Lunesta For 10 Years

Mark Says:

I've been on lunesta for 10 years straight. I have to take at least half of a 3 mg pill every night or no sleep. If there are any side effects, I am not aware of them. Anyone else been on the pill that long?

9 Replies

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Verwon Says:

Hello, Mark! How are you? I am glad this medication is working so well for you, without causing side effects.

Some of its typical ones, according to the FDA, may possibly include nausea, dizziness, next day hangover-like effects, and funny taste in mouth.

Can anyone that's been on it long term chime in with their experiences?

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Mark Says:

Yes, please do. Any feedback is welcome.

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Keniek63 Says:


Hi, I can speak to more than a handful of clients currently being treated at our facility that developed a tolerance to this benzo like substance which lunesta is categorized as. Although not a traditional benzodiazepine it produces many of the same effects. This class was never intended for continual or long term use (despite propaganda once preferred by big pharma). It seems to me as you are suffering from rebound insomnia and your inability to sleep without the administration of this agent is the result. Truth be told pharmaceutically induced sleep differs from the restorative sleep needed to function at optimal levels. Sleep hygiene is something very few Americans are able to achieve because of environmental factors too numerous to list. Suffice it to say only a qualified practitioner in conjunction with patient input can develop a risk to benefit ratio of using this medication on a long term basis (4 months or greater is considered long term). I am by no means a physician and can only suggest you consult with one to best address your specific needs. In closing, a friend once dependent on lunesta at high doses for several years finally managed to wean off but insomnia persisted for over 6 months at times surviving on as little as 2 hours nightly until his body adjusted to this drastic chemical change. Hope that helped a bit.

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sinatx13 Says:

Mark - I have been taking Zopiclone for 14 years, with no problem. Then again, I was abroad, where zopiclone (generic Imovane) was available and there wasn't such an issue with long-term use (not a controlled substance overseas.). (I once met a doctor's mother in an airport a few years ago, and she'd been taking a nightly dose of zopiclone since 1990!) For me, strangely, I sleep better and faster on 1/2 a dose (taken just before I turn off the lights), rather than a whole dose, tho sometimes I increase to 3/4 dose - leaving the 1/4 in case I wake up. (Normal zopiclone dose is 7.5mg: Normal eszopiclone dose 3mg). Everybody is different. I've never had the usual amnesia or hangover that one gets with other sleeping meds. Never. Nor have I ever had dizziness or nausea. As far as dependence, I've periodically stopped zopiclone for a few weeks, and have never noticed any withdrawal symptoms, other than the normal "didn't sleep as well" for a few nights. My psychiatrist and doctors abroad has always told me that taking zopiclone long-term is fine. (Not talking abuse here, or high doses.) Yes, the tablets cause a "taste" in your mouth, especially if you don't swallow the pill right away. After a while, you get used to the taste. (I've never had the taste remain until the morning.) But... that was zopiclone, but we are in the USA now and talking eszopiclone. Upon returning to the States, I started taking Eszopiclone (generic Lunesta). There is a marked difference between Zopiclone (Imovane) and Eszopiclone (Lunesta). (Eszopiclone/Lunesta has only the "active" part, the stereoisomer, of zopiclone/Imovane, so it is supposed to be more effective/safe, according to FDA.) That said, I don't sleep nearly as well, or as quickly, on eszopiclone, no matter what the dose (.5mg - 3mg) and the Lunesta (or generic) always gives me horrible dreams. I have a theory that eszopiclone (Lunesta) acts more like a benzodiazepine (which have always given me bad dreams) BECAUSE the inactive stereoisomer has been removed. But I'm not a chemist, and "surely" the FDA knew what they were doing. (Hmmm.) I've only been on eszopiclone/Lunesta for a few months, so my thoughts on the medication may change. To add context: I take Vyvanse and Levothyroxine, plus a non-FDA-approved SSRE (from France); plus, very occasionally, diazepam and/or carisoprodol (meaning when medically necessary - averaging about 10 doses in an entire year total).

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JF Says:

I've used 3 mg long term. Over 10 years now. No issues and it always works. Despite what another poster listed, the FDA does sanction this med for long term use. Google it. It is not at all constructed like ambien style meds. It works completely differently. It's amazing that many doctors don't drill down and understand the difference, but equate it with the ambien style meds. It's a life saver and now with the generic version available - it's affordable as well.

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Mark Says:

Re: sinatx13 (# 4) Expand Referenced Message

Thanks for Sharing! I'm 61 and hope to retire in the next couple of years. Maybe then I can try to stop.

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Alice Says:

I just saw this post. I've been on it for about 12 years but I don't take one every night. I mostly use it if I want to go to sleep early because I have to get up early, or I'm on vacation, or I just haven't had a good night's sleep in a few days. The only problem I've had is when I've taken it several days in a row AND I still did not go to bed early enough to get enough sleep. I felt light headed and groggy. But if I only use it 2-3 times a week (or less) it is fine. I take it because I have shoulder pain on top of insomnia and am very sensitive to noise. Not a good combo for getting a good night's sleep. I would love to not need it but I accept that I do. I also take 1 mg. melatonin some nights which also works well, but too much if that makes me irritable so I use it sparingly as well.

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Sheri Says:

I have been on this since 2007 after a hysterectomy. I was told back then it was the only one approved for long term use. If I forget to take it like tonight I am wide awake. I took it about an hour ago and am now about ready to go to sleep. I have learnt to let it dissolve under y tongue so as not to interfere with my stomach contents. No side affects at all. The best generic of them is Teva. Its the only one I can take. I miss the name brand!

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Judy Says:

On & off, I cut a 3 my lunesta in half and haven’t had a side effect. Just about 6 hours of sleep.

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