Lunesta, marketed by Sepracor under the brand-name Lunesta, is a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic agent (viz., a sedative) used as a treatment for insomnia. Lunesta is the active stereoisomer of zopiclone, and belongs to the class of drugs known as cyclopyrrones. Its main selling point is that it is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for long-term use, unlike almost all other hypnotic sedatives, which are approved only for the relief of short-term (6-8 weeks) insomnia.
Lunesta is a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic, pyrrolopyrazine derivative of the cyclopyrrolone class and is indicated for the short-term treatment of insomnia. While Lunesta is a hypnotic agent with a chemical structure unrelated to benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or other drugs with known hypnotic properties, it interacts with the gamma-aminobutyric acid-benzodiazepine (GABABZ) receptor complex. Subunit modulation of the GABABZ receptor chloride channel macromolecular complex is hypothesized to be responsible for some of the pharmacological properties of benzodiazepines, which include sedative, anxiolytic, muscle relaxant, and anticonvulsive effects in animal models. Lunesta binds selectively to the brain alpha subunit of the GABA A omega-1 receptor.
Side effects include viral infection, dry mouth, dizziness, hallucinations, infection, rash, and unpleasant taste, with this relationship clearest for unpleasant taste depending on doses.