What is a Patient Information Leaflet and why is it useful?

The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from this version because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged.

Below is a text only representation of the Patient Information Leaflet, the original can be viewed in PDF format using the link above.

The text only version may be available from RNIB in large print, Braille or audio CD. For further information call RNIB Medicine Leaflet Line on 0800 198 5000. The product code(s) for this leaflet are: PL 00142/0434, PL 00142/0449.

Zopiclone Tablets 3.75mg, 7.5mg

Package leaflet: Information for the patient

Zopiclone 3.75mg and 7.5mg Tablets

Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine because it contains important information for you.

  • Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
  • If you have any further questions, ask your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.
  • This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.
  • If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.

What is in this leaflet:

1. What Zopiclone tablets are and what they are used for
2. What you need to know before you take Zopiclone tablets
3. How to take Zopiclone tablets
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Zopiclone tablets
6. Contents of the pack and other information

1. What Zopiclone tablets are and what they are used for

Zopiclone tablets are sleeping pills (hypnotics) which work by acting on the brain to cause sleepiness. They may be used for short term treatment of difficulties in falling asleep, waking up at night or early in the morning or difficulty in sleeping caused by events, situations or mental illness, which is severe, disabling or causing great distress.

2. What you need to know before you take Zopiclone tablets

Do not take Zopiclone tablets if you:

  • are allergic to zopiclone or any of the other ingredients in the tablet (see section 6). An allergic reaction may include a rash, itching, difficulty breathing or swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue.
  • have severe liver problems
  • suffer from breathing problems whilst sleeping (Sleep Apnoea Syndrome)
  • suffer from severe muscle weakness (myasthenia gravis)
  • have severe breathing problems
  • are under the age of 18. The safety and efficacy has not been established.

Warnings and precautions

Talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse before taking Zopiclone tablets if you:

  • have any kidney or liver problems
  • suffer from mild breathing problems
  • taken Zopiclone or other similar medicines for more than 4 weeks
  • have a history of mental illness
  • have or have ever had a history of, or tendency to alcohol or drug abuse or personality disorders. The risk of dependence to Zopiclone tablets (physical or mental effects produced by a compulsion to keep taking the medicine) increases in these patients, and with dose and length of treatment.

Other considerations

  • Habituation – if after a few weeks you notice that the tablets are not working as well as they did when first starting treatment, you should go and see your doctor as an adjustment to your dosage may be required.
  • Dependence – when taking this type of medicine there is a risk of dependence, which increases with dose and length of treatment. There is a greater risk in patients with a history of alcohol or drug abuse or personality disorders.
  • Withdrawal – treatment should be gradually withdrawn. A transient syndrome whereby the symptoms that led to treatment with Zopiclone tablets recur in an enhanced form, may occur on withdrawal. It may be accompanied by other reactions including mood changes, anxiety and restlessness.
  • Sleep walking and other associated behaviours such as “sleep driving”, sleep eating, with memory loss can occur if Zopiclone tablets are taken when not fully awake.
  • Amnesia – Zopiclone tablets can cause memory loss. To reduce this risk you should ensure that you are able to have a full night of uninterrupted sleep.

Before taking Zopiclone, it is important to make sure that you can have at least 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep to help reduce the risk of some side effects (see section 4 – Possible side effects).

Children and adolescents

Zopiclone tablets should not be used in children.

Other medicines and Zopiclone tablets

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking or have recently taken, or might take any other medicines.

Zopiclone tablets may influence the effect and/or side effects of other medicines. If you see another doctor or go into hospital, particularly if you are having an operation under anaesthesia, tell the doctor which medicines you use.

The following medicines may increase the sedating effect of Zopiclone tablets:

  • medicines to treat mental illness (antipsychotics)
  • medicines to treat depression
  • other sleeping pills
  • medicines to treat anxiety and other tranquillizers
  • narcotics (strong pain killers) e.g. codeine, morphine
  • medicines used to treat epilepsy
  • anaesthetics (used during surgery)
  • antihistamine medicines which cause sleepiness
  • medicines inhibiting liver enzymes e.g. cimetidine, allopurinol, propranolol. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which medicines have this effect.
  • erythromycin (an antibiotic to treat infections).

Zopiclone tablets with alcohol

Alcohol should not be consumed when taking Zopiclone tablets, as the sedating effect may be increased.

Pregnancy, breast-feeding and fertility

Zopiclone tablets should not be taken during pregnancy. If for urgent medical reasons, Zopiclone tablets are taken during late pregnancy or during labour the baby may have low body temperature or breathing difficulties and show withdrawal symptoms after birth because of physical dependence.

If you are planning to become pregnant or suspect you may already be pregnant, do not take Zopiclone tablets and contact your doctor as soon as possible for advice.

Zopiclone will appear in breast milk in small amounts, therefore breast-feeding mothers should not take this medicine.

If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine.

Driving and using machines

Like other medicines used for sleep problems, Zopiclone can cause slowing of your normal brain function (central nervous system depression). The risk of psychomotor impairment including driving ability is increased if:

  • You take Zopiclone within 12 hours of performing activities that require mental alertness
  • You take higher than the recommended dose of Zopiclone
  • You take Zopiclone while already taking another central nervous system depressant or another medicine that increases levels of Zopiclone in your blood, or while drinking alcohol.

Do not engage in hazardous activities requiring complete mental alertness such as driving or operating machinery after taking Zopiclone, and in particular during the 12 hours after taking your medicine.

For more information about possible side effects which could affect your driving see section 4 of this leaflet.

