Prescription sleeping pills: What’s right for you?
Prescription sleeping pills Online : What’s right for you?
Sleeping pills may help when stress, travel or other disruptions keep you awake. For long-term insomnia, behavior changes learned in behavioral therapy is usually the best treatment.
If you’re regularly having trouble either falling or staying asleep (insomnia), make an appointment with your doctor. Treatment depends on what’s causing your insomnia. Sometimes, an underlying cause, such as a medical condition or sleep disorder, can be found and treated — a much more effective approach than just treating the symptom of insomnia itself.
Behavior changes learned through cognitive behavioral therapy are generally the best treatment for persistent insomnia. Sleeping on a regular schedule, exercising regularly, avoiding caffeine and daytime naps, and keeping stress in check also are likely to help. But there are times when the addition of prescription sleeping pills may help you get some much needed rest.
All prescription sleeping pills have risks, especially for people with certain medical conditions, including liver or kidney disease. Always talk with your doctor before trying a new treatment for insomnia.
Types of prescription sleeping pills
Prescription sleeping pills online may help you fall asleep easier or stay asleep longer — or both. The risks and benefits of various prescription sleeping pills can differ. To find the right prescription medication to help you sleep, your doctor generally should:
- Ask questions to get a clear picture of your sleep patterns
- Order tests to rule out any underlying conditions that may be causing difficulty sleeping
- Discuss options for taking prescription sleeping medication, including how often and when to take it and in what form, such as pills, oral spray or dissolving tablets
- Prescribe a sleeping pill for a limited period of time to determine the benefits and side effects for you
- Have you try a different prescription sleeping pill if the first medication you take doesn’t work after the full prescribed course
- Help you determine whether there is a generic version, which is typically less expensive than brand-name drugs
Side effects of prescription sleeping pills
Always ask your doctor about potential side effects before deciding which sleeping pills to consider taking. Depending on the type, prescription sleeping pills may include side effects such as:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness, which may lead to falls
- Gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea and nausea
- Prolonged drowsiness, more so with drugs that help you stay asleep
- Severe allergic reaction
- Sleep-related behaviors, such as driving or eating when not fully awake
- Daytime memory and performance problems
Antidepressants with a sedating effect
Sometimes prescription drugs used mainly to treat depression may ease insomnia when taken in lower doses. Although widely used, these are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for insomnia. When insomnia is secondary to depression or anxiety, antidepressants may improve both conditions at the same time.
- Mirtazapine (Remeron)
Side effects of antidepressants with a sedating effect
Antidepressants that have a sedating effect may include side effects such as:
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Prolonged drowsiness
- Dry mouth
- Irregular heartbeat
- Weight gain
- Daytime memory and performance problems
Prescription sleeping pills (and even some nonprescription sleeping pills online) as well as certain antidepressants may not be safe if you are pregnant, breast-feeding or an older adult. Sleeping pill use may increase the risk of nighttime falls and injury in older adults. If you’re an older adult, your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of medication to reduce your risk of problems.
Some health conditions — for example, kidney disease, low blood pressure, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias) or a history of seizures — may limit your options. Also, prescription drugs and over-the-counter sleep aids may interact with other medications. And taking certain prescription sleeping pills can lead to drug abuse or drug dependence, so it’s important to follow your doctor’s advice.
Taking sleeping pills
If your best attempts to get a good night’s sleep have failed, prescription sleeping pills may be an option. Here’s some advice on how to use them safely.
- Get a medical evaluation. Before you take sleeping pills, see your doctor for a thorough exam. Often your doctor may be able to find specific causes for your insomnia. If you’re taking sleeping pills for more than a few weeks, talk to your doctor about an appropriate follow-up schedule to discuss your medications.
- Read the medication guide. Read the medication guide for patients so that you understand how and when to take your medication and what the major potential side effects are. If you have any questions, ask your pharmacist or your doctor.
- Avoid alcohol. Never mix alcohol and sleeping pills. Alcohol increases the sedative effects of the pills. Even a small amount of alcohol combined with sleeping pills can make you feel dizzy, confused or faint. Combining alcohol with certain sleeping pills can lead to dangerously slowed breathing or unresponsiveness. And alcohol can actually cause insomnia.