Insomnia is a sleep disorder that results in the inability to sleep or experiencing frequent awakenings while sleeping. The condition can be a symptom of an underlying disease or illness, but it may be caused by other factors as a resulting symptom. In certain cases, insomnia can be a stand alone condition which is not merely a symptom of an illness but as a sleep disorder itself. Coping with insomnia is important as it can take a toll on one's health and energy, resulting in the feeling of unproductiveness of a person during the day because of lack of sleep.
Treatment for insomnia
There are different forms of treatment for insomnia depending on the severity of the disorder and what might be causing the symptom to occur. Some doctors treat it conservatively through non-medication approaches such as lifestyle changes, psychotherapy, improving sleeping habits and patterns and cognitive therapies. However, insomnia can be caused by taking some medications which contribute to the inability to sleep at night. It can also be due to an underlying medical condition that required drug treatment in order to help resolve insomnia as part of its symptoms.
The use of medications in treating insomnia will vary according to different considerations. Most short term insomnia caused by losses, stress, and personal conflicts and relationship problems usually resolve once the stressors are gone. Rarely does a medication becomes necessary in these situations. Chronic insomnia, however, may require the need of taking medications to improve sleep and avoid sleep deprivation that may be taking a toll on the quality of life of a person.
Common medications for treating insomnia
There are prescription medicines that are given to individuals with chronic insomnia. While the list provided below is the commonly prescribed insomnia medication, it does not replace the advice of a health practitioner who understands your condition better. Self medication is discouraged because you might have an existing medical condition that can adversely react to a medication for insomnia. It is more prudent to talk to your doctor about your condition in order to obtain a safer medication for insomnia to take.
Generally, insomnia prescribed medications are sleeping pills (Lunesta, Rozerem and Ambien), non-prescription drugs (Sominex and Unisom) and over-the-counter antihistamines (Benadryl) and antidepressants (trazodone and amitriptyline). Sedatives can also help induce sleep such as Ativan, Halcion, Restoril, Doral, flurazepam and non-benzodiazepine sedatives. However, these medications should be taken cautiously because they can become addictive with prolonged use. They should not be taken with alcohol and other medications as it could result in an adverse reaction of the body that affect the nervous system. These drugs can cause morning sleepiness, however, but less side effects are reported with the non-benzodiazepine drugs. Some doctors prescribe Zolpimist that has Ambient as its active ingredient for short-term insomnia medication treatment.
Other medications prescribed for insomnia include Doxepin, which is most effective on people having trouble staying asleep at night. If you need to maintain a good night's sleep, Silenor is most effective in blocking the histamine receptor for better sleep maintenance. The dosage given varies with the person's age and medical condition. While antidepressant drugs are commonly prescribed for insomnia, they are more given to individuals with depression who experience sleep problems. Its most common side effect is daytime sleepiness. In certain instances, the Food and Drug Authority does not approve the use of antidepressant as a long-term medication for insomnia.
If you want to avoid daytime sleepiness as a side effect when taking drugs for insomnia, Ramelteon (Rozerem) is most suitable for you as it is neither addictive nor cause daytime sleepiness. Antihistamines are medications for the treatment of allergies, but because it can cause drowsiness as its side effect, it can be effective in making a person fall asleep. It is an over-the-counter drug, but must not be abused when used for treating insomnia.
It is always safer to discuss with a health practitioner about your condition and determine which medication will be the safest and effective in treating your insomnia. Alternatively, you can also get a quick understanding on how to Manage Insomnia by clicking here.