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Prescription Sleep Aids
Prescription sleep aids and sedatives are among the most widely used of all medicines. They work by depressing the central nervous system and may be helpful for occasional sleep problems, reducing anxiety and muscle tension.
It is always good to know what is causing sleep difficulties and try to solve the underlying problem first. However, when people face unexpected life changes which cannot be easily solved they often tend to reach for over the counter or prescription sleep aids.
Prescription Sleep Aids include:
Hypnotics depress brain activity, which may be
associated with many
Hypnotics interact with many other drugs used to treat everything from stomach ulcers to hypertension and heart disease.
They may be especially hazardous for people who drink alcohol, because of the additive depressive effect on the central nervous system, which is similar for alcohol and hypnotics. You should never mix alcohol and sleeping medicines.
Because of concerns associated with induction of tolerance and dependence, sleeping medications should always be used in the lowest effective dose and for the shortest possible time (not longer than 5-7 days). They don’t have to be taken regularly like most other medicines, but only when needed to facilitate sleep and get some rest.
Learn about the medication you take as much as you can. It will help you avoid potential problems associated with side effects and drug interactions. Do not be afraid to ask your doctor or pharmacist questions.
You can find more information on sleeping medicines by
going to the U.S. National Library website and browsing by the first
letter of the medication’s name: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginformation.html
Or search here:
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