Eszopiclone (Page 6 of 9)

10.2 Recommended Treatment

General symptomatic and supportive measures should be used along with immediate gastric lavage where appropriate. Intravenous fluids should be administered as needed. Flumazenil may be useful. As in all cases of drug overdose, respiration, pulse, blood pressure, and other appropriate signs should be monitored and general supportive measures employed. Hypotension and CNS depression should be monitored and treated by appropriate medical intervention. Consider monitoring methemoglobin in the setting of high-dose overdosage. The value of dialysis in the treatment of overdosage has not been determined.

As with the management of all overdosage, the possibility of multiple drug ingestion should be considered. The physician may wish to consider contacting a poison control center for up-to-date information on the management of hypnotic drug product overdosage.


Eszopiclone is a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic agent that is a pyrrolopyrazine derivative of the cyclopyrrolone class. The chemical name of eszopiclone is (+)-4-Methylpiperazine-1-carboxylic acid 6-(5-chloro-2-pyridyl)-7-oxo-6, 7-dihydro-5 H-pyrrolo [3,4-b]pyrazin-5(S)-yl ester. Its molecular weight is 388.81 g/mol, and its empirical formula is C 17 H 17 ClN 6 O 3 . Eszopiclone has a single chiral center with an ( S)-configuration. It has the following chemical structure:

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Eszopiclone is a white to light yellow powder. Eszopiclone is slightly soluble in acetone, methanol and alcohol; practically insoluble in water.

Eszopiclone is formulated as film-coated tablets for oral administration. Eszopiclone Tablets, USP contain 1 mg, 2 mg, or 3 mg eszopiclone and the following inactive ingredients: anhydrous lactose, colloidal silicon dioxide, croscarmellose sodium, dibasic calcium phosphate anhydrous, hypromellose, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide, and triacetin. In addition, both the 1 mg and 3 mg tablets contain FD&C Blue #2.


12.1 Mechanism of action

The mechanism of action of eszopiclone as a hypnotic is unclear; however, its effect could be related to its interaction with GABA-receptor complexes at binding domains located close to or allosterically coupled to benzodiazepine receptors.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

The pharmacokinetics of eszopiclone have been investigated in healthy subjects (adult and elderly) and in patients with hepatic disease or renal disease. In healthy subjects, the pharmacokinetic profile was examined after single doses of up to 7.5 mg and after once-daily administration of 1, 3, and 6 mg for 7 days. Eszopiclone is rapidly absorbed, with a time to peak concentration (t max ) of approximately 1 hour and a terminal-phase elimination half-life (t 1/2 ) of approximately 6 hours. In healthy adults, eszopiclone does not accumulate with once-daily administration, and its exposure is dose-proportional over the range of 1 to 6 mg.

Absorption and Distribution

Eszopiclone is rapidly absorbed following oral administration. Peak plasma concentrations are achieved within approximately 1 hour after oral administration. Eszopiclone is weakly bound to plasma protein (52 to 59%). The large free fraction suggests that eszopiclone disposition should not be affected by drug-drug interactions caused by protein binding. The blood-to-plasma ratio for eszopiclone is less than one, indicating no selective uptake by red blood cells.


Following oral administration, eszopiclone is extensively metabolized by oxidation and demethylation. The primary plasma metabolites are ( S)-zopiclone-N-oxide and ( S)-N-desmethyl zopiclone; the latter compound binds to GABA receptors with substantially lower potency than eszopiclone, and the former compound shows no significant binding to this receptor. In vitro studies have shown that CYP3A4 and CYP2E1 enzymes are involved in the metabolism of eszopiclone. Eszopiclone did not show any inhibitory potential on CYP450 1A2, 2A6, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, 2E1, and 3A4 in cryopreserved human hepatocytes.


After oral administration, eszopiclone is eliminated with a mean t 1/2 of approximately 6 hours. Up to 75% of an oral dose of racemic zopiclone is excreted in the urine, primarily as metabolites. A similar excretion profile would be expected for eszopiclone, the S-isomer of racemic zopiclone. Less than 10% of the orally administered eszopiclone dose is excreted in the urine as parent drug.

Effect of Food

In healthy adults, administration of a 3 mg dose of eszopiclone after a high-fat meal resulted in no change in AUC, a reduction in mean C max of 21%, and delayed t max by approximately 1 hour. The half-life remained unchanged, approximately 6 hours. The effects of eszopiclone on sleep onset may be reduced if it is taken with or immediately after a high-fat/heavy meal.

Specific Populations


Compared with non-elderly adults, subjects 65 years and older had an increase of 41% in total exposure (AUC) and a slightly prolonged elimination of eszopiclone (t 1/2 approximately 9 hours). C max was unchanged. Therefore, in elderly patients the dose should not exceed 2 mg.


The pharmacokinetics of eszopiclone in men and women are similar.


In an analysis of data on all subjects participating in Phase 1 studies of eszopiclone, the pharmacokinetics for all races studied appeared similar.

Hepatic Impairment

Pharmacokinetics of a 2 mg eszopiclone dose were assessed in 16 healthy volunteers and in 8 subjects with mild, moderate, and severe liver disease. Exposure was increased 2-fold in severely impaired patients compared with the healthy volunteers. C max and t max were unchanged. No dose adjustment is necessary for patients with mild-to-moderate hepatic impairment. Dose reduction is recommended for patients with severe hepatic impairment. Eszopiclone should be used with caution in patients with hepatic impairment [see Dosage and Administration ( 2.3)] .

Renal Impairment

The pharmacokinetics of eszopiclone were studied in 24 patients with mild, moderate, or severe renal impairment. AUC and C max were similar in the patients compared with demographically matched healthy control subjects. No dose adjustment is necessary in patients with renal impairment, since less than 10% of the orally administered eszopiclone dose is excreted in the urine as parent drug.

Drug Interactions

Eszopiclone is metabolized by CYP3A4 and CYP2E1 via demethylation and oxidation. There were no pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interactions between eszopiclone and paroxetine. When eszopiclone was coadministered with olanzapine, no pharmacokinetic interaction was detected in levels of eszopiclone or olanzapine, but a pharmacodynamic interaction was seen on a measure of psychomotor function. Eszopiclone and lorazepam decreased each other’s C max by 22%. Coadministration of eszopiclone 3 mg to subjects receiving ketoconazole, a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4, 400 mg daily for 5 days, resulted in a 2.2-fold increase in exposure to eszopiclone. C max and t 1/2 were increased 1.4-fold and 1.3-fold, respectively. Eszopiclone would not be expected to alter the clearance of drugs metabolized by common CYP450 enzymes [see Warnings and Precautions ( 5.7), Dosage and Administration ( 2.3)] .

Paroxetine: Coadministration of single dose of eszopiclone and paroxetine produced no pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic interaction. The lack of a drug interaction following single-dose administration does not predict the complete absence of a pharmacodynamic effect following chronic administration.

Lorazepam: Coadministration of single doses of eszopiclone and lorazepam did not have clinically relevant effects on the pharmacodynamics or pharmacokinetics of either drug. The lack of a drug interaction following single-dose administration does not predict the complete absence of a pharmacodynamic effect following chronic administration.

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