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Zopiclone Withdrawal

Coming off Zopiclone can be a difficult task to accomplish. This page gives some background information on Zopiclone and a suggested withdrawal schedule. There have been growing concerns about zopiclone addiction, including concerns about tolerance, physical dependence, severe withdrawal symptoms and recreational abuse potential. Zopiclone is in the Z drug family of sedative hypnotics. Included in the Z drug family of so called nonbenzodiazepines are Zolpidem, Zaleplon and Zopiclone. The World Health Organisation has stated that Zopiclone binds to benzodiazepine receptors and is cross tolerant with benzodiazepines.

Brand Names

Zopiclone is known under various different brand names around the world. The brand names of Zopiclone are as follows:

Alchera, Alpaz, Amvey, Datolan, Eurovan, Imoclone, Insomnium, Imovane, Imozop, Limovan, Losopil, Nocturno, Nuctane, Optidorm, Relaxon (Релаксон), Rhovane, Sedolox, Siaten, Somnal, Somnol (Сомнол), Somnosan, Ximovan, Z-Dorm, Zetix, Zileze, Zimoclone, Zimovane, Zodurat, Zolief, Zometic, Zomni, Zonix, Zop, Zopicalm, Zopicalma, Zopiclodura, Zopicon, Zopimed, Zopinox, Zopi-Puren, Zopitan, Zopivane, Zorclone

Withdrawing From Zopiclone

Withdrawing from Zopiclone must be carried out over a period of time to avoid severe withdrawal side effects which can include seizures and psychosis. The withdrawal syndrome of zopiclone seems to be identical to benzodiazepine withdrawal and similar to alcohol withdrawal.

Zopiclone is a tranquilliser drug. It works by causing a depression or tranquillisation of the Central Nervous System. As Zopiclone is sedating it is marketed as a sleeping pill. After regular dampening down of the Central Nervous System the body becomes accustomed to functioning under the influence of Zopiclone. When the dose is reduced or the drug is stopped these adaptions which have occured when a persons body has become addicted to a drug are revealed. The result is rebound withdrawal symptoms which can include a whole host of withdrawal symptoms which are seen in benzodiazepine withdrawal. See this page BENZODIAZEPINE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS.

To withdraw from Zopiclone sleeping tablets cross over to an equivalent dose of diazepam. We have found the equivalency table by Professor Heather Ashton to be the most reliable and accurate. You can visit this page and view her EQUIVALENCY TABLE to locate the approximate equivalent dose of zopiclone to diazepam. To withdraw and reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, including interdose withdrawal symptoms, it is important that the blood levels of a drug remain constant throughout a 24 hour period. This is not possible with zopiclone as it is a short acting drug, therefore users of Zopiclone should cross over to an equivalent dose of diazepam to begin their dose taper. See the explaination by Prof Ashton in his article about the reasons for tapering using diazepam.

The cross over from zopiclone to diazepam should take about 4 weeks. After cross over it is recommended that the individual remains on the diazepam dose for a further 4 weeks to allow the diazepam to accumulate and the individual to stabalise on a fixed blood plasma level of zopiclone. 90% of diazepam accumulation occurs after 4 weeks and Diazepam stops accumulating in the blood stream after 6 weeks after which time it plateau's at a constant dose level.

Below is a simple withdrawal plan for Zopiclone in a table schedule format. It is important for the reader to note that this is only a guide and is not a schedule that should be seen as carved in stone. The rate of withdrawal should be determined by the individual who can judge what speed of reduction is right for them. We believe that the individual has to take responsibilty for their own withdrawal program. Readers may notice that we recommend day time use of zopiclone even though it is marketed and prescribed for night time use. This is because the reader who is withdrawing from zopiclone will be suffering from a physical addiction to zopiclone secondary to insomnia and it is essential to keep blood levels stable to prevent day time anguish of withdrawal symptoms. This is only a temporay measure until the user has fully crossed over to diazepam. The table uses the example of someone dependent on 30 mg of zopiclone. With a bit of abstract thinking the reader can adapt the table to represent their current dosage. Feel free to join our WITHDRAWAL SUPPORT FORUM.

Withdrawing from Zopiclone

Withdrawing from 30 mg of Zopiclone using 7.5 mg Zopiclone tablets and 2 mg sized diazepam tablets.
Follow Table From Your Starting or Current dose
Morning Lunch Time Evening Before Bed Total Daily Dose
      Zopiclone 30 mg Zopiclone 30 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 3 weeks
Cross over can be done in 4 stages instead of 2 stages or even more slowly if any difficulties are encountered during this suggested cross over to diazepam section.

Diazepam 5 mg

    Zopiclone 15 mg + Diazepam 5 mg Zopiclone 15 mg + Diazepam 10 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 3 weeks
Diazepam 5 mg     Zopiclone 7.5 mg + Diazepam 10 mg Zopiclone 15 mg + Diazepam 15 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 3 weeks
Diazepam 10 mg     Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 20 mg
Stabalise for 1 - 3 weeks
At this stage you should be stabalising on the diazepam and ready to start making some small reductions in dosage.
Diazepam 8 mg     Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 18 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 6 mg  

 

Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 16 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 4.5 mg     Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 14.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 3 mg     Diazepam 10 mg Diazepam 13 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 3 mg     Diazepam 8.5 mg Diazepam 11.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 3 mg     Diazepam 7 mg Diazepam 10 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 3 mg     Diazepam 6 mg Diazepam 9 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 2 mg     Diazepam 6 mg Diazepam 8 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 2 mg     Diazepam 5 mg Diazepam 7 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 2 mg     Diazepam 4 mg 6 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
See also NOTE below for additional information on withdrawing from 5 mg of diazepam
Diazepam 2 mg     Diazepam 3 mg Diazepam 5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 2 mg     Diazepam 2.5 mg Diazepam 4.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 2 mg     Diazepam 2 mg Diazepam 4 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 1.5 mg     Diazepam 2 mg Diazepam 3.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 1.5 mg     Diazepam 1.5 mg Diazepam 3 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 1 mg     Diazepam 1.5 mg Diazepam 2.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 1 mg     Diazepam 1 mg Diazepam 2 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 0.5 mg     Diazepam 1 mg Diazepam 1.5 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
Diazepam 0.5 mg     Diazepam 0.5 mg Diazepam 1 mg
Hold reduction for 3 - 4 weeks
      Diazepam 0.5 mg Diazepam 0.5 mg
Drop Last 0.5 mg dose of diazepam and Never Take Another Benzodiazepine Again
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Gradual Diazepam Detox Complete

NOTE: Some people find it difficult in the final stages of withdrawal from 5 mg of diazepam to zero. If you are one of these people it may be of value asking your doctor to provide you with the 2 mg per 5 ml diazepam liquid suspension, and obtaining a 1 ml syringe from your local pharmacy/drug store/chemist. Users can then obtain smaller dose reductions than the 0.5 mg sized cuts using tablets. See this page on SLOW WITHDRAWAL FROM DIAZEPAM using liquid suspension diazepam.

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