If you have insomnia, it can feel overwhelming to find a sleep medication that will safely and effectively treat your symptoms. With so many options on the market, along with their long lists of warnings or side effects, it may feel as if it’s easier to lose sleep rather than struggle to find the help you need.
Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case.
In this article, we will give you a side-by-side comparison guide of two popular insomnia medications: Lunesta and Restoril. We will break down how these medications work, what they treat, and the warnings associated with each drug so that you can be better informed before discussing insomnia treatment options with your healthcare provider.
If symptoms of insomnia are keeping you awake at night, a prescription sleep aid like Lunesta or Restoril may be able to help. Klarity will connect you with a licensed healthcare provider who can provide online insomnia treatment, including an evaluation of your symptoms and a prescription for insomnia medication, if necessary.
Schedule an appointment, and we’ll connect you with an insomnia specialist who will help you get the good night’s sleep you deserve.
Restoril is a benzodiazepine, making it a potentially addictive substance. For this reason, many of the providers on Klarity won’t prescribe Restoril to insomnia patients. Instead, they will work with you to find a more suitable insomnia medication. Connect with a provider today to learn more.
|Brand / Generic Status||Brand name for eszopiclone||Brand name for temazepam
|Form(s) of the Drug||• Immediate-release tablets||• Immediate-release capsule|
|Standard Dosage||Tablets: |
• 7.5 mg
• 15 mg
|Conditions Treated||FDA-approved: |
• Anxiety disorders
• Muscle spasms
|Cost||Brand name: |
• $7.53 to $86.61 for a 30-day supply
• $5.01 to $91.16 for a 30-day supply
• $180 to $300 for a 30-day supply (less with coupon codes)
• $6.53 to $13 for a 30-day supply
|Side-Effects||Common side effects: |
• Day-time drowsiness
• Memory or concentration issues
• Nervous feeling
• Stomach pain
• Loss of appetite
• Dry mouth
• Unusual taste in your mouth
• Mild skin rash
Serious side effects:
• Aggression or confusion
• Severe depression
• Suicidal thoughts
• Memory loss
|Common side effects:
• Daytime drowsiness
• Loss of coordination
• Changes in vision
• Muscle weakness
• Changes in memory
• Increased anxiety or irritability
• GI upset, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dry mouth
• Numbness or “pins and needles” sensation on the skin
Serious side effects:
• Changes in mental status
• New or worsening anxiety or depression
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Suicidal ideation or thoughts of self-harm
|Warnings For Use||Contraindicated conditions:|
• History of substance abuse
• Central nervous system depressants,
• Other sleep aids
• Opioid pain medication
• Antihistamine medications
• Cold and cough medicines
• Muscle relaxants
• Recreational drugs, including marijuana and Kratom
• Kidney, liver, or lung disease
• History of substance abuse
• Other CNS depressants
• Other sleep aids
• Certain antihypertensives
• Neuropathic pain medications
• Psychiatric medications
What is Lunesta?
Lunesta is the name brand of eszopiclone, a sedative or hypnotic medication that is used to treat insomnia. This sleep medication works by binding to inhibitory GABA receptors in the brain to slow activity and help you fall asleep.
Lunesta Forms and Doses
Lunesta is available in 1 mg, 2 mg, and 3 mg tablets. When starting the medication, you are typically prescribed the lowest dose of 1 mg to be taken right before bedtime.
The dose can be increased weekly, as needed, with a maximum dose of 3 mg per day. Lunesta is considered to be a schedule-IV controlled substance because of its potential for abuse and dependence and, therefore, should not be taken for long periods.
Conditions Lunesta Treats
Lunesta is only FDA-approved for the treatment of insomnia. This medication helps those who have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night.
Insomnia is a relatively common condition and can have serious consequences if you are not getting adequate sleep most nights of the week. Sleep plays an important role in maintaining your physical and emotional well-being, and if you are not getting enough rest throughout the night, you are likely experiencing consequences throughout the day.
There are a few different types of insomnia that can overlap with one another. Acute insomnia is characterized by short bouts of sleepless nights, while chronic insomnia is characterized by one to two sleepless nights a week for a month or more. There is also onset insomnia, meaning you have trouble falling asleep, and maintenance insomnia, meaning that you have trouble staying asleep and frequently wake up throughout the night.
Secondary symptoms of insomnia include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Difficulty with concentration
- Lack of motivation or energy
- Increased appetite
- New or worsening anxiety or depressive symptoms
- Difficulty with memory
Lunesta can be a relatively expensive medication if it is not covered by your health insurance plan or you are uninsured. The retail price for a 30-day supply of Lunesta is around $586 but can be significantly reduced to under $7 with the use of coupon codes and generic forms. Coupons are available at the majority of large name-brand pharmacies.
