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Drug Addiction

Lunesta Side-Effects: What It Does To Your Body & Addiction Potential

Lunesta is one of the most popular sleep aid medications out there. Many people use Lunesta and think that the drug does great things for their ability to sleep and their energy levels throughout the day. 

However, all sleep aid medications do have some warnings that come along with them. Like other sleep aid medications, Lunesta is a drug with a risk of side effects and increased dangers for users. 

Everyone needs to understand the risks that come with the medications they take, including Lunesta and other sleep aids. Let’s talk about some of the side effects of Lunesta, the dangers of taking this medication, whether there is a risk of addiction, and what you can do if you think you might be addicted. 

This article isn’t just for people taking Lunesta, either. If you’re considering starting Lunesta, it’s a good idea to research the risks and dangers and read articles like this. Additionally, suppose you have a family member who uses Lunesta. In that case, it can be helpful to be informed about the medication, possible risks, and warning signs so you can be an effective ally for your family member. 

There is much information to cover, so without further ado, let’s dig in!

What Are The Side-Effects & Dangers Of Using Lunesta?

Almost all sleep aids can have negative effects if you aren’t using them as intended. So before we get into the side effects and dangers, let’s talk a little about how Lunesta is meant to be used first. 

One of the main warnings with Lunesta, like most sleep aids, is that you shouldn’t take the medication if you have less than 8-9 hours to sleep. This is because taking the medication when you might have to wake up early can cause many problems, from grogginess to negative mood interactions and erratic or strange behavior. 

If you cannot get enough sleep while using Lunesta, you may also have some memory loss and be unable to remember what else you did while under the influence of the drug. 

Lunesta may also cause problems for people with a known liver disorder, and doctors will usually prescribe a lower dose for patients with a liver disorder. The medication can be more effective at lower doses and may be more likely to have negative side effects or other problems if you have liver issues. 

The last warning we want to pass on before getting into the side effects of the drug is that Lunesta users shouldn’t stop taking the drug suddenly because that can cause withdrawal symptoms and other problems. If you want to stop taking Lunesta, you should work with your prescriber to slowly lower your dose until it’s safe to stop entirely. 

Common Side Effects Of Lunesta: 

Common side effects of Lunesta include: 

  • Drowsiness or feeling slightly hungover the next day
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Dry Mouth
  • Unusual taste
  • Unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Rashes
  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

Rare Or Severe Side Effects

In general, these side effects aren’t expected when you use Lunesta, but they can happen and are considered severe. Some of these side effects need immediate medical attention. If you think you might have a serious side effect from Lunesta, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible or go to an emergency room. 

Severe side effects of Lunesta include: 

  • Severe depression or anxiety
  • Memory problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe agitation
  • Thoughts of suicide or self-harm

The biggest risks when taking Lunesta are primarily psychological, but if you have any strange symptoms or new symptoms while using Lunesta, you should talk with your doctor and see if they might be related. 

The sooner after you start Lunesta you notice and report symptoms, the easier it may be to stop taking Lunesta if you need to or to say for sure that Lunesta was the cause of the problem. Remember that some symptoms may not be directly related to Lunesta but should be investigated seriously. 

Is Lunesta Addictive? 

Yes. While Lunesta and other sleep aids are common, they can be highly addictive. Most people can take these medications without a problem, but some people can develop an addiction even if they haven’t had issues with the medication. 

People who have a history of issues with addiction in the past are more likely to develop an addiction to Lunesta. 

You can also develop an addiction at any point while taking Lunesta and are more likely to develop one during other problems. For example, stress, health crisis, and loss can all contribute to developing an addiction to medications. 

There are a lot of signs and symptoms of addiction in people who develop an addiction. Here are some of the warning signs of an addiction. 

This list is for people who are worried about addiction in themselves and those who are worried about addiction in their friends and family. 

  • You want to take more Lunesta than prescribed
  • You’re taking Lunesta for reasons other than sleep
  • You want to take Lunesta ahead of important situations or high-pressure moments
  • You worry about how much Lunesta you have left more than you worry about other prescriptions
  • You feel like you can’t relax without Lunesta
  • You feel like you need to hide how much Lunesta you take
  • You want to take more Lunesta even when you don’t need it. 
  • You want to take Lunesta even though it isn’t as effective as it used to be
  • You want to take Lunesta even when you don’t have enough time to sleep after taking it. 

These are just some signs and symptoms of having an addiction to Lunesta. There can be other signs, and even just worrying that you might be dealing with an addiction is one of the signs that you could have one. 

Wanting to hide your drug use is one of the biggest indicators that something has gone wrong because it’s a sign that you’re worried about your drug use. 

Any time these feelings sound familiar, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor and see if there are alternative medications or if you should try going without a sleep aid and seeing if your sleep has improved. 

Why You Need To Get Help If Struggling With An Addiction 

Side effects from Lunesta are common, but they shouldn’t be severe or impact your quality of life. This medication is supposed to help you and make you more productive in your day-to-day life, not less. 

If this medication is becoming more harmful than helpful, there are other good alternatives for you to try. 

It’s also important to remember that serious side effects can signify that something more serious is wrong. While side effects are common, severe ones aren’t, and dismissing serious symptoms as side effects of a medication can lead to diagnostic delays and other problems when dealing with a medical condition. 

The sooner you get help, the easier it will be to stop Lunesta if you need to, and the more protected your health will be overall. 

What To Do If An Addiction Is At Hand 

Getting help if you’re dealing with an addiction is one of the first and best things you should do. No one should have to deal with addiction on their own. Addiction to sleep medications can be particularly hard to deal with because it’s important not just to stop taking the medication entirely. 

One of the reasons we often recommend looking at residential treatment options for Lunesta and other sleep aid addictions is because then you have the help of medical care providers who can mitigate the side effects of stopping the medication and help you stop in a safe and controlled way. 

Going to residential treatment facilities also means that you have a better chance to deal with the sources of your addiction and learn new coping mechanisms that can help you avoid future addictions and may even help you sleep better. 

If you have any other health problems, residential treatment may be even more important because then we can help manage your health concerns while treating the addiction and mitigating your symptoms through withdrawal. 

Addiction happens. Recovery is possible. Don’t wait to get the help you deserve. Call Ocean Recovery today to learn about our treatment programs and patient intake process. 

Sources:

  1. Lunesta (eszopiclone) – side effects, interactions, uses dosage, warnings. EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/lunesta#drug-side-effects. Published June 22, 2020. Accessed October 20, 2022. 
  2. Lunesta oral: Uses, side effects, interactions, pictures, warnings & dosing. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-92350/lunesta-oral/details. Accessed October 20, 2022. 
  3. Side effects of Lunesta (eszopiclone), warnings, uses. RxList. https://www.rxlist.com/lunesta-side-effects-drug-center.htm#consumer. Published May 19, 2020. Accessed October 20, 2022.
Amanda Stevens, B.S.

Amanda Stevens, B.S.

Amanda is a prolific medical content writer specializing in eating disorders and addiction treatment. She graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Purdue University with a B.S. in Social Work. As a person in recovery from disordered eating, she is passionate about seeing people heal and transform. She writes for popular treatment centers such as Infinite RecoveryAscendant NY, The Heights Treatment, Epiphany Wellness, New Waters Recovery and adolescent mental health treatment center BasePoint Academy. In her spare time she loves learning about health, nutrition, meditation, spiritual practices, and enjoys being the a mother of a beautiful daughter.

Last medically reviewed November 19, 2022