Zopiclone, Zaleplon and Zolpidem


The term ‘Z-drugs’ is used to describe a group of closely related non-benzodiazepine drugs that share many pharmacological similarities with benzodiazepines and have been used in the treatment of certain types of somnipathy (sleep disorders) such as insomnia.

As concern over the addiction potential of benzodiazepines grew, chemists looked for a less dependence inducing alternative. Ironic, as of course benzodiazepines were themselves marketed as a non-addictive alternative to barbiturates.

They are called ‘z’ drugs as they are similar in action and begin with a common first letter.