When it comes to treating insomnia, sleeping pills can be a valuable tool to help individuals get the rest they need. 

Two commonly prescribed options are Zopiclone and Zolpidem. Both of these medications belong to a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics, which work by slowing down activity in the brain to induce sleep. 

While Zopiclone and Zolpidem have similar mechanisms of action, there are some key differences between the two. 

In this article, we will compare Zopiclone and Zolpidem to help you understand the similarities and differences between these two sleeping pills.

Similarities between Zopiclone and Zolpidem

Although Zopiclone and Zolpidem are different medications, they belong to the same class of drugs and display some similarities in their effects. 

Both medications are prescribed to treat insomnia, a common sleep disorder that affects millions of individuals worldwide. 

Insomnia is characterized by difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep, or both, leading to an overall lack of quality sleep. 

Zopiclone and Zolpidem work by affecting the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain, which helps to calm and relax the body, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. 

They both have a sedative effect and are considered to be short-acting medications, meaning they help induce sleep quickly but do not have a long-lasting effect.

Both medications should be taken right before bedtime and only when there is sufficient time for a full night’s sleep, as they can cause drowsiness and impair cognitive functioning. 

It is important to follow the prescribed dosage and not exceed it, as misuse or overuse of these medications can lead to dependence or other negative side effects.

While there are similarities between Zopiclone and Zolpidem, there are also some differences to consider. 

Zopiclone is usually prescribed for a longer duration of treatment, typically up to four weeks, whereas Zolpidem is often prescribed for shorter periods, such as two weeks or less. 

Additionally, Zolpidem has a faster onset of action compared to Zopiclone, meaning it takes effect more quickly after ingestion.

Differences between Zopiclone and Zolpidem

While there are similarities between Zopiclone and Zolpidem, there are also some important differences to consider when comparing the two medications. 

One key difference is their chemical structure. Zopiclone is a cyclopyrrolone, whereas Zolpidem is an imidazopyridine. 

This difference in chemical structure may contribute to variations in their pharmacological properties and how they interact with the body. 

Another difference between Zopiclone and Zolpidem is their approved uses. Zopiclone is primarily used as a sedative-hypnotic medication for the short-term treatment of insomnia. 

It helps individuals fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. On the other hand, Zolpidem is also used for insomnia but is specifically indicated for the treatment of sleep-onset insomnia. 

It is designed to help individuals who have difficulty falling asleep at the beginning of the night.

The duration of action is another important distinction between the two medications. 

Zopiclone has a longer half-life and a more extended duration of action compared to Zolpidem. This means that Zopiclone can stay in the body for a longer period and continue to have sedative effects. 

Zolpidem, on the other hand, has a shorter half-life and is primarily effective at helping individuals fall asleep quickly. It is designed to be rapidly eliminated from the body to avoid residual sedation upon waking.

Furthermore, the side effect profiles of Zopiclone and Zolpidem differ to some extent. Both medications can cause common side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and headache. 

However, Zopiclone may have a higher incidence of metallic taste and dry mouth, while Zolpidem may have a higher risk of parasomnia, which includes activities such as sleepwalking or sleep-eating.

Considerations and precautions

Before taking any medication, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or pharmacist. They can assess your specific situation and provide guidance on the most suitable treatment option for you. 

They will take into consideration factors such as your medical history, current medications, and any allergies or sensitivities you may have. 

This is important because certain medications can interact with each other or have adverse effects on certain individuals. 

Additionally, a healthcare professional can also provide important information about proper dosage, potential side effects, and any necessary precautions or warnings. 

By consulting with a healthcare professional, you can ensure that you are using medications safely and effectively, maximizing the benefits and minimizing any risks.


Zopiclone and Zolpidem are two commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of insomnia. While they share some similarities in terms of their effects and side effects, there are also key differences to consider. 

Zopiclone has a longer duration of action and may be more suitable for individuals with difficulty staying asleep, while Zolpidem has a shorter duration of action and may be more suitable for individuals with difficulty falling asleep. 

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment option for your specific needs.

By Grace