What exactly do you mean by Sleeping Pills?
The vast majority of sleeping drugs are categorized as “sedative hypnotics.” This is a specialized class of medications used to fall or stay asleep. Benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and other hypnotics are examples of sedative-hypnotics.
Anti-anxiety drugs such as Ativan, Librium, Valium, and Xanax are benzodiazepines. They also cause tiredness and aid in sleep. Halcion is an older benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic that has been mostly supplanted by newer medications. While these medicines may be effective in the short term, they are all potentially addictive and might cause memory and attention issues. They are not typically indicated for long-term therapy of sleeping disorders. Barbiturates, another sedative-hypnotic medication class, depress the central nervous system and can cause sedation.
Barbiturates, either short- or long-acting, are used as sedatives or sleeping medicines. However, these hypnotic medications are often solely used for anesthesia. In an overdose, they can be lethal.
Newer drugs make it easier to fall asleep. Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata are examples of sleep-inducing medicines that bind to the same receptors in the brain as benzodiazepines. They are less prone to become habit-forming than benzodiazepines, but they can still create physical dependence over time. They can swiftly induce tiredness and sleep. Another sleep aid, Rozerem, works differently than other sleep medications. It has no addictive properties and affects a brain hormone called melatonin. Belsomra is a non-addictive sleep medication that affects a brain neurotransmitter called orexin.
When Should you Take a Sleeping Aid?
It is normally advised to take the sleeping medication just before going to bed. Read the instructions on the sleeping pill prescription label provided by your doctor. The instructions contain specific information about your drug. Furthermore, always leave enough time to sleep before taking a sleeping tablet.
Sleeping pills and the elderly
If you are 65 or older, specialists advise you to avoid all sleep aids. This covers over-the-counter medications as well as newer “Z” medications such as eszopiclone (Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata), and zolpidem (Ambien). When compared to younger people, older persons are more likely to experience health concerns while taking sleep medications. Sleeping medicines tend to stay in your system longer as you become older. Drowsiness can linger throughout the day after taking them. Confusion and memory issues are other common side effects. This could result in falls, fractured hips, and car accidents among the elderly.
Other side effects of some over-the-counter sleep drugs can be particularly difficult for older persons to manage. Your mouth may feel parched. You could be constipated and find it difficult to even take a pee. Speak with your doctor before using sleeping drugs. They may suggest a medical check-up to assist you to determine the source of your sleep problems, such as sadness, anxiety, or a sleep disorder. Your doctor will also recommend non-drug treatments for sleeplessness.
Prescription sleeping pill classifications:
Prescription sleeping drugs may assist you in falling asleep faster, staying asleep longer, or both. The hazards and benefits of different prescription sleeping medications can vary. Your healthcare practitioner should normally do the following to assist you to identify the correct prescription drug to help you sleep:
To acquire a good image of your sleeping habits, ask yourself these questions:
- Order testing to rule out any underlying conditions that could be causing your sleeping problems.
- Discuss your options for taking prescription sleeping medication, such as how often and when to take it, as well as the type you choose, such as pills, oral spray, or dissolving tablets.
- Prescribe a sleeping drug for a brief duration to assess its benefits and side effects for you.
- If the first medication you take does not work after the whole advised course, have you tried a different prescription sleeping pill?
- Assist you in determining whether a generic version is available, which is often less expensive than brand-name medicine.
Insurance companies may impose restrictions on the kind of sleeping medications that are covered. And they may ask you to first attempt other methods to manage your sleeplessness.
What Are the Consequences of Sleeping Pills?
Like other drugs, sleeping tablets have side effects. You will not know whether you will experience adverse effects from a particular sleeping drug until you take it.
If you have asthma or another health problem, your doctor may be able to tell you about any side effects. Sleeping drugs can interfere with normal breathing and can be problematic in patients with chronic lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The following are common side effects of prescription sleeping medicines such as Ambien, Halcion, Lunesta, Rozerem, and Sonata:
- Tingling or burning sensations in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
- Appetite changes
- Balance issues
- Daytime drowsiness
- The mouth or throat is parched.
- Impaired the next day
- Mental sluggishness or difficulties with attention or memory
- Tenderness or pain in the stomach
- Uncontrollable shaking of a body portion unusual dreams
It is critical to be aware of potential sleeping pill side effects so you can stop taking the medication and contact your doctor right away to avoid a more serious health problem.
Prescription sleeping medications also have side effects:
Before deciding on which sleeping drugs to use, always consult with your doctor about any adverse effects. Depending on the type, prescription sleeping medications may have the following negative effects:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness that may result in a fall
- Nausea or diarrhea
- Prolonged drowsiness is made worse by medicines that help you sleep.
- Acute allergic response
- Sleep-related behaviors, such as driving or eating when drowsy
- Changes in mind and behavior, such as hallucinations, agitation, difficulty remembering events, suicidal thoughts, and strange conduct
- Daytime memory and performance difficulties
Do antidepressants have sedative properties?
When used in lesser quantities, pharmaceutical medications used primarily to treat depression may help with sleeplessness. Despite their widespread use, they are not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of insomnia. When insomnia is caused by depression or anxiety, these medications may be prescribed.
Here are several examples:
- Mirtazapine (Remeron)
Side effects of antidepressants with sedative properties:
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Drowsiness for an extended period
- The mouth is parched.
- Heartbeat irregularity
- Weight changes
- Daytime memory and performance difficulties
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Suicidal ideation
Is There a Wider Range of Sleeping Pill Side Effects?
Some sleeping drugs can cause parasomnias, which can be dangerous. Parasomnias are uncontrollable movements, behaviors, and acts, such as sleepwalking. You are asleep and ignorant of what is going on during a parasomnia.
Sleeping pill parasomnias are complex sleep behaviors that can involve sleeping eating, making phone calls, or having sex while sleeping. Another dangerous sleeping drug adverse effect is sleeping while driving or driving while not fully awake. Though uncommon, parasomnias are difficult to identify after the medicine begins to work.
Sedative-hypnotic pharmaceutical product labels feature language describing the hazards of using a sleeping tablet. Because complicated sleep habits are more likely to develop as the dosage of a sleeping tablet is increased, only take what your doctor advises and no more.
Is it possible to be allergic to sleeping pills?
Yes. An allergic reaction to any medicine can occur, and it can be caused by either the active element of the medicine or any of its inactive ingredients (such as dyes, binders, or coatings). People who are allergic to a specific sleeping drug should avoid taking it. It is critical to consult your doctor at the first appearance of any of the following major adverse effects:
- Blurred vision or other issues with your vision
- Chest ache
- Breathing or swallowing difficulties
- Feeling as if your throat is closing
- Pounding heartbeat
- Breathing difficulty
- Eye, face, lip, tongue, or throat swelling
Furthermore, anaphylaxis is a significant – even fatal – adverse effect of any drug to which a person is allergic. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction. Angioedema, or extreme facial swelling, is another side effect. If you are at risk of allergic reactions, discuss these options with your doctor.
Is it risky to mix sleeping pills with alcohol?
Yes. Alcohol and sleeping tablets can have additive sedative effects, and the combination can cause someone to cease breathing, which can lead to death. The labels on sleeping pills caution against drinking alcohol while taking the medication.
You should also avoid eating or drinking grapefruit while using sleeping medications. Grapefruit boosts the amount of medication taken into your bloodstream and the length of time it remains in your body. This can result in over-sedation.
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