Lunesta is a newly released sleeping pill. Marketed as a revolutionary sleep aid, Lunesta is the only medication approved by the FDA for long term treatment of insomnia symptoms. Although Lunesta is a quality medicine that has already helped many people cure their insomnia and get a better night's sleep, here are seven things you should know before you buy Lunesta prescriptions.
Lunesta Side Effects
All medications have side effects. Lunesta has side effects that you may experience during treatment. The side effects of Lunesta include:
4. Difficulty with coordination
Obviously, we can be happy that Lunesta doesn't have a long list of scary side effects like many other prescription medicines. However, you should still use caution during the first couple days of taking Lunesta. You need to see how persistent the side effects are, if you experience them at all. If you feel they are interfering with daily life, talk to your doctor about lowering your dose.
As with all medications that may cause the side effects above, do not drink alcohol while using Lunesta. Alcohol will make them intense and hard to deal with.
Lunesta And Memory Problems
Lunesta may be the only sleeping pill that is FDA approved for long-term use, but it still has some of the same effects as other sleep aids. I'm talking about memory problems; also known as amnesia. When you're treating insomnia with Lunesta, you may have trouble remembering things if you go to bed too late at night, and have to get up for work early in the morning. Lunesta is designed to give you a great night's sleep without any interruptions, so waking up too early will leave you feeling "out of it." If you're getting plenty of sleep while using Lunesta, but are experiencing memory loss, talk to your doctor about lowering your dosage. Lunesta is available in 1mg, 2mg and 3mg dosages.
Tolerance is an issue that nearly everyone deals with at some time while taking a prescription medication. Your body can develop tolerance to a medication over long-term use, making it less effective in treating your symptoms. However, Lunesta showed groundbreaking results in a six-month clinical trial: Not one person developed tolerance to their Lunesta treatment, and they continued symptom-free for the entire six months! Hopefully, you will not need treatment for such a long time, but some of us are unlucky enough to have chronic sleep problems that are ongoing.
Some people taking sleep medicines such as Lunesta, Ambien and Sonata develop dependence over a long period of time. This means that with long-term use of sleep aids, our bodies may get used to having the medicine. When we stop taking it suddenly, we may experience unpleasant effects, called withdrawal symptoms. Lunesta is not a highly addictive substance, but as with anything you get used to, it is usually hard to suddenly give it up. Your doctor will help you gradually lower your dosage until you can stop taking Lunesta without experiencing withdrawal.
Now that you know about the possibility of dependence on Lunesta, let's go over the withdrawal symptoms you might experience if you stop treatment suddenly. The most common symptoms are just unpleasant feelings. No other withdrawal symptoms were experienced by people involved in the clinical trials. However, we know that other similar sleeping aids such as Ambien and Sonata can very rarely cause some more serious symptoms of withdrawal. These may include stomach and muscle cramps, vomiting, sweating, jitteriness, and in only a few reported cases, seizures. The best way to relieve these worries is to talk it all over with your doctor to make sure Lunesta is right for you.
Lunesta And Personality Changes
Let me first say that these changes in behavior and thinking were not observed during Lunesta treatment in clinical trials. However, since Lunesta is similar to other sleep medicines that have been known to cause these symptoms, you should know that they are a possibility.
Sleeping medicines have been known to cause the following behavioral changes:
1. Some people become more outgoing and sometimes aggressive.
2. You may become confused at times.
3. Strange behavior may occur.
4. Others may notice that you're in an agitated state.
5. You may notice a worsening of depression.
6. Hallucinations are fun for some people, but not when you never wanted them in the first place. Make sure to talk to your doctor about lowering your Lunesta dose if you have hallucinations.
7. Finally, you may have suicidal thoughts while taking Lunesta or another sleeping pill. Talk to your doctor about this if you experience such thoughts.
Lunesta During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
If you're pregnant, it may be alright for you to take Lunesta prescriptions until around the last few weeks before birth. Why? During those last few weeks, your unborn baby may take in some of the Lunesta that is present in your body after you take your dose. The effects of this are unknown, so it's best to just play it safe. Talk to your doctor before starting Lunesta if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Lunesta is excreted in small amounts through breastmilk, so please do not take Lunesta while you are still breastfeeding your baby.
Copyright 2004,2005 Ian Mason, lead researcher at Shoppe.MD.
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