Types of Insomnia Medication
If you struggle with insomnia, medication can be beneficial in getting some shuteye. But it is essential to remember that all medications for insomnia come with risks; therefore they should only be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes lifestyle changes, cognitive behavioral therapy and stress management.
Z-drugs such as zolpidem (Ambien) and zaleplon (Sonata), plus benzodiazepines like estazolam (Prosom), flurazepam (Dalmane), quazepam (Doral) and triazolam (Halcion) have all been known to treat insomnia. Not only do these medications have sedative and antianxiety effects, but they may help you fall asleep quickly too.
Long-acting medications like melatonin (Circadin) or ramelteon may also be effective. These melatonin-based medicines should be taken a few hours before bedtime and may be prescribed to those having difficulty falling or staying asleep.
Melatonin or ramelteon formulations specifically designed to treat insomnia are only available with a valid prescription. They work by interfering with the brain’s neurotransmitters that signal when it’s time for bed.
Other types of sleep medication are less frequently prescribed and could potentially be hazardous for individuals with certain medical conditions such as liver or kidney failure. They may cause more intense side effects and lead to dependence.
Benzodiazepines are among the oldest classes of insomnia sedative hypnotics still in use today and can be addictive. As controlled substances, they have special regulations on their prescribing and taking.
Insomnia-specific benzodiazepines are generally safe, but they can become physically and psychologically addictive when taken for extended periods of time. Furthermore, discontinuing use may cause withdrawal symptoms; thus it’s essential to collaborate closely with your healthcare provider when using them.