The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Drugs for Insomnia
Subscribers: Log in to read full article.  Not a subscriber?  Subscribe or purchase article.

Pharmacological treatment of insomnia includes prescription drugs, non-prescription medications, and "natural" remedies. Behavioral approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy, which are not discussed here, are also used. Pharmacologic treatment and behavioral therapy are often combined.

BENZODIAZEPINE RECEPTOR AGONISTS — Zolpidem (Ambien, and others), zaleplon (Sonata, and generics), and eszopiclone (Lunesta, and generics) are not structural benzodiazepines, but they bind to benzodiazepine receptors. All of them decrease sleep latency and are approved for use in patients with sleep-onset insomnia. Benzodiazepine receptor agonists differ mainly in their duration of action (see Table 1).

Zolpidem is the most widely prescribed hypnotic in the US. The FDA has required manufacturers of zolpidem to lower the recommended dose for women and to recommend consideration of ... more      

The Medical Letter is a subscriber-funded nonprofit organization that publishes critical appraisals of new prescription drugs and comparative reviews of drugs for common diseases.

Would you like to read the rest of this article?  Gain access below.

Subscriptions to The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics include:
  • Print version published and mailed biweekly (26 issues/year)
  • Unlimited online access to current and past issues (1988 - present)
  • Mobile App for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire
  • FREE online per issue CME/CE
Purchase this article:
Title: Drugs for Insomnia
Article code: 1472a
 Electronic, downloadable article - $45
Gain access through your organization
Ask your librarian to consider an Institutional Subscription to The Medical Letter.
Recommend to your librarian