Trouble Sleeping: Prescription Drugs to Help Treat Insomnia

So, I wrote an article: OTC Sleep Aids…all about insomnia and over the counter options to help treat it.   Be sure to read the first article because it reviews lifestyle changes that can help you sleep!

Now, if you are at the point where you have read everything you can get your hands on about lifestyle changes and OTC options and just NEED SOME HELP!!  Please read on…

You are ready to speak with your physician about prescription drugs –so be ready to have a discussion!  We will review the different options so that you can learn which will work best for you.

  1. Sleeping Aids: These include Lunesta, Ambien, Rozerem and Sonata- they specifically cause people to fall asleep.
  2. Anti-anxiety Meds: Benzodiazepines (like Xanax and Restoril –both available in generic) can be used short term to help with anxiety and sleep issues- they work by “chilling” the person out and making them drowsy.
  3. Antidepressants: If anxiety is ongoing -some antidepressants (like Paxil or Celexa) can also work as an anti-anxiety medication too; some specific ones like Elavil, Trazodone and Serzone also have a side effect of causing drowsiness.

So, there are the classes of drugs that can help…now, which ones are best for you?  Things you should think about:  Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep or both?  Do you just have trouble sleeping or is it because your mind is racing?

  1. Do you have trouble falling asleep? 
    • Ambien (zolpidem) or Sonata (zaleplon)
    • Halcion (triazolam)
  2.  Do you have trouble with awakening in the middle of the night?
    • ProSom (estazolam)
    • Restoril (temazepam)
  3.  Do you have trouble falling and staying asleep?
    • Ambien CR (zolpidem)
    • Lunesta (escoplicone)
    • Desyrel (trazodone)
    • Serzone (nefazodone)
    • Elavil (amitriptyline)

The good news is that most of these drugs come in generics!

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