IMOVANE 7.5 mg1*20 COMPRIME (Zopiclone)
Zopiclone sold as Imovane and Zimovane in Europe, and as the eszopiclone analogue Lunesta in
North America , is a novel hypnotic agent used in the treatment of insomnia. Zopiclone is also available worldwide under various other trade names. It was first developed by Sepracor and introduced in 1988 by
Rhône-Poulenc S.A. , now part of Sanofi-Aventis, the main worldwide manufacturer of the drug. Zopiclone is a controlled substance in the United States,
Canada and some European countries and may be illegal to possess without a prescription.
While it acts on the BZ¹ receptor and is a short-acting hypnotic agent, it is not a benzodiazepine (with which it shares a number of characteristics and effects), but a cyclopyrrolone derivative, belonging to a novel chemical class which is structurally unrelated to existing hypnotics.
On April 4, 2005, the United States DEA listed zopiclone under Schedule IV, due to some evidence that the drug has addictive properties similar to benzodiazepines.
Zopiclone, as traditionally sold worldwide, is a racemic mixture of two stereoisomers, only one of which is active. In 2005, the pharmaceutical company Sepracor, of Marlborough, Massachusetts, began marketing the active stereoisomer eszopiclone under the name Lunesta in the
United States . This had the consequence of placing what is a generic drug in most of the world under patent control in the
United States , although in that country, it is expected to be available in generic form by the year 2010. It is already available off-patent in a number of European countries as well as
Brazil . The eszopiclone/zopiclone difference is in the dosage—the strongest eszopiclone derivative dosage contains 3mg of the therapeutic stereoisomer, whereas, the highest zopiclone dosage (7.5mg) contains 3.75mg of the active stereoisomer. The two agents have not been studied via head-to-head clinical trials to determine if any clinical differences exist (e.g., efficacy, side-effects, developing dependence on the drug, and safety, etc.).Zopiclone is known colloquially as a "Z drug", Other Z drugs include zaleplon (Sonata) and zolpidem (Ambien and AmbienCR) and were thought in initial studies to be less addictive and less habit forming than benzodiazepines. This appraisal has shifted somewhat in the last few years, as cases of addiction and habituation have been presented. It is recommended that zopiclone is taken on a "when required" basis, and daily or continuous use of the drug is not usually advised.