What medications have you taken to relieve your case of insomnia? Please relate your experience.
Share your story with others:
MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.
What medications are used to treat insomnia?
The main classes of medications used to treat insomnia
are the sedatives and hypnotics, such as the benzodiazepines and the
Several medications in the benzodiazepine class
have been used successfully for the treatment of insomnia, and the most common
flurazepam (Dalmane), and
common benzodiazepine, diazepam (Valium), is typically not used to treat
insomnia due to its longer sedative
Non-benzodiazepine sedatives are also used commonly for the treatment of
insomnia and include most of the newer drugs. Some of the most common ones are:
zolpidem (Ambien or Ambien CR [note that as of January 1, 2014 the FDA
changed the recommended dosage and precautions],
Zolpimist, Intermezzo), and
Melatonin, a chemical released from the brain which induces sleep, has been
tried in supplement form for treatment of insomnia as well. It has been
generally ineffective in treating common types of insomnia, except in specific
situations in patients with known low levels of melatonin. Melatonin may be
(without a prescription).
Ramelteon (Rozerem), which is an insomnia drug that acts by mimicking the action of
melatonin, is a newer drug. It has been used effectively in certain groups of
patients with insomnia.
There are also other medications that are not in the sedative or hypnotic
classes, which have been used in the treatment of insomnia. Sedative
diphenhydramine (Benadryl) have been used as sleep aids because
of their sedative effects; however, this is not a recommended use of these or
other similar drugs due to many side effects and long-term drowsiness the
Some anti-depressants (for example, trazodone [Desyrel], amitriptyline [Elavil, Endep], doxepin
[Sinequan, Adapin]) can be
used effectively to treat insomnia in patients who also may suffer from
depression. Some anti-psychotics have been used to treat insomnia, although
their routine use for this purpose is generally not recommended.
A doctor or sleep specialist is the best person to
discuss these different medications, and to decide which one may be the best for
each specific individual. Many of these drugs have a potential for abuse and
need to be used with caution. None of these medications may be taken without the
supervision of the prescribing physician.