Zopiclone and Essential Tremor

July 16, 2018

Zopiclone is a hypnotic drug that is commonly used in treating insomnia. It works by causing a depression or tranquilization of the nervous system. After prolonged use, if the drug is abruptly stopped, withdrawal symptoms may result. These symptoms are similar to what you might feel during a benzodiazepine withdrawal. In the United States, zopiclone is not commercially available, but drugs such as lunesta are sold with similar effects. Sometimes, Zopiclone is called a “Z-drug”. Other Z-drugs are zaleplon and zolpidem (ambien). These Z drugs were initially thought to be less addicting than Zopiclone, but in recent years there has been a switch and it seems that they may be habitual and addicting. Caution must be used when taking in conjunction with sedatives, antidepressants, or other drugs that are interacting with the central nervous system. 

Since Zopiclone is not generally used in the United states commercially, there is not much research on the interaction. Essential tremor sufferers may have some interference with their sleep. Sleep interference may just be a non-motor feature of essential tremor, and may be affected to some degree. People with Parkinson’s are more likely to have sleep disorders than those with essential tremor, but it does happen. Essential tremor patients may also have low sleep quality because of anxiety levels associated with essential tremor. Since essential tremor is a kinetic tremor, it is greatly influenced by movement and the level of anxiety that the person has. High anxiety can reflect in poor sleep on its own, so essential tremor just influences this as well. 

The cause of essential tremor is unknown for the most part, but it is known that is a neurological dysfunction between the cerebellum and the nervous system. Signals misfire to a degree, and movement is influenced and manifests itself in rhythmic tremors in the trunk, hands, head, vocal cords, and other parts of the body. Since this is the case, it makes sense that any medication that influences the nervous system may also influence essential tremor and it’s symptoms. 

Zopiclone is a medication that influences the neurological system. Since it has depressive and sleep inducing qualities, it really cannot be taken during the day without the patient being greatly influenced. At night though, it may help the body relax, reduce anxiety, and therefore reduce tremors before bed. Since essential tremors are kinetic and movement during sleep is limited, it most likely would not affect sleep in that aspect. 

Since Zopiclone is a drug that interacts with the nervous system, it is best that a medical professional be consulted about the treatment of essential tremor, and that there is no self medicating that occurs. Zopiclone may be an option for helping with a greater quality of sleep, and a lower occurrence and frequency of tremors. Since it has drowsy and depressive side effects, zopiclone is not a drug that can be used frequently or during the day hours. Most people find that Zopiclone can be addicting, so it should not be taken for long periods of time or without supervision of a medical professional.