What is Lunesta?Lunesta belongs to a group of medicines known as sedative/hypnotics, or sleep medicines. Lunesta is used for the treatment of insomnia, specifically for people who have trouble falling asleep, who wake up often during the night, or who have both of these sleep problems.
What is the most important information I should know about Lunesta?Lunesta is a controlled substance because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep Lunesta in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse.
After taking Lunesta, you may get up out of bed while not being fully awake and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night. These activities may include driving a car ("sleep-driving"), making and eating food, talking on the phone, having sex, and sleep-walking. Call your doctor right away if you find out that you have done any of these activities after taking Lunesta. You have a higher chance for doing these activities if you drink alcohol or take other medicines that make you sleepy with Lunesta.
Call your doctor if your insomnia worsens or does not improve within 7-10 days of beginning treatment. This may mean that there is another condition causing your sleeping problems.
Some people have experienced a severe allergic reaction from taking Lunesta, including swelling of the tongue or throat, trouble breathing, and nausea and vomiting. Emergency medical help is needed if you get these symptoms after taking Lunesta.
Inform your doctor immediately if you experience any changes in your behavior or mood, including aggression, confusion, agitation, hallucinations, depression, or suicidal thinking. In addition, tell your doctor if you experience any memory loss or anxiety while taking Lunesta.
Lunesta works quickly, and can affect your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery, including the day after you take Lunesta. Do not engage in any activities that require mental alertness right after you take Lunesta or the next day until you feel fully awake.
If you take Lunesta for more than several weeks, you may experience a dependence on Lunesta in order to fall asleep, or a decrease in Lunesta's ability to help you fall asleep.
Who should not take Lunesta?Do not take Lunesta if you are allergic to any of its ingredients or if you cannot stay in bed a full night (7-8 hours) before being fully active the next morning.
Lunesta should be avoided if you drink alcohol or take other medicines that can make you sleepy.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Lunesta?Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Lunesta. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you are >65 years old, have liver disease, lung disease or breathing problems, or if you have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription drugs, or street drugs. In addition tell your doctor if you have a history of suicidal thoughts, depression, or mental illness.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Adults: The usual starting dose is 2 milligrams (mg) taken immediately before bedtime. Your doctor may increase your dose to 3 mg daily depending on how Lunesta affects you.
If you are over 65, have liver impairment, or are taking certain medications that interact with Lunesta, the usual starting dose is 1 mg daily, and may be increased by your doctor to 2 mg daily.
How should I take Lunesta?Lunesta should be taken immediately before going to bed. Do not take Lunesta with or right after a meal, and do not take Lunesta unless you are able to get a full night's sleep (7-8 hours) before returning to your normal activities.
What should I avoid while taking Lunesta?Avoid drinking alcohol while taking Lunesta. Also avoid operating an automobile or heavy machinery until you feel fully awake.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Lunesta?If Lunesta is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Lunesta with the following: alcohol, clarithromycin, itraconazole, ketoconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, olanzapine, other sleep-inducing drugs, ritonavir, rifampicin, and troleandomycin.
What are the possible side effects of Lunesta?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: unpleasant taste in the mouth, dry mouth, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, symptoms of the common cold
Can I receive Lunesta if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Lunesta during pregnancy are unknown and should be avoided. Lunesta should not be used if you are breastfeeding. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Lunesta?If you miss a dose of Lunesta, take it as soon as you remember, as long as you can be sure to get 8 hours of sleep. Otherwise, skip it and return to your regular schedule. Do not take an extra dose to make up for a missed dose. Do not exceed your daily dose in any 24-hour period.
How should I store Lunesta?Store at room temperature.