Zopiclone is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs called hypnotics. It is used to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders by inducing sleep and reducing the number of awakenings during the night. Zopiclone works by affecting the activity of certain chemicals in the brain that regulate sleep and wakefulness.
However, zopiclone is not suitable for everyone and may cause some side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth, metallic taste, headache, nausea, dizziness, and memory problems. One of the most concerning side effects of zopiclone is memory loss, which can affect both short-term and long-term memory. Memory loss can impair your ability to recall events, facts, names, faces, and other information that you need for your daily life and activities.
Memory loss can occur due to various reasons such as aging, stress, trauma, disease, medication, and substance abuse. Zopiclone can cause memory loss by interfering with the formation and consolidation of memories during sleep. Sleep is essential for memory processing and consolidation, which is the process of transferring information from short-term to long-term memory. Zopiclone can disrupt this process by altering the quality and quantity of sleep stages, especially the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep stage, which is associated with dreaming and memory consolidation.
Zopiclone can also cause memory loss by inducing anterograde amnesia, which is the inability to form new memories after taking the medication. This can result in forgetting what you did or said while under the influence of zopiclone or having no recollection of events that occurred after taking the medication. Anterograde amnesia can be dangerous and embarrassing, as it can lead to accidents, injuries, mistakes, conflicts, and legal problems.
The risk of memory loss due to zopiclone depends on several factors such as the dose, duration, frequency, and timing of use; the individual’s age, health condition, metabolism, and genetic factors; and the use of other drugs or alcohol along with zopiclone. The risk of memory loss is higher if you take zopiclone in high doses or for a long time or if you take it before or during activities that require alertness and concentration such as driving, working, studying, or socializing. The risk of memory loss is also higher if you are older than 65 years old or if you have a history of memory problems or cognitive impairment.
To reduce the risk of memory loss due to zopiclone, you should follow these tips:
- Use zopiclone only as prescribed by your doctor and for a short period of time (usually no longer than four weeks).
- Take zopiclone only when you are ready to go to bed and have at least seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.
- Do not take zopiclone if you have consumed alcohol or other drugs that can affect your memory or cognition.
- Do not take zopiclone if you need to perform tasks that require alertness and concentration such as driving, working, studying, or socializing.
- Do not take more than the recommended dose of zopiclone or combine it with other hypnotics or sedatives.
- Do not stop taking zopiclone abruptly or without consulting your doctor, as this can cause withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, tremors, and seizures.
- Inform your doctor if you experience any memory problems or other side effects while taking zopiclone.
- Keep a record of when you take zopiclone and what you do after taking it, so you can track your memory function and identify any gaps or inconsistencies.
Zopiclone can be an effective medication for treating insomnia and other sleep disorders, but it can also cause memory loss that can affect your quality of life and well-being. Therefore, you should use zopiclone with caution and under medical supervision.
You should also explore other natural alternatives to zopiclone that can help you improve your sleep quality and quantity without the risk of addiction or adverse effects.