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Dr. David
Dr. David, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
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Experience:  Board Certified Physician
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After taking zopiclone for 4 months (7.5-10mg/day) I stopped

Resolved Question:

After taking zopiclone for 4 months (7.5-10mg/day) I stopped cold turkey 3 weeks ago. I experience times when I feel more relaxed but not 100% and times particularly in public places where I am experiencing mild tremors and anxiety. Will these symptoms gradually reduce over time or have I permanently damaged myself?! Also sometimes I have a little aching turning my head.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. David replied 3 years ago.

Dr. David :

This is Dr. David

Dr. David :

you should not have stopped cold turkey.

Dr. David :

you should have tapered off of the zopiclone

Dr. David :

did you have symptoms of tremors and anxiety before you took the zopiclone?

Customer: No symptoms before the zopiclone and I have read that advice although my GP told me not to taper and just stop
Dr. David :

too bad you didn't taper off.

Dr. David :

these symptoms should get better with time.

Dr. David :

and shouldn't be permanent.

Customer: So in you'r opinion how long would you expect them to last? Should I go back to my GP and should I be working? I am an airline pilot
Dr. David :

it should only last a few more weeks.

Dr. David :

I don't think you should be flying until your symptoms are all gone.

Dr. David :

you should read this

Dr. David :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zopiclone

Dr. David :

"After prolonged use the body can become accustomed to the effects of zopiclone. When the dose is then reduced or the drug is stopped, withdrawal symptoms may result. These can include a range of symptoms similar to those of benzodiazepine withdrawal."

Customer: I have read it. Thanks . So would you recommend going back to my GP?
Dr. David :

yes, I would recommend you going back to your GP

Dr. David :

and tell your GP of your symptoms.

Dr. David :

hopefully you can educate your GP so he will taper patients in the future.

Dr. David :

"Withdrawal symptoms were reported in several of these anecdotes, including cravings, severe rebound insomnia, anxiety or panic attacks, weakness, tremor, palpitations, and tachycardia. Withdrawal seizures were also recorded."

Dr. David :

http://www.cfp.ca/content/53/12/2124.full

Customer: And in the meantime do not fly? The zopiclone was purchased online that is the problem really. But is there any medication they can prescribe, would you reinstate or just work the symptoms out? Can you also briefly explain why my body is reacting like this?
Dr. David :

no medications to give you

Dr. David :

it just has to work its way out of your system.

Dr. David :

zopiclone increases the normal transmission of the signal substance GABA receptor in the brain.

Dr. David :

so when you stop it, the brain GABA receptors have to reset.

Customer: And they can do this over time? Sorry I am just worried I was fine before
Dr. David :

yes, the GABA receptors can reset over time.

Dr. David :

do you have other questions?

Customer: Ok thanks. No thank you
Dr. David :

you are welcome

Dr. David :

best of luck to you

Dr. David :

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Dr. David :

you might have to scroll down to see the ratings area

Dr. David :

you can always reach me as Dr. David if you have other questions.

Customer: Will do thanks
Dr. David :

thanks for using JustAnswer.com

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