Lunesta Side Effects
As with any medication, there are potential side effects that you may experience when starting a new medication. If you begin to experience severe or persistent side effects when taking Lunesta, contact your healthcare provider.
The most common side effects of Lunesta include:
- Dry mouth
- Drowsiness or dizziness
- New or worsening anxiety or depression
- Skin rash
- Strange dreams
Lunesta Warnings For Use
A few serious adverse effects should be discussed before starting Lunesta. You should contact your healthcare provider immediately if you begin to experience any of the following:
Complex Sleep Behaviors
Lunesta can cause complex sleep behaviors, which describe any activity or behavior that the individual undergoes while they are not fully awake or conscious. This may include sleepwalking or even sleep-driving.
This is rare but can be a very serious and potentially life-threatening side effect of the medication. You should be carefully monitored when starting Lunesta and immediately discontinue the medication if you begin to experience any complex sleep behaviors.
Lunesta is indicated for the short-term treatment of insomnia and should not be used consistently for long periods. As previously mentioned, this medication is a Schedule IV controlled substance, according to the FDA, because of its potential for abuse and dependence.
Continued or prolonged use of Lunesta can result in tolerance and needing more of the drug to achieve the same effects. Higher, prolonged usage increases the risk of dependency. Additionally, long-term use of this medication has been associated with an increased risk of behavioral and psychiatric changes, including irritability, bizarre behavior, hallucinations, and depersonalization.
Those with a current or past history of substance abuse should avoid this medication, and your healthcare provider must complete a full psychiatric history and evaluation before prescribing it.
If you are taking this medication daily for an extended period, do not abruptly discontinue the medication, as this can cause withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are unhappy with your medication or are thinking of stopping it, as they will safely taper you off the medication by slowly decreasing your dose weekly.
As always, disclose all medications you are currently taking with your healthcare provider, including all over-the-counter medications and supplements. There are several interactions with Lunesta that can be potentially dangerous, including seemingly harmless over-the-counter medications.
Drugs to avoid with Lunesta include:
- Central nervous system (CNS) depressants, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines
- Other sleep aids
- Opioid pain medication
- Antihistamine medications, including Benadryl, Zyrtec, or Vistaril
- Cold and cough medicines
- Muscle relaxants
- Recreational drugs, including marijuana and Kratom
Licensed providers on Klarity provide personalized mental health treatment. Find a provider that matches your needs and preferences.
What is Restoril?
Restoril is the brand name of the drug Temazepam, which belongs to the class of medications called benzodiazepines. Restoril and other benzodiazepine medications bind to inhibitory-GABA receptors in the brain and work to slow activity, creating a calming or sedative effect. Due to these effects, benzodiazepines are considered to be central nervous system (CNS) depressants.
Restoril Forms and Doses
Restoril is available in 7.5 mg, 15 mg, 22.5 mg, and 30 mg capsules. The recommended starting dose is 7.5 mg, but it can be increased or decreased weekly based on your response to the medication and individual needs.
Your healthcare provider will determine which dose is right for you, and because of the serious adverse effects of this medication, it is important to take your medication as prescribed.
Conditions Restoril Treats
Restoril is FDA-approved to treat insomnia. It is important to note this medication is intended for the short-term treatment of insomnia and should not be taken for an extended time due to its risk of abuse and dependence.
The term “off-label” refers to any use that has not been approved by the FDA but may still be effective. Since Restoril is a benzodiazepine medication and a CNS depressant, it can also be used off-label for anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, seizures, and muscle spasms.
Not getting enough sleep at night can present in different ways, but the most common insomnia symptoms include issues with sleep onset and sleep maintenance. Sleep onset is referred to as the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep, and sleep maintenance is your ability to stay asleep.
Restoril is known to be effective for getting you to sleep and staying asleep throughout the night, so this medication may be beneficial for those who have issues with initially falling asleep and for those with frequent nighttime awakenings.
When compared to Lunesta, Restoril is a more affordable option. The cost of Restoril will vary depending on your insurance coverage, your dosing, and which pharmacy you use.
If you are uninsured, you can find coupon codes at all large name-brand pharmacies that significantly lower the cost of your monthly prescriptions. The average retail price of Restoril is around $180-300, and coupon codes can reduce the cost to less than $7 for a 30-day supply.
Restoril Side Effects
As with any medication, there is a risk of developing side effects when taking Restoril. Most of these side effects are mild and tolerable, but there are a few serious side effects, and you should contact your healthcare provider immediately if you begin to experience them.
