Eszopiclone for insomnia associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Pediatrics. 2014 Oct;134(4):e1095-103. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-4221.


Objective: To evaluate efficacy and safety of eszopiclone compared with placebo in children and adolescents with insomnia associated with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Methods: A 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluated efficacy and safety of high- or low-dose eszopiclone (1 or 2 mg in children aged 6-11 years, 2 or 3 mg in children ages 12-17 years), given every evening, in 486 patients with ADHD-related insomnia. The primary efficacy variable was change in latency to persistent sleep from baseline to week 12, based on polysomnography. Key secondary measures were polysomnography-measured wake time after sleep onset, Clinical Global Impression Parent/Caregiver and Child scales, and the Conners' ADHD rating scales. The safety of eszopiclone was further studied over 1 year of open-label treatment in 55 patients who completed the double-blind study, and 249 patients with no previous eszopiclone exposure.

Results: Neither low-dose nor high-dose eszopiclone significantly reduced latency to persistent sleep compared with placebo after 12 weeks of treatment. Secondary outcomes were considered nonsignificant based on the hierarchical statistical analysis plan. The most frequent treatment-emergent adverse events over 12 weeks with eszopiclone were headache, dysgeusia, and dizziness. The study results demonstrated that eszopiclone was well tolerated over 1 year of treatment, with 11.2% of patients discontinuing open-label treatment because of an adverse event.

Conclusions: Eszopiclone (up to 3 mg) failed to reduce latency to persistent sleep on polysomnography after 12 weeks in children aged 6 to 17 years with ADHD-related insomnia. Eszopiclone was well tolerated in the 1-year study.

Trial registration: NCT00856973 NCT00857220.

Keywords: ADHD; benzodiazepine agonist; eszopiclone; pediatric insomnia.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
  • Azabicyclo Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eszopiclone
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use*
  • Polysomnography / methods
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / etiology*


  • Azabicyclo Compounds
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Piperazines
  • Eszopiclone

Associated data