Insomnia is the most frequent sleep disorder, requiring medical treatment. Different oral sleeping pills that can provide both hypnotic and anti-anxiety effect can be used to treat insomnia. There are also sleeping pills that contain herbal remedies only. However, herbal sleeping pills are not able to improve the quality of night sleep in patients with severe insomnia. Therefore, they are usually prescribed to those who have mild to moderate insomnia.
Despite the fact that several dozens of approved sleeping pills are available for sale, physicians prescribe their patients only some of them. After all, many of available sleeping pills were developed more than 30-40 years ago. Therefore, they are most often prescribed in the cases when more effective and safe sleeping pills are contraindicated.
In the 60s of the last century the most prescribed sleeping pills were barbiturates (for example, Butabarbital pills). This type of sleeping pills is also prescribed today for insomnia treatment. However, due to the high risk of drug dependence and high toxicity, barbiturates are used to improve the quality of night sleep in isolated cases.
Barbiturates were gradually forced out from the pharmaceutical market by other sleeping pills – benzodiazepine derivatives (for example, Alprazolam pills). Advantage of benzodiazepines is that they have low toxicity and are prescribed in minimum doses for insomnia treatment unlike to barbiturates.
It should also be noted that almost all sleeping pills, included in benzodiazepine group do not depress respiration and they do not cause drug dependence when observing dosing regimen. Duration of hypnotic effect reaches 8-10 hours after the benzodiazepines use. So, a person taking sleeping pills from benzodiazepines group may experience sleepiness in the morning.
In the early 90’s of the last century a new group of non-benzodiazepine hypnotic drugs, possessing a sedative activity appeared in retail sale. The most prrescribed non-benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic drugs are Zolpidem and Eszopiclone. Maximum hypnotic effect is achieved about 40-60 minutes after using non-benzodiazepine sleeping pills Eszopiclone or Zolpidem. Maximum duration of their hypnotic action is approximately 6 hours.
Advantage of non-benzodiazepine sleeping pills over benzodiazepine sleeping pills is that they have a weak muscle relaxant effect. So, a person taking non-benzodiazepine sleeping pills does not experience muscle weakness after morning awakening.
It should also be noted that antianxiety effect of non-benzodiazepine hypnotic drugs are weaker than that of benzodiazepine derivatives. So, they should not be prescribed to people whose insomnia is the symptom of depressive or anxiety disorder.
Despite the fact that non-benzodiazepine sleeping pills have similar pharmacological action, the principal differences can be between them. For example, Eszopiclone sleeping pills can be taken regularly for 6 months, but maximum duration of using Zolpidem sleeping pills should not exceed 4 weeks.
Sleeping pills, providing a powerful hypnotic effect are available for sale by prescription. However, pharmacies also offer over the counter sleeping pills, such as: Mersyndol, Decapryn, Dimetapp, Doxy-Sleep-Aid, Unisom, Unisom-2, Dozile, Restavit, Sanalepsin, Dormidina, Equi-sleep, Restwel, Somnil, Doxinate, Mereprine, Sedaplus, Munleit, Schlaftabs, Rest-aid, Lidene, Gittalun, Donormyl, Noctyl, Zarcop, Calmex, Hoggar, Dorminoctil, Trimepaz, Almaid, Nocpaz.
All these sleeping pills contain active pharmaceutical ingredient Doxylamine Succinate which provides a moderate hypnotic effect. Original package design and certainly price are the only differences between the listed sleeping pills, containing Doxylamine Succinate.