Zopiclone, Zaleplon and Zolpidem


‘Z drugs’ emerged in the last years of the 1980s and early 1990s, with zopiclone (Zimovane) approved by the NHS, in 1989, followed by zolpidem (Ambien) manufactured by the Sanofi Group. By 1999, the last of the group, zaleplon was introduced to the clinical pharmacopeia. As concern of the addictive potential and management of chronic insomnia rose, the Z group have become increasingly popular. As may have been anticipated by students of the history of hypnotics, a debate over the addictive potential of the ‘Z drugs’ has also developed across the years, and there is, as yet, a lack of evidence to answer this question definitively.