Lunesta And Alcohol & Other Dangerous Interactions

Last Updated: May 26, 2024

Ahmed Zayed, MD Authored by Dr. Ahmed Zayed
0 sources cited

Eszopiclone, under the brand name Lunesta, is under the drug class sedative-hypnotic medications, and its main use is for the treatment of insomnia and other sleeping disorders. Generally, Eszopiclone acts as a sleeping medication that primarily affects a patient’s central nervous system by lowering the neurotransmission levels in the body.

In 2018, it was reported that around 1.7 million prescriptions of Eszopiclone have been issued in the United States. Knowing these statistics, it is important to understand that this drug is also at risk for Lunesta drug interactions that may actually cause dangers to the health.

Lunesta And Alcohol

Lunesta and alcohol have the same mechanism of action and this is the main reason why they cannot be consumed together. According to a study, the mechanism of action of these two is boosting the amount of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. This GABA is responsible for slowing down the activity of the central nervous system, causing sedation and side effects such as drowsiness. So, when Lunesta and alcohol are mixed together, an increase in the side effects of the former such as extreme sedation and somnolence, and decreased absorption of the drug may happen. Moreover, Eszopiclone is a prescription medication. When doctors prescribe certain drugs, it does not necessarily mean that these drugs are already safe to use.

It Is a Must to Understand That Using These Drugs Without Any Caution or Proper Knowledge May Cause Dangers to the Health Such as the Following:

  • Decreased coordination
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Hallucination
  • Loss of consciousness

Aside from those listed above, other very serious dangers to health may also occur. If there was an Lunesta and alcohol interaction that occurred, it is important to treat and manage it as it may lead to the following dangerous complications:

  • Memory problems, amnesia, and confusion – blackouts or unable to recall past events may be experienced when these are mixed together. According to research, an occurrence of irreversible dementia is also possible.
  • High-risk Behaviors – In compliance with the FDA, patients who consumed these two are at risk to have bizarre behaviors, aggression, depression, thoughts of suicide, and are prone to experience serious injuries such as drowning and vehicular accidents.
  • Increased risk of overdose – Eszopiclone overdose can already occur when too much of the drug is taken. However, when it is combined with alcohol, the risk for overdose does not only increase but is also a way for a patient to experience deadly events due to some additive effects.
  • Increased risk of drug abuse and addiction – Consuming these two together does not only lead to addiction but also polysubstance abuse.

Mixing Lunesta and alcohol may increase the risk of a heart attack. If anyone is suspected of having this dangerous interaction, seek emergency medical assistance as soon as possible in order to avoid unwanted events.

Lunesta And Alcohol.

Who Is At Risk Of Lunesta and Alcohol Interaction?

Eszopiclone is intended for use for patients 18 years old and above. Additionally, there are people who are at risk of experiencing Lunesta and alcohol interaction and the information below will explain who these groups of people are:

  • Those who lack knowledge about Lunesta drug interactions
  • Those who abuse the drug due to feelings of infectivity
  • History of substance abuse
  • Patients with other medical disorders

It is advised to tell the doctor about the complete information of the patient regarding his or her past medical history, including abuse history and it is also important to ask questions when there is unclear instruction regarding the drug prescribed.

Lunesta Drug Interactions

Aside from food-drug interactions like alcohol, this medication is also reported to have around 1,207 approved Lunesta drug interactions. Moreover, tranquilizers, opioids, benzodiazepines, and sedative-hypnotics are the most dangerous drug classes to combine with Eszopiclone. In this section, information about Lunesta drug interactions such as taking Xanax or Ambien and Lunesta together will be provided.

Lunesta Drug Interactions.

Lunesta And Xanax

Eszopiclone is a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic agent that is used to treat sleep disorders including insomnia. On the other hand, Xanax, with the generic name of Alprazolam, is under the drug class benzodiazepines, and its primary use is for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders. Although Xanax is not labeled for insomnia, one of its side effects is sleepiness. Moreover, both of these drugs boost the GABA in the brain which causes relaxation. When Lunesta and Xanax are taken together, the risk or severity of CNS depression can be increased, leading to the following side effects:

  • Somnolence
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty of concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Impaired judgment and thinking
  • Impaired motor coordination

Because of the side effects of taking Lunesta and Xanax together, it is important for patients to always tell their doctor about the other medications being taken. Moreover, other serious health dangers such as the information below may also occur when these drugs are combined.

