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How are over-the-counter sleep aids used to treat insomnia?

ANSWER

Most of these sleeping pills are antihistamines. There is no proof that they work well for insomnia, and they can cause some drowsiness the next day. They're safe enough to be sold without a prescription. However, if you're taking other drugs that also contain antihistamines -- like cold or allergy medications -- you could inadvertently take too much.

From: Drugs to Treat Insomnia WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: 

Clinicaltrials.gov. 

Takeda Pharmaceuticals. 

Neurocrine Biosciences. 

Provogil.com. 

The National Sleep Foundation. 

Donna Arand, clinical director, Kettering Sleep Disorders Center, Kettering, Ohio. 

Thomas Roth, MD, director, Sleep Disorders and Research Center, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit. 

FDA Health Advisory, March 14, 2007. 

WebMD Medical News: "Oral Spray Drug Zolpimist Approved." 

FDA: "Silenor Medication Guide." 

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on August 14, 2017

SOURCES: 

Clinicaltrials.gov. 

Takeda Pharmaceuticals. 

Neurocrine Biosciences. 

Provogil.com. 

The National Sleep Foundation. 

Donna Arand, clinical director, Kettering Sleep Disorders Center, Kettering, Ohio. 

Thomas Roth, MD, director, Sleep Disorders and Research Center, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit. 

FDA Health Advisory, March 14, 2007. 

WebMD Medical News: "Oral Spray Drug Zolpimist Approved." 

FDA: "Silenor Medication Guide." 

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on August 14, 2017

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What are concerns regarding the use of drugs for insomnia?

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