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Management of insomnia in elderly patients using eszopiclone

Authors Kirkwood C, Breden E

Published 4 August 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 151—158


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Cynthia Kirkwood1, Ericka Breden2

1Department of Pharmacotherapy and Outcomes Science, 2Department of Pharmacy, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia USA

Abstract: Insomnia is a common sleep complaint in the elderly. The safety and efficacy of eszopiclone, a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic, in elderly patients with chronic insomnia has been established in two 2-week and one 12-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled ­trials. Eszopiclone 1 mg was effective in reducing sleep latency. Eszopiclone 2 mg was effective in reducing latency to sleep and for increasing sleep maintenance. Eszopiclone doses of 1 mg and 2 mg reduced the number of daytime naps and decreased the duration of naps in elderly patients. Eszopiclone 2 mg improved the quality of life measures for mood, physical health, household activities, medication, leisure activities, and self-report of physical functioning and vitality in the 2-week trials, and vitality and general health in the 12-week trial. The most commonly reported side effects in the elderly included unpleasant taste, dry mouth, dizziness, and somnolence. The concurrent use of drugs that inhibit or induce the cytochrome P450 enzyme CYP3A4 can alter concentrations of eszopiclone and the dose may need to be adjusted. The recommended starting dose of eszopiclone for difficulty falling asleep is 1 mg at bedtime. For elders who complain of difficulty maintaining sleep, eszopiclone should be initiated at 2 mg at bedtime. Overall, eszopiclone is a safe and well-tolerated treatment option for elderly patients with insomnia.

Keywords: eszopiclone, insomnia, elderly

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