Drugs for insomnia

Sleeping pills are prescribed to people, experiencing problems with falling asleep, as well as people, unsatisfied with the duration and quality of sleep. There are different types of sleeping pills, able to suppress the brain activity, to reduce anxiety symptoms and to forcibly relax muscles. To treat insomnia, caused by mental or organic reasons, one can be prescribed:

*  barbiturates;

*  benzodiazepines;

*  imidazopyridines;

* non-benzodiazepine hypnotic agents.

Barbiturates are one of the first sleeping pills that have been prescribed to treat insomnia. For example, for over 60 years Secobarbital sleeping pills (barbiturate) first have gone on sale, but they are still prescribed to treat severe insomnia. Advantage of Secobarbital sleeping pills is in their powerful hypnotic effect. But an undoubted disadvantage of all barbiturates is that they cause drowsiness and physical weakness during the whole day.

That is why people taking sleeping pills, included in barbiturates group should abandon driving and other potentially hazardous activities. Also after using sleeping pills with powerful hypnotic effect (not only barbiturates), it is necessary to abstain from alcohol.

In people taking alcohol before, during or immediately after using sleeping pills, the risk of severe side effects (dizziness, nervousness, nightmares, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting) increases by dozens of times. Because of the high risk of side effects, barbiturates are almost not prescribed to treat insomnia.

After all, they gradually were replaced by not less effective but more safe benzodiazepine sleeping pills. Like barbiturates, they not only facilitate falling asleep and improve the quality of night sleep, but also provide antianxiety effect.

Nitrazepam is one of the most prescribed benzodiazepine sleeping pills. Nitrazepam sleeping pills provide the onset of sleep, exerting a moderate impact on CNS functions. Therefore, they have a moderate potential for drug dependence and they can be taken within 4 weeks to treat severe insomnia.

Unlike to barbiturates, benzodiazepines have hypnotic effect without reducing rapid eye movement sleep. Thus, a person taking benzodiazepine sleeping pills does not experience excessive daytime sleepiness.

Non-benzodiazepine sleeping pills, providing hypnotic, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant and tranquilizing effect can be prescribed to treat insomnia. Non-benzodiazepine sleeping pills Zopiclone are prescribed to many patients for insomnia treatment.

Sleeping pills Zopiclone have the property to reduce the time of falling asleep and to decrease the number of night awakenings, thereby increasing the duration of night sleep and improving its quality. A distinctive feature of Zopiclone sleeping pills is that a person, suffering from insomnia does not experience sleepiness after morning awakening while using them.

As an alternative to non-benzodiazepine sleeping pills, Zolpidem sleeping pills from imidazopyridines group can be used. Advantage of imidazopyridines over other sleeping pills is that they are less toxic and have insignificant potential for drug dependence.

Use of Zolpidem sleeping pills allows to achieve a full, deep and healthy sleep, without worsening the daily activity. Therefore, Zolpidem is one of the best sleeping pills, included in the group of non-benzodiazepine hypnotic agents.

Almost all sleeping pills with moderate and severe hypnotic effect are prescribed for a short-term treatment of insomnia, lasting no more than one month. More prolonged use of sleeping pills increases the risk of resistance to the hypnotic effect and even drug dependence. In order to prevent the risk of side effects (nervousness, irritability), one should stop using sleeping pills gradually.