Combining zopiclone and alcohol can have a potentially life-threatening or permanently damaging reaction if combined in sufficient quantities. Zopiclone decreases patients’ tolerance to alcohol and thereby increases toxicity. The combination can also increase the central nervous system-depressing qualities of zopiclone. Studies have confirmed that combining zopiclone with alcohol can result in reduced psychomotor and cognitive function.
All medical information states that combining zopiclone and alcohol isn’t advised. The most likely result of this combination is an increased sedative effect, meaning that the patient will fall asleep more quickly. Both drugs have inherent toxicity and require work by the liver and kidneys to break them down. The combination of the two substances works to increase the level of toxicity, and therefore increases the risk of lasting damage. Taking zopiclone reduces a patient's tolerance to alcohol and can increase the risk of adverse reactions such as vomiting and dizziness.
Zopiclone is a hypnotic sedative medication, which is used for patients suffering from insomnia. It works by depressing the central nervous system, thus causing a relaxed state which leads to sleep. The aim of the medicine is to help patients get to sleep more quickly and stay asleep for longer. Alcohol taken in sufficient qualities also has a sedative effect, which is why combining zopiclone and alcohol is contraindicated. Although alcohol has other effects as well, both drugs basically have the same effect on the nervous system, so combining them multiplies their potency.
Studies have confirmed the risks of combining zopiclone and alcohol. Patients’ psychomotor performance and cognitive function suffer from the combination. Psychomotor performance is the ability to perform simple motor tasks, such as the patient touching his or her own nose after outstretching an arm or walking in a straight line. Cognitive function is the ability to think clearly and make informed and rational decisions. This combination of effects means that driving while on zopiclone and alcohol is exceptionally dangerous.
Possible side effects of zopiclone include dizziness and light-headedness. These are common side effects experienced by just less than one in ten patients, along with other reactions such as nausea and headache. The most commonly reported side effect is a metallic or bitter taste in the mouth, which usually fades away after a few hours. Vision problems, memory loss, and general fatigue have also been associated with the drug. More serious side effects such as mood changes can also occur in some patients.