  • Increased risk of hip fracture – Benzodiazepines like Xanax may cause hip fractures when used for a long period of time. Furthermore, this benzodiazepine-associated risk of hip fracture may increase when the drug is used together with Eszopiclone.
  • Heart abnormalities – A research claims that taking Lunesta and Xanax together may cause heart problems such as bradycardia or slower heart rate. This happens due to oversedation.

There are times when doctors prescribe the two medications together. However, only a doctor can tell the proper dose adjustment and frequency of both of the drugs. Never self-medicate or switch from one drug to another. For any clarifications, always consult a medical professional.

Ambien And Lunesta

Both Ambien and Lunesta are nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic agents that are used to treat sleep disorders including insomnia. Moreover, both of these drugs boost the GABA in the brain which causes calming and relaxing effects. When Ambien and Lunesta are taken together, Eszopiclone may increase the central nervous system depressant (CNS depressant) activities of Zolpidem, leading to the following side effects:

  • Somnolence
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty of concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Impaired judgment and thinking
  • Impaired motor coordination

It is a must to know the drug classes of the medications a patient is taking in order to understand how these medications work. Moreover, a patient must tell the doctor about other current medications including supplements and herbs in order to avoid other serious interaction side effects such as Rebound insomnia. According to a study, when Ambien and Lunesta are mixed together and discontinued at the same time, an increased risk for rebound insomnia or sleep disturbance may occur.

If any signs and symptoms of interaction have been observed, seek emergency care or call a doctor as soon as possible. Additionally, do not operate any machinery when a patient has taken Ambien and Lunesta together. Moreover, only a doctor can change the medications of a patient. Do not self-medicate or switch to any sleep medications without the instruction of a medical professional.

What Can Be Done To Avoid Dangerous Eszopiclone Interactions?

Take note that aside from Lunesta drug interactions, food-drug interactions are also possible to occur with the use of this medication. Therefore, patients need to be cautious in using the drug, and may want to learn more about Eszopiclone alternatives. Taking Eszopiclone with alcohol and other CNS depressants may increase the side effects of the former which is dangerous to the health. Therefore, it is always advised to seek help from a medical doctor before choosing any medication or before using them with other medications or substances in order to protect the health of the patient. Since Eszopiclone has a high potential for addiction and abuse, patients with signs and symptoms of abuse should be admitted to the drug rehabilitation center. Special addiction treatment programs for addicts allow for a personalized approach to a patient’s needs and a more coherent treatment course. Patients will start the treatment with detox, followed by a series of therapy sessions (CBT, DBT, Motivational Enhancement, etc.).

Page Sources

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  2. Brizzee, L., Stone, A., & Palmer, M. C. (2020). False lithium toxicity secondary to lithium heparin test tube: A case report and review. Mental Health Clinician, 10(3), 90-94.
  3. Eszopiclone: Uses, Interactions, Mechanism of Action | DrugBank Online. (2021). DrugBank.
  4. Kane, S. P. P. (2018a). Eszopiclone - Drug Usage Statistics, ClinCalc DrugStats Database. ClinCalc.
  5. Miller, A. H., Bruggman, A. R., & Miller, M. M. (2006). Lunesta overdose: ST-elevation coronary vasospasm, troponemia, and ventricular fibrillation arrest. The American journal of emergency medicine, 24(6), 741-746.
  6. Rösner, S., Englbrecht, C., Wehrle, R., Hajak, G., & Soyka, M. (2018). Eszopiclone for insomnia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (10).
  7. Shih, H. I., Lin, C. C., Tu, Y. F., Chang, C. M., Hsu, H. C., Chi, C. H., & Kao, C. H. (2015). An increased risk of reversible dementia may occur after zolpidem derivative use in the elderly population: a population-based case-control study. Medicine, 94(17).
  8. Wessell, A. M., & Weart, C. W. (2005). Eszopiclone (Lunesta) for treatment of transient and chronic insomnia. American family physician, 71(12), 2359.
  9. Zint, K., Haefeli, W. E., Glynn, R. J., Mogun, H., Avorn, J., & Stürmer, T. (2010). Impact of drug interactions, dosage, and duration of therapy on the risk of hip fracture associated with benzodiazepine use in older adults. Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety, 19(12), 1248-1255.
  10. Zolpidem: Uses, Interactions, Mechanism of Action | DrugBank Online. (2021). DrugBank.

Published on: August 17th, 2021

Updated on: May 26th, 2024


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