Minor Tranquilizers and Sleeping Pills
tranquilizers (such as Valium and Xanax) and sleeping pills (such as Ambien and
Sonata) are widely prescribed. But these medicines can cause problems such as
memory loss, addiction, and loss of balance. In rare cases, people who use them
have done things like drive or eat while they're still asleep. These medicines
also can cause a serious allergic reaction. So it's important to use them with
Minor tranquilizers can be useful if you use them for a
short time. But long-term use often isn't very helpful, and it increases the
risk of addiction and mental problems.
Sleeping pills may help for
a few days or a few weeks. But if you use them for more than a month, they are
likely to cause more sleep problems than they solve. For other options, see the
Insomnia or Sleeping Better.
If you have been taking
minor tranquilizers or sleeping pills for a while, talk with your doctor. Ask
if you can stop taking the medicine or if you can gradually take less of it
over time. If you have felt unsteady or dizzy, have had any memory loss, or
have had signs of an allergic reaction, tell your doctor.
- Insomnia: Should I Take Sleeping Pills?