction have been reported infrequently. Rare cases of angioedema involving the tongue, glottis or larynx have been reported in patients after taking the first or subsequent doses of sedative-hypnotics, including eszopiclone (the active ingredient contained in Lunesta) Some patients have had additional symptoms such as dyspnea, throat closing, or nausea and vomiting that suggest anaphylaxis.

Some patients have required medical therapy in the emergency department. 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.


Cardiovascular side effects have frequently included migraine. Hypertension has been reported infrequently. Thrombophlebitis has been reported rarely.


Hematologic side effects including anemia have been reported infrequently.


Metabolic side effects including peripheral edema have been reported frequently. Hypercholesterolemia, weight gain, and weight loss have been reported infrequently. Dehydration, gout, hyperlipemia, and hypokalemia have been reported rarely.


Musculoskeletal side effects including arthritis, bursitis, joint disorder (mainly swelling, stiffness, and pain), leg cramps, myasthenia, and twitching have been reported infrequently. Arthrosis, myopathy, and ptosis have been reported rarely.


Ocular side effects including conjunctivitis and dry eyes have been reported infrequently. Iritis, mydriasis, and photophobia have been reported rarely.

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