Lunesta, also known as the generic eszopiclone, is a prescription medication used to treat insomnia. Classified as a sedative-hypnotic, Lunesta affects GABA receptors. In doing so, this medication can calm neural activity and slow the central nervous system, helping people fall asleep and stay asleep. When someone is prescribed Lunesta, they’re usually advised to take it for no longer than around ten days. This is the case because there is a potential for addiction and dependence. When a person becomes dependent upon Lunesta and they suddenly try to stop using it, they can experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can range from mild to moderate in severity. These Lunesta withdrawal symptoms can be psychological or physical in nature. The longer someone uses Lunesta and the more they take, the more likely they are to experience withdrawal.
The severity of Lunesta withdrawal symptoms can vary. Lunesta affects GABA receptors in the brain. Generally, substances that affect GABA do carry the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms. If someone has taken Lunesta for years, they are likely to have very severe withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly try to stop using it.
Some of the most common Lunesta withdrawal symptoms are called rebound symptoms. Rebound symptoms are the recurrence of symptoms the drug was originally used to treat. When someone is going through withdrawal, these symptoms may be more severe than they were originally. For example, severe insomnia is a rebound withdrawal symptom of Lunesta. Other common Lunesta withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Anxiety (this is very common because of how Lunesta affects GABA)
- Nightmares or vivid dreams
- Problems with memory
- Changes in mood or mood swings
- Shakiness or weakness
- General sleep problems
- Nausea and vomiting
The Lunesta withdrawal timeline can vary quite a bit. First, people who used Lunesta for only a short time and took small doses may not even notice withdrawal symptoms. However, people who have used the drug heavily and chronically can experience withdrawal symptoms that last for weeks or even months. For most people, withdrawal symptoms begin to appear within one to two days after the last dose of Lunesta. The initial symptoms are usually anxiety and insomnia. Symptoms of Lunesta withdrawal will typically peak anywhere from three to seven days. Within about three weeks, symptoms become milder and eventually go away for most people. However, for some people who are heavily dependent upon Lunesta, ongoing withdrawal symptoms may occur for up to eight weeks after taking the last dose of the drug.
The best way to manage symptoms of Lunesta withdrawal is to gradually taper down the dosage until a person stops altogether. Trying to do an at-home detox or to stop “cold turkey” can often lead to the most severe, long-lasting and uncomfortable Lunesta withdrawal symptoms. It’s best to taper down Lunesta under the supervision of a physician. Tapering down intake of Lunesta can help prevent the most intense withdrawal symptoms and medical complications.
With some drugs, there are specific medications approved by the FDA to use during the withdrawal and detox process. There’s not one specific Lunesta medication used during detox and withdrawal. Instead, a medical team will usually evaluate the individual patient and see if they are a good candidate for medicines that will keep them safer and more comfortable. During detox, the entire objective is to successfully help the patient stop using the drug while mitigating symptoms and ensuring vitals stay at healthy levels. During Lunesta detox, a patient may be evaluated for co-occurring mental health conditions. Treatments for these conditions may start during the detox phase.
Lunesta (Eszopiclone) Addiction Treatment and Rehab
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