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Z Drugs

Z drugs is a colloquial term for non-benzodiazepine hypnotic sedatives which were developed as a safer alternative to barbiturates. They were first developed in the 1980s and were approved for the treatment of insomnia in 1989. More Z drugs were developed and manufactured throughout the 1990s and they have since been widely used for the treatment of different types of insomnia, which we will explain in greater depth.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved Z drug production in 1999, which were first patented and manufactured by King Pharmaceuticals. They are so commonly prescribed due to their excellent efficacy and less addictive properties compared to other medications. Despite being controlled Class C substances, we have made it possible to buy Z drugs from our online pharmacy, without the need for a prescription.

What are Z Drugs Used for?

Z drugs are primarily used for the treatment of insomnia. There are 2 main types of insomnia, known as sleep-onset insomnia and sleep-maintenance insomnia. The former is characterised by the inability to drift off to sleep at night, whereas the latter means you keep waking up throughout the night and find it difficult to get back to sleep or wake up too early each morning. Sleep-maintenance insomnia is more difficult to treat, but luckily it affects less people. Sleep-maintenance insomnia is also more commonly associated with children and the elderly.

People's sleep-wake cycle, known as the circadian rhythm, is regulated by hormones in the body which are secreted by the pineal gland located in the hypothalamus in the brain. When it gets dark the pineal gland stimulates the secretion of melatonin, which makes us fall asleep, and when it gets light it stimulates the secretion of serotonin, which makes us wake up. The pineal gland is sometimes referred to as our internal body clock or even the 'third eye' because it regulates our sleep-wake cycle and can detect light, even when we are asleep.

A healthy circadian rhythm is important for the mind and body to reset and rejuvenate. There are lots of reasons however that an individual's circadian rhythm can be disrupted causing insomnia. Examples include jet lag, stress, and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Some people suffer from acute insomnia whereas others suffer from chronic insomnia.

Chronic insomnia is defined as insomnia that lasts for longer than 3 months. All types of insomnia can severely impact on an individual's quality of life and ability to function normally. It can put strain on relationships at home and at work due to irritability and stress and even lead to mistakes at work if you are feeling very tired from lack of sleep.

Examples of Z Drugs

You can buy sleeping tablets including a range of Z drugs from our online pharmacy. Examples of Z drugs include zopiclone and its metabolite eszopiclone, with the main difference between the two being a slightly different chemical structure. The latter is stronger than the former and therefore the maximum dose is 3 mg compared to 7.5 mg per night.

Both Z drugs are available as generic versions. In fact, all of the Z drugs patents have run out, which means other pharmaceutical companies can manufacture and sell the exact same medication under different brand names. Patents exist for several years because pharmaceutical companies have to invest so much money in the development of medications including phase 1, 2, and 3 clinical trials. As they invest so much time and money, it is only fair that they have the exclusive rights to trade the medications, in this case Z drugs, for a number of years to make back the high amounts spent.

How do Z Drugs Work?

Non-benzodiazepines and Z drugs have almost identical mechanisms of action, also known as pharmacodynamics, however they are completely different on a molecular level and their chemical make-up is entirely different. Z drugs are essentially non-benzodiazepine gamma amino butyric-acid A (GABA-A) receptor agonists, and while the 2 classes of medications have similar effects, Z drugs cause greater sedation which is why they are more commonly used for insomnia rather than anxiety.

When the active ingredients in Z drugs bind to the GABA-A neuron receptors, this causes them to produce and secrete an inhibitory neurotransmitter also called GABA. Different types of Z drugs will have slight differences in the way they work in the body, such as their rate of absorption, bioavailability, duration of action, and elimination half-life periods. Zolpidem for example is absorbed rapidly and starts to take effect in less than 30 minutes, has a bioavailability of 70%, and a duration of action of around 3 hours.

How to Take Z Drugs

Z drugs come in tablet form and should be swallowed whole with a glass of water, about an hour before you want to go to sleep. There are immediate release versions and half-dose versions available which reduce the likelihood of drowsiness the next day. The exact dosage will depend on the type of Z drug you are taking as well as the severity and type of your insomnia.

If you miss a dose, you should never take an extra dose to make up for the one you forgot to take, as this can cause too much to build up in your system and could even lead to an overdose. If you take it every night, your dosage may need to be increased due to increased tolerance to the medication. To mitigate against this, you could try alternating with a different non-benzodiazepine medication or only take Z drugs on alternate nights.