Zopiclone tablets contain lactose

If you have been told you have an intolerance to some sugars, tell your doctor or pharmacist before taking Zopiclone tablets as this medicine contains lactose.

3. How to take Zopiclone tablets

Always take Zopiclone tablets exactly as your doctor has told you. You should check with your doctor or pharmacist when you are not sure.

The tablet should be taken together with liquid immediately before going to bed.

The recommended dose is:

  • Adults: 7.5mg before going to bed.
  • Elderly: A lower dose of 3.75mg may be used initially. This dose may be increased to 7.5mg.
  • Patients with liver disease: Usually a lower dose of 3.75mg at night. Up to 7.5mg can be given.
  • Patients with kidney disease: Treatment should be started with a dose of 3.75mg.
  • Children: not recommended.

How long should you take Zopiclone tablets?

Treatment should be as short as possible. In general, it should not exceed 4 weeks including the withdrawal period. Your doctor will choose a withdrawal regime based on your individual needs.

If you take more Zopiclone tablets than you should

If you, (or someone else) swallow a lot of the tablets at the same time, or if you think a child has swallowed any of the tablets, contact your nearest hospital casualty department or your doctor immediately. Do not go unaccompanied to seek medical help. If an overdose has been taken, you may become increasingly drowsy very quickly, with high doses probably leading to a coma.

If you forget to take Zopiclone tablets

If you forget to take a tablet, take one as soon as you remember, unless it is nearly time to take the next one. Never take two doses together. Take the remaining doses at the correct time.

If you stop taking Zopiclone tablets

  • Treatment should be gradually withdrawn as the symptoms you are treated for will return more intensely than before (rebound insomnia), also anxiety, restlessness and mood changes may occur. These effects will disappear in time.
  • If you have become physically dependent to Zopiclone tablets, sudden withdrawal of treatment will lead to side effects such as headaches, muscle pain, extreme anxiety, tension, restlessness, confusion, irritability. In severe cases other effects may appear, such as hypersensitivity to light, noise and physical contact, abnormally acute hearing and painful sensitivity to sound, hallucinations, numbness and tingling of the extremities, derealisation (feeling the world around you is not real), depersonalisation (feeling your mind is becoming separated from your body) or epileptic seizures (violent fitting or shaking).

4. Possible side effects

Like all medicines, Zopiclone tablets can cause unwanted side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Stop taking Zopiclone and see a doctor or go to a hospital straight away if:

  • You have an allergic reaction. The signs may include: a rash, swallowing or breathing problems, swelling of your lips, face, throat or tongue.

Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you have any of the following side effects:

Rare (affects 1 to 10 users in 10,000)

  • Poor memory since taking Zopiclone (amnesia). By having 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep after taking Zopiclone, this is less likely to cause you a problem.
  • Seeing or hearing things that are not real (hallucinations)
  • Falling, especially in the elderly

Not known (frequency cannot be estimated from available data)

  • Thinking things that are not true (delusions)
  • Feeling low or sad (depressed mood)

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side effects get serious or lasts longer than a few days:

Common (affects 1 to 10 users in 100)

  • A mild bitter or metallic taste in your mouth or a dry mouth
  • Feeling drowsy or sleepy
  • Dry mouth

Uncommon (affects 1 to 10 users in 1,000)

  • Feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting)
  • Feeling dizzy or sleepy
  • Headache
  • Nightmares
  • Feeling physically or mentally tired
  • Agitation

Rare (affects 1 to 10 users in 10,000)

  • Feeling confused
  • Itchy, lumpy rash (urticaria)
  • Feeling irritable or aggressive
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Difficulty breathing or being short of breath

Not known (frequency cannot be estimated from available data)

  • Feeling restless or angry
  • Feeling light headed or having problems with your coordination
  • Double vision
  • Moving unsteadily or staggering
  • Muscular weakness
  • Indigestion
  • Becoming dependent on Zopiclone
  • Slower breathing (respiratory depression)
  • Unusual skin sensations such as numbness, tingling, pricking, burning or creeping on the skin (paraesthesia)
  • Mental problems such as poor memory
  • Difficulty paying attention, drowsiness
  • Disrupted normal speech

Sleep-Driving and other strange behaviour

There have been some reports of people doing things while asleep that they do not remember when waking up after taking a sleep medicine. This includes sleep-driving and sleep walking. Alcohol and some medicines for depression or anxiety can increase the chance that this serious effect will happen.

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard

By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

5. How to store Zopiclone tablets

Keep out of the sight and reach of children.

Store below 25°C in a dry place and protected from light.

Do not use Zopiclone after the expiry date which is stated on the product packaging. The expiry date refers to the last day of that month.

Do not throw away medicines via wastewater or household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to dispose of medicines you no longer use. These measures will help protect the environment.

6. Contents of the pack and other information

What Zopiclone tablets contain

  • The active substance (the ingredient that makes the medicine work) is zopiclone. Each tablet contains either 3.75mg or 7.5mg of the active ingredient.
  • The tablets also contain lactose monohydrate, calcium hydrogen phosphate, maize starch, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate, hypromellose and titanium dioxide. The 3.75mg tablets also contain iron oxide yellow, iron oxide red and macrogol.

Contents of the pack

Pack size: 28

Marketing authorisation holder

EX32 8NS


EX32 8NS

Synthon Hispania SL
C/ Castelló
1- Poligono Las Salinas
08830 SanBoi De Llobraegat

This leaflet was last revised in January 2016

EX32 8NS

50917175 BBBA0382