Some common side effects of Restoril include:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Loss of coordination
- Changes in vision
- Muscle weakness
- Changes in memory
- Increased anxiety or irritability
- GI upset, including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dry mouth
- Numbness or “pins and needles” sensation on the skin
If you experience the following side effects, contact your physician immediately:
- Changes in mental status
- New or worsening anxiety or depression
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Suicidal ideation or thoughts of self-harm
Restoril Warnings For Use
It is important to disclose all past and current medical history with your healthcare provider before starting a new medication. Restoril may not be the best medication for you if you have a history of significant liver, kidney, or lung disease.
Restoril should also be used with caution in the elderly population over the age of 65 due to the increased risk of side effects and safety issues surrounding falls, injury, and loss of coordination.
Like Lunesta, Restoril is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance by the FDA due to its high risk for abuse and dependency. Therefore, this medication should be avoided by those with a current or past history of substance abuse.
Additionally, Restoril should not be used for longer or in higher doses than prescribed by your healthcare provider, as this misuse increases the risk of dependency. The greater your dependency on Restoril, the more serious withdrawal symptoms you may experience when you stop taking the drug.
These symptoms may include the following:
- Rebound insomnia
- Muscle tension
- Seizures (severe cases)
If you want to stop taking Restoril, talk to your healthcare provider, so they can help you do so safely.
Restoril is a strong CNS depressant and, therefore, has several potential drug interactions that can be dangerous. As always, it is important to disclose all medications that you are currently taking with your healthcare provider before starting a new medication, including all over-the-counter medications and supplements.
Drug interactions with Restoril include:
- All other CNS depressant medications, opioid pain medication, and other benzodiazepines
- Other sleep aids
- Certain antihypertensives, such as Lisinopril and Lasix
- Medicines to treat neuropathic pain: Cymbalta, Gabapentin, Lyrica
- Psychiatric medications: Trazodone, Seroquel, Zoloft
Which Insomnia Medication Is Right For Me?
With several insomnia treatment options to choose from, figuring out which medication is right for you can be challenging. For this reason, you should always consult with a medical professional before starting Lunesta, Restoril, or any other sleep medications.
If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you may benefit from insomnia medication. Klarity can connect you with a licensed healthcare provider in your state for simple and affordable online insomnia treatment, which can include prescription medication. Your provider will specialize in insomnia and help you determine which medication, if any, is right for you.
Schedule your first telehealth appointment today and be seen by an insomnia specialist in just 48 hours.
Lunesta and Restoril Frequently Asked Questions
We went over a lot of information, and it can be confusing to compare two medications that act similarly. Below we have answered some of the most common questions about Lunesta and Restoril.
Are Lunesta and Restoril the same class of drugs?
No, although both prescription medications act similarly on GABA receptors to calm the mind and promote sleep, Lunesta and Restoril belong to two separate classes of medications. Lunesta is considered a sedative-hypnotic drug, while Restoril is a benzodiazepine medication.
What’s better for Insomnia? Lunesta or Restoril?
Restoril and Lunesta are approved for the short-term treatment of insomnia and are both effective medications to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Some studies have shown that Restoril may be preferred over Lunesta because it is tolerated better with minimal side effects.
Can Lunesta cause depression? Can Restoril?
Both Lunesta and Restoril have the potential to cause new or worsening anxiety and depression after starting the medication.
Can I drive on Lunesta or Restoril?
No, you should avoid operating heavy machinery, including driving a vehicle, after taking either medication due to its sedative effects. These medications should be taken at night right before bedtime.
Can I drink alcohol when taking Lunesta or Restoril?
You should avoid drinking alcohol and all central nervous system (CNS) depressants while taking either medication because of the increased risk of adverse effects and dangerous levels of CNS depression.
Does it matter what time of day I take Lunesta or Restoril?
Both Lunesta and Restoril are prescribed to be taken immediately before bedtime due to their sedative effects.
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“Lunesta Coupons & Prices” SingleCare. https://www.singlecare.com/prescription/lunesta?utm_medium=paid-search&utm_source=google-sc&utm_campaign=1798572127&utm_adgroup=75028918011&utm_term=%2Bcost%20%2Bof%20%2Blunesta&utm_content=618378207568&matchtype=b&pos=&device=c&mkwid=s|dc_pcrid_618378207568_pkw_%2Bcost%20%2Bof%20%2Blunesta_pmt_b&segments=&gclid=Cj0KCQiAkMGcBhCSARIsAIW6d0CiJtSkZtUeUiyA0ky6clpR-Cgf6G4cb6voUvLfE4Q1b-e-CU9UdH8aAvowEALw_wcB
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“Restoril Coupons & Prices” SingleCare. https://www.singlecare.com/prescription/restoril?q=Restoril%20(Temazepam)
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“Temazepam: Drug information” UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/temazepam-drug-information?search=restoril&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~16&usage_type=panel&kp_tab=drug_general&display_rank=1