Preliminary Assessment of Zopiclone (Imovane™) use in Camp Mirage Aircrew

Évaluation Préliminaire de l’Utilisation de la Zopiclone (Imovane™) chez les Équipages du Camp Mirage


  1. Paul, M.A.
  2. Gray, G.W.
  3. Miller, J.C.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Based on previous work done at DRDC Toronto, the Aerospace and Undersea Medical Board drafted aeromedical policy to allow short term (max 5 days consecutive) flight surgeon supervised use of certain sleeping medications in aircrew during operations that are known to impact on aircrew sleep. Because of alternating day, off-circadian operations, there was a recent locally initiated change in the use of zopiclone in Camp Mirage aircrew to alternate day use throught the 56-day rotations. DRDC Toronto was asked to evaluate this off-nominal use of zopiclone in CF aircrew. FAST (Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool) a performance modeling program was used to predict the impact of zopiclone and to compare an alternative duty schedule (3 days of work followed by three days off) against the current schedule (cycles one 1 day of work and 1 day off) across three mission take-off times (0300 hrs, 0700 hrs, and alternating 0700 hrs & 0300 hrs). Crew duty data and sleep behaviours (reported to the attending Flight Surgeon) were used as inputs to FAST in order to generate 12 cognitive effectiveness models. The models predict that the current schedule provides better sustained performance than a 3 days on/3 days off schedule, especially for the 0300 hrs take-off missions. The current use of zopiclone to support early circadian pre-mission sleep predicts a 4% to 6% increase in average mission cognitive effectiveness relative to no use of zopiclone. These performance models were based on reported

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Aircrew fatigue;mission schedule;sleeping medications;cognitive effectiveness;Sleep medications;Zopiclone;Fatigue Avoidance Scheduling Tool;Sleep behaviors;Performance models;Fatigue;FAST
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-TR-2006-077 — Technical Report
Date of publication
31 May 2006
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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