Lunesta Fact Sheet
Sepracor; patent expires 2012.
Indicated for both sleep initiation and sleep maintenance. Indicated for both short-term and chronic insomnia.
Lunesta is the purified S-enantiomer of zopiclone, which is a non-benzodiazepine approved for treating insomnia in 80 countries. Binds to the GABA-benzodiazepine receptor complex, like benzodiazepines, but is more selective for the omega-1 receptor subtype than BZs.
Supplied as 1 mg light blue, 2 mg white, and 3 mg dark blue tablets.
- Start at 1 mg QHS for elderly, 2-3 mg QHS otherwise.
- No higher than 1 mg in hepatic impairment.
Most common: An unpleasant taste, and somnolence.
- Even though it has a long half life, studies have shown little in the way of cognitive impairment even 6 hours after dosing.
- Classified as a Schedule IV drug, but abuse potential is likely somewhat less than benzodiazepines.
- Pregnancy Category C
Substrate of 3A4, blood level doubled by ketoconazole.
- Lunesta does not affect any liver enzymes
- A high fat meal delays absorption by an hour
Half life is about 6 hours, 9 hours in the elderly.
One of the few hypnotics FDA approved for long-term use, although it’s likely that all the other non-benzodiazepines are equally safe used chronically.
Earn CME Credit Instantly!
Not quite ready for a one-year subscription to The Carlat Psychiatry Report? Need CME credits on a particular topic or on a tight deadline?
Try our A la Carte CME! You can buy single or multiple credits of continuing education, without committing to a year-long newsletter subscription.
Already an A la Carte subscriber? Click here to go to your a la carte page
Steve Balt Interviewed by NPR
Our own Steve Balt was interviewed on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" on psychiatry's shift toward drugs and away from talk therapy.
After 10 years at the helm of TCPR, Dr. Carlat has handed over editor-in-chief duties to Dr. Steve Balt. We’re excited to welcome him aboard! Read More...