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All about: Lunesta

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Generic Name: Eszopiclone (es-zoe-PIK-lone)
Brand Name: Lunesta

Lunesta is used for:

Treating sleeping problems with symptoms such as difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep during the night, and or waking up too early in the morning.

Lunesta is a hypnotic or "sleep medicine." It works by helping to increase certain natural chemicals in acting on certain parts of the brain that cause to help you sleep better.

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.

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, plan 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 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 abuse or dependency on alcohol, a prescription medicine, or other substances
  • if you have a history of 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 rifampicin because they may decrease Lunesta 's effectiveness
  • Certain antibiotics (eg, clarithromycin, troleandomycin), antifungal medicines (eg, ketoconazole, itraconazole), medicines for HIV infection (eg, nelfinavir, ritonavir), nefazodone, or olanzapine because they may increase the risk of Lunesta 's side effects
  • Antidepressants (eg, amitriptyline), antihistamines (eg, diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine), medicine for mental or mood disorders (eg, thioridazine, haloperidol), or medicines for seizures (eg, phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital) because the risk of their side effects, including drowsiness and incoordination, 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.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with Lunesta . Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Do not take Lunesta with or immediately after a high-fat, heavy meal.
  • Swallow Lunesta whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing unless your doctor tells you to.
  • Lunesta works very quickly. Only take it immediately before or just after going to bed to decrease of 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 know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol or 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 (7 to 8 hours) before you need to be active again. Be sure to talk to your health care provider if you think you are having memory problems.
  • When you stop taking Lunesta , you may notice some trouble sleeping the first few nights after the medicine is stopped. This usually goes away on its own 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: Lunesta may cause harm to the fetus. If you think you may be 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 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 stomach and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, and shakiness. Seizures may rarely occur. If you take Lunesta for more than 1 to 2 weeks, do not stop taking it without talking to your doctor.

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; decrease in sexual desire; difficulty with coordination; dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth; headache; indigestion; lightheadedness; nausea; nervousness; unpleasant taste; vomiting.

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); aggressive behavior; breast growth; chest pain; confusion; depression; hallucinations; memory problems (such as amnesia); painful menstrual periods; seizures; severe mood swings; suicidal thoughts; swelling of hands or feet; symptoms of infection (eg, fever, sore throat, and sinus or chest congestion); unusual or disturbing thoughts.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

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

Proper storage of Lunesta :

Store Lunesta at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. 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.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Lunesta . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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