Sleep Medication For Insomnia
If you are having difficulty sleeping or staying asleep, sleep medication may provide some relief. These drugs are typically prescribed to assist those suffering from short-term insomnia or when their problems can be traced back to something else like stress, travel, or daytime naps.
Insomnia is a chronic disorder that can impact everyone at some point. It’s an exhausting disorder that disrupts daily life and leaves you feeling tired all of the time.
When it comes to treating insomnia, there are various medications available. Your healthcare provider will determine which one is most suitable for you based on factors such as the duration and cause of your insomnia.
Some drugs are more effective than others for treating certain types of sleep disorders. These include nonbenzodiazepine receptor agonists, benzodiazepine receptor agonists, the selective melatonin receptor agonist ramelteon, and sedating antidepressants.
The most widely prescribed sleep medication is a sedating antidepressant such as zolpidem (Ambien), temazepam (Restoril) or eszopiclone (Lunesta). Unfortunately, these drugs carry risks of abuse and dependence.
Another commonly prescribed medication is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, such as venlafaxine (Fluoxetine) or desyrel (Trazadone). These drugs help people fall asleep quickly and remain asleep through the night.
They may also help people manage anxiety and depression, which may contribute to insomnia. This type of drug can be taken for several months or longer in order to determine if it helps alleviate your insomnia.
Older adults typically have more complex medical conditions and can experience adverse reactions to sleep medications. Therefore, it’s best to start them on either a nonbenzodiazepine receptor agonist (BZRA) or melatonin agonist like ramelteon; this treatment option is usually only recommended if the person has few other medical issues and can adhere to strict precautions in the morning in order to minimize grogginess or other side effects.
These medications may also be combined with behavioral or cognitive therapy to address the underlying causes of insomnia. Behavior modifications, such as getting regular exercise, avoiding caffeine before bedtime, limiting daytime naps and managing stress are usually most successful long-term solutions for treating insomnia.
Many drugs can have serious side effects and some lead to withdrawal symptoms when someone stops taking them. Your doctor will guide you on which drug is most suitable for your individual situation and how best to take it safely.
Some medications can cause drowsiness, nausea and sweating. Furthermore, they may elevate blood pressure and heart rate which may be dangerous for some individuals.
Most of the drugs on this list have a low starting dose that can be adjusted by your healthcare provider to fit individual needs. They may be prescribed for short periods such as 7 days or up to 3 months.
If you have a serious medical condition such as heart failure or diabetes, your doctor will want to make sure you can use these medications safely before prescribing them. They may be especially hazardous if you have kidney or liver disease.