Thursday, November 1, 2012

Non-sleep aids being used to treat insomnia

This article discusses a concerning trend in the treatment of insomnia - physicians are prescribing less traditional sleep aids in favor of using non-traditional medications that are sedating, like anti-epilepsy and anti-psychotic medications. Although these medications can be safe when used for their indicated diseases, there is very little data to support their use in insomnia. The results highlight the difficulty in treating it with medications. Usually, physicians will start with the typical sleep aids like Ambien. When those stop working, other medications are tried such as the ones listed above. However, for long term treatment of insomnia, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be superior. The problem is that too few doctors know how to do CBT and it is much more difficult to implement than just taking a pill.

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