Anyway, he decided that a lot of my problems would be fixed if only I could get enough sleep, so prescribed a short course of zopiclone, warning me that it was highly addictive etc etc. When I got home and looked it up I wasn't terribly convinced that it would work, being a "Z drug" - I still remember the time in my second year at university when I was so unable to sleep that I was randomly passing out all over the place, including in lectures and one time in lab (!!), and went to the useless doctor  there for some help. She prescribed zolpidem (Ambien), which did nothing - I was routinely still awake 5 hours after taking it, and I eventually looked up the maximum safe dose on the internet and took that, without success.
Well, I took the zopiclone last night and to my extreme surprise it worked. I feel a bit fuzzy in the head and still a bit sleepy, but rested and a lot less anxious. No dreams about aeroplanes crashing, to take the example of the night before. Hopefully it will continue to work until the end of my exams, and after that I'll be in enough of a sleep pattern that I'll be able to keep going.
Also, I sent the following email to P, who teaches the biological chemistry course which features natural products and drugs: "Well, I might be dismayed by the concept of having to learn all the Biological Chemistry II material for the exam, but I've just been sitting here reading the prescribing information for the new drug I've been given (because gods forbid I put anything into my body having read only the patronising "information for consumers"), and for the first time I genuinely understand ALL of it!
Zopiclone is extensively metabolized by three major pathways; only about 4 to 5% of the drug is excreted unchanged in the urine. An in vitro study indicates that cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 is the major isoenzyme involved in the metabolism of zopiclone to both metabolites, and that CYP2C8 is also involved with N-desmethyl zopiclone formation.
The principal metabolites are the N-oxide derivative (~12%), which has weak pharmacological activity in animals, and the N-desmethyl metabolite (~16%), which is pharmacologically inactive. Their apparent half-lives evaluated from the urinary data are approximately 4.5 and 7.4 hours, respectively. Both metabolites are excreted renally.
Other metabolites resulting from oxidative decarboxylation are partly eliminated via the lung as carbon dioxide. In animals, zopiclone did not induce hepatic microsomal enzymes.
So I've clearly learnt something :) " Seriously, I feel all clever now!
Why do I not have a userpic with me raising one eyebrow? I'll have to fix that sometime.
 a.k.a. the doctor who told me "If Prozac doesn't help then you're not chemically depressed".