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What Is Lunesta?
Lunesta is a brand name for Eszopiclone, one of 3 primary drugs used to treat moderate to severe insomnia. Because Ambien has received so much bad press as of late due to the many lawsuits against it, Lunesta may seem like a safer option. This is why it is important to know that many of the same things people fear happening while on Ambien are also possible on Lunesta.
Similar to Ambien, doctors warn that taking Lunesta improperly can lead to periods of amnesia. It should not be used if someone is unable to go to bed immediately after taking it or dedicate 7 – 8 hours to sleep. Lunesta, and sleeping pills in general, start working immediately by speeding up the onset of sleep. This means that someone who takes it will begin to fall asleep immediately, rather than lying awake in bed. Generally, people have issues with sleeping pills when they are unable to commit to these 2 directions and are under the influence of the medication during waking hours.
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Effects of Lunesta
Lunesta works by binding to the brain’s GABA receptors. This calms the brain down and allows the person to fall asleep. Because of this reaction, it takes effect instantly. While some natural remedies for Insomnia are better taken before someone is ready to sleep, Lunesta and other medications are not.
Taking it during waking hours can lead to:
- Short-term memory impairment
- Impaired coordination
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
In some cases, people who take Lunesta will take part in activities they have no memory of, like driving, eating, making phone calls, and much more. While these symptoms are partially preventable, some reactions are unpredictable. The moment someone notices lapses in memory, allergic reactions, or any symptoms above, they should contact the prescribing doctor immediately. If someone doesn’t take it as directed, they are more likely to experience dangerous side effects or become addicted.
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Typically, the clearest sign of Lunesta abuse is using the drug during waking hours. Fighting against the effects of the drug can make a person feel the negative side effects that physicians will warn people about, especially lightheadedness and hallucinations. People, particularly those who are suffering from addiction, will also start taking more than their prescribed dose when they notice the effects are not as strong as they once were. However, some may notice that, even when taking the medication as prescribed, they don’t feel the effects as strongly over time. In cases like these, they may be tempted to increase their dose. This is the first sign of tolerance and a budding dependency. At this point, it is important to maintain regular doses and see a doctor. This can stop an addiction at the beginning before it takes hold.
33% of Americans will or have dealt with mild Insomnia.
10% of Americans suffer from chronic Insomnia.
In 2013, 9 million Americans used sleeping pills.
When coming off Lunesta, it is recommended to not stop usage completely, or “quit cold turkey.” Instead, let a doctor decrease the dose over time; a process known as tapering off. This is because Lunesta, along with sleeping pills in general, are highly addictive. Despite being labeled “low risk for addiction” by the DEA, they should not be taken lightly. Even taking the drug as directed by a doctor can mean possibly developing a dependency. Tragically, addiction tends to carry a connotation of weakness when that is not the case. As someone takes medication of any kind, a tolerance will build. This is the first step toward addiction and a natural, biological response when using medication. Because of the stigma of addiction, however, people are afraid to come forward. This fear of coming to light is what can turn a budding dependency into an addiction.
Treatment for Lunesta Addiction
If you believe that you or someone you love may have developed an addiction, even from using the medication as directed by a doctor, don’t be ashamed. Addiction is a disease and not a moral failing, don’t let outdated stigma keep you from getting help. Rather, take your first steps towards sobriety and reach out to a dedicated treatment provider. They’re here to help you get to the root of the issue and figure out the next steps towards recovery.
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