Sleep disorders often stay under the radar and aren’t spoken of, but for many, each night is more of a struggle than the last to fall asleep or stay asleep. The consequences are far more reaching than a bit of grogginess the following day. Poor sleep can have a variety of effects in your life from health issues to poor cognitive functioning.
While rest is essential to complete routine functions, millions of people struggle with sleep disorders each year. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that nearly a third of adults in the United States do not get the recommended amount of sleep every night.
Issues such as insomnia keep many from falling asleep, while other problems can cause them to wake up frequently throughout the night.
If you’ve ever struggled at night to sleep, you can empathize about how defeating it feels to be exhausted but unable to sleep. For this reason, it’s easy to understand why chemical relief has been sought out over the past century.
The U.S. has applied many varieties of chemical compounds and medications to induce sleep. Within the last two decades, new medications known as Z-drugs have come out to replace more addictive benzodiazepines. Among these medications is a drug known as Zimovane, which is a prescription sleep-aid used as a short-term solution to treat insomnia.
Unfortunately, medications such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and sleep aids have a host of unwanted side effects that include dependency and addiction. Zimovane, unfortunately, can cause withdrawal effects that require immediate medical attention. It’s necessary to know the signs and symptoms of Zimovane withdrawal and what you can do to navigate through it safely.
What Is Zimovane?
Zimovane, also known as zopiclone is sold as a prescription insomnia medication. It’s classified as a Schedule IV drug, meaning that is only legal to possess with a prescription from your doctor. Zimovane belongs to a broader class of drugs known as central nervous system (CNS) depressants, and it shares this classification with alcohol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates.
As a depressant, it slows down the nervous system by increasing the efficiency of a particular neurotransmitter known as gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). The naturally occurring chemical binds to GABA receptors, which are responsible for controlling excitability in the nervous system.
When activated, it causes anxiolytic feelings and promotes sleep.
More specifically, Zimovane is in a category of drugs known as Z-drugs, and these have a high affinity to selectively bind to hypnotic, sleep-inducing sites on specific GABA receptors. Z-drugs are the newest innovation in a line depressant drugs that started in the 1800s.
Users are likely to build a tolerance quickly, and medical professionals suggest to only take Zimovane for short periods at the lowest effective dose. If sleep problems persist longer than six weeks, it’s recommended that physicians find alternative treatment options.
Unfortunately, some individuals can become tolerant of the effects of Zimovane in as little as a few days, and take it longer than the doctor intended. If someone has a history of addiction or drug abuse, they are more likely to become addicted to Zimovane.
What Are The Zimovane Withdrawal Symptoms?
Due to the potential for sleep disorders and central nervous system problems, addiction can be severe. Zimovane withdrawal symptoms can also produce dangerous effects, and the symptoms are similar to those of benzodiazepines.
Some of the most common effects of Zimovane withdrawal include:
- Mood swings
- Uncontrollable crying
- Intense cravings
- Excessive sweating
- Shakes or tremors
- Nausea or vomiting
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Abdominal cramps or discomfort
- Panic attacks
- Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
- Seizures (although these are fairly rare)
- Rebound insomnia
While it is rare, seizures have been observed where the user has developed a dependency on a similar drug, Ambien, and increased the dose to counter a growing tolerance. The man became dependent on Ambien and stopped the medication before a flight to end his addiction. Unfortunately, 48 hours after, he started to experience convulsions. Similar reactions can occur with Zimovane based on the area it works on in the brain.
Rebound insomnia does not have the same symptoms of insomnia. The significant difference is that rebound insomnia entails much more intense symptoms than the user was treating. Rebound insomnia can lead to a complete lack of sleep for days on end.
What Are The Stages Of The Zimovane Withdrawal Timeline?
Although Zimovane has an established timeline, the length and severity of these withdrawals will vary based on a variety of factors that will differ from one person to another.
Some of these factors will include things such as the speed at which someone weans themselves off Zimovane as well as:
- How long someone has been abusing Zimovane
- How much Zimovane they were taking and how often
- Polysubstance use
- How they were taking Zimovane
- If they have a history of previous addictions
- If they have a co-occurring disorder or mental illness
One person may be able to get through the withdrawal process with minor issues, but this typically occurs in mild users. For those that are heavily addicted, the intensity and length of these symptoms can be much more challenging to get through.
The following are the stages of Zimovane withdrawal timeline:
Within 24 hours of the last dose, some withdrawal symptoms can emerge such as difficulty remembering simple tasks, increased anxiety, mood changes, sweating, and confusion. The acute stage is where more intense symptoms can be felt but will vary depending on dosage, frequency, length of time using the drug, and the taper schedule.
Week 2 And Beyond
At this stage, most of the symptoms will begin to diminish, while others may remain for another week. Lingering symptoms include emotional and psychological troubles such as depression, cravings, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.
Should I Detox?
Because of Zimovane’s status as a commonly prescribed medication, many people believe that medical detoxification is unnecessary. As we’ve described throughout this article, that line of thinking can be fatal if the proper precautions are not taken.
Symptoms can come on suddenly and be unpredictable, and those undergoing Zimovane detox must do so under the guidance of a medical professional.
Prolonging the symptoms or experience may result in a more extreme withdrawal process if you do not enter treatment. If you experience a seizure or convulsions suddenly while you’re alone, it can be hazardous. Medical detox is the safest way to go through Zimovane withdrawal.
During detox, clinicians will wean you off Zimovane safely, and reduce the dose until it is safe to stop taking the drug. It also minimizes the symptoms, and medical staff members monitor you in case something unexpected occurs. With medical detox, you can avoid both the extreme discomfort as well as the dangerous effects.
Medical detox will also decrease the chances of relapse, which can often occur when trying to cope with symptoms of depression, delirium, and rebound insomnia alone. Those who relapse during detox are at very high risk of accidentally overdosing to relieve withdrawal symptoms.
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