The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning regarding the use of drug Lunesta (Eszopiclone) which is used in the treatment of insomnia. Lunesta (Eszopiclone) is a sedative-hypnotic type of drug used to treat insomnia.
The warning comes after a study on Lunesta showed that higher doses of Lunesta taken at bedtime lead to next-day impairment of driving and other activities that require alertness. The drug is found to cause impairment of driving skills, memory, and coordination even after 11 hours of taking the dose. Also, patients are found to be unaware of their impairment.
The recommended starting dose of Lunesta has been reduced to 1 mg at bedtime from previously recommended dose of 3 mg. New recommended dose results in less blood level of drug in bedtime and thus leading to a reduction of impairment of above-mentioned functions. The doctor can increase dose given to the patient to 2-3 mg if required but with caution as patients taking a 3 mg dose against driving or engaging in other activities that require complete mental alertness the day after use. Recommended dose remain same for both males and females.
FDA has also recommended that elderly patients and patients with severe liver disease should not take doses of Lunesta more than 2 mg. Doctors are advised to encourage patients to read the Medication Guide that comes with their Lunesta prescription. Patients are advised to continue their prescribed dose of Lunesta and contact their doctor to ask about the most appropriate dose for them.