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Zopiclone, sold under the brand name Imovane among others, is a nonbenzodiazepine used to treat difficulty sleeping. Zopiclone is molecularly distinct from benzodiazepine drugs and is classed as a cyclopyrrolone. However, zopiclone increases the normal transmission of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the central nervous system, via modulating GABAA receptors similarly to the way benzodiazepine drugs do.

Zopiclone is a sedative.

In the United States, zopiclone is not commercially available, although its active stereoisomer, eszopiclone is. Zopiclone is a controlled substance in the United States, Japan, Brazil, and some European countries, and may be illegal to possess without a prescription. However, it is readily available in other countries and is not a controlled substance.

Zopiclone is known colloquially as a “Z-drug”. Other Z-drugs include zaleplon and zolpidem and were initially thought to be less addictive than benzodiazepines. However, this appraisal has shifted somewhat in the last few years as cases of addiction and habituation have been presented.

Alert from the NDEWS Web Monitoring Team: Online mentions of Zopiclone (July 22, 2022)

Context: This alert was prompted by an inquiry from the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD).

What was found? Consistent discussion of the drug Zopiclone has persisted in drug Subreddits, with at least 100 total mentions every month in 2022.

To what does Zopiclone refer? Zopiclone is a non-benzodiazepine sedative drug. In the US, Zopiclone is a controlled substance sold under the brand name Imovane.

How is it being discussed? Commenters describe recreational use of Zopiclone at recommended doses for its sedative effect in combination with other drugs, as well as taking high doses of the drug. While Zopiclone is not a benzodiazepine, commenters frequently discuss the drug in benzodiazepine Subreddits and mention taking the drug recreationally along with benzodiazepines, or when experiencing benzodiazepine withdrawal.

Drug Terms: Zopiclone, Imovane.

National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators Federal Tax ID: 52-1660752 / DUNS Number: 073539913

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