Less Side Effects with Z Drugs

Like every medication, Z drugs have the potential to cause side effects. They are much safer than their predecessor barbiturates and cause less side effects than benzodiazepines. Zaleplon is one of the safest non-benzodiazepines on the market due its ultra-short elimination half-life. Even if it is taken in the middle of the night when you just can't fall asleep or you have woken up and can't get back to sleep, it is thought to be safe to drive or use machinery the following day.

Even so, before you buy Z drugs you should be aware of the more common and rarer side effects that you may experience. Side effects that are reported in more than 1 in 100 people include:

  • Feeling drowsy
  • A metallic taste in the mouth

These do not affect everybody and for those that do experience them, they usually go away on their own after a short period of time. They can also be easily mitigated against by only taking them before you want to go to sleep and not taking them too late, as well as using mouthwash to disguise the bitter taste. It is very rare, but some people experience serious side effects which could include:

  • Seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations)
  • Feeling very sad (depression)
  • Losing your memory (amnesia)
  • Falling over

If you experience any of the above, then you should stop taking the medication and seek medical attention from your doctor. Again, this is very rare, but some people suffer from a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock. Symptoms include wheezing, difficulty breathing, a rash on the face and neck, and swelling of the face and lips.

If you have experienced this before you will usually have an epi-pen which you can use if any of the symptoms affect you. It contains adrenalin and should be injected into the muscle of the upper outer thigh. Whether you have an epi-pen or not, you should seek immediate medical assistance by going to A&E.

Are Z Drugs Addictive?

Before you buy Z drugs, it is important it be aware that they have the potential to become physically addictive along with similar medications, however they are less addictive that their benzodiazepine counterparts. They should not be used for more days than not in each week and should not be used for longer than 4 weeks. If they are then your tolerance will increase, resulting in higher doses needing to be taken to reach the same desired effect.

This means that there is a higher chance of overdose, as well as a higher risk of withdrawals if you stop taking them suddenly. If you have become physically dependent on Z drugs, then you should gradually reduce your dose until you can safely stop taking them and to reduce the severity of your withdrawal symptoms.

Are Z Drugs Safe for Everyone?

Most people over the age of 18 can safely use Z drugs, however there are certain conditions or groups of people who should avoid their use or consult their GP before they buy sleeping pills online . If any of the following apply to you, you should seek professional advice before taking Z drugs:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You have been treated for addiction in the past
  • You are also taking benzodiazepines or opioids
  • You are allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the medication
  • You have severe liver or kidney problems
  • You have a muscle weakness disease called myasthenia gravis
  • You have breathing problems

If you are not sure whether any of the above apply to you or the severity of your disorder, you should always book a consultation with your GP to make sure it is safe for you to take Z drugs.

Before You Use Z Drugs

Before you buy Z drugs you should ask yourself if they are the best option for you and your circumstances. If you have any of the conditions or fall into any of the groups mentioned earlier, then you should consult with your doctor or get a referral to a specialist sleep clinic before using them. There are other methods of good sleep hygiene that you can practice as well as other medications that you can take. Some people use antihistamines to help them fall asleep, and you should only buy Z drugs if these or other over the counter (OTC) medications are not strong enough due to their addictive potential. Good sleep hygiene practices include:

  • Going to bed at the same time every night
  • Getting up at the same time each morning
  • If you wake up in the night, do something relaxing until you feel sleepy again
  • Not watching anything or using your phone in bed
  • Only spending time in bed to sleep or to be intimate with your partner

These techniques can be helpful on their own or in conjunction with medications. If you have tried these techniques for a few weeks and nothing is helping, you can visit our online pharmacy a range of medications including Z drugs.

Buy Z Drugs Online

Although Z drugs are some of the most commonly prescribed medications, particularly for insomnia, it is not always possible to get a prescription from your doctor. As they are controlled Class C substances, doctors are under a lot of pressure to reduce the amount they give out. They are also not sleep specialists and waiting for a referral to a sleep clinic can take weeks, if not months, just for an assessment.

Even sleep specialists will want you to try practicing good sleep hygiene for a number of weeks before prescribing medication. And if you have tried these and it has not worked for you, will only increase stress and tension, worsening your symptoms. Even if they do prescribe medication that you know helps you, they will usually only provide it for 1 to 2 weeks.

We understand that when nothing else is working, you should have the ability to order medication that actually helps you, and lets you get your life back on track by taking control of your insomnia. Not only will you get a good night's sleep, but your body will have time to repair and recuperate, it can help improve your mood and therefore relationships, and it will reduce your risk of accidents at work or on the road for example.

Visit for a range of Z drugs and for more information about which could be best for you. We ship all of our orders quickly and in plain packaging, directly to your door.

Info Reviewed: 01 November 2023
Next Review Due: December 2024

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