there is a lot of talk which drug is safer long term ambien or lunesta.what is your opion on lunesta vs ambien long there any central nervous damage long term

Lunesta (eszopiclone) can infrequently cause temporary short-term memory loss. To lessen the chance of this, do not take this drug unless you have time for a full night's sleep of at least 7 to 8 hours. If you have to wake up before that, you may have some memory loss. If a person does not sleep immediately after taking eszopiclone or if they get up shortly after taking the medication they may experience dizziness, lightheadedness, hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that are not there), as well as problems with coordination and memory. Long-term use of Lunesta may spur unconscious activities. The activity may happen while you are not fully awake with unknown consequences and no memory of the activity once fully awake. Long-term use and using more than the recommended dosage can also cause withdrawal side effects when stopping the medication suddenly can cause side effects including changes in mood and behavior, stomach cramps, nausea, sweating and trembling.Taking Lunesta for longer than the usually prescribed 7 to 10 days can lead to a rebound effect when you may have more difficulty sleeping when you stop taking Lunesta than you did before beginning treatment. The drug may also lose effectiveness as you build up a tolerance to its sleep-inducing effect over long term use.

Abnormal thinking and behavior changes have been reported in patients treated with sedative/hypnotics, including Ambien (Zolpidem). Some of these changes included decreased inhibition (e.g., aggressiveness and extroversion that seemed out of character), bizarre behavior, agitation and depersonalization. Visual and auditory hallucinations have been reported.

In a clinical trial comparing short-term treatment by the two, the incidence of central nervous system adverse events was 23.4% for zolpidem 10 mg, 6.2% to 12.5% for the eszopiclone doses, and 7.9% for placebo. No long-term studies are reported comparing the 2 drugs, so no specific recommendation can be made.


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Dr Mohd Tariq Salman


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