Sleeping pills are classified as sedative hypnotics and work on receptors in the brain to slow down the nervous system to induce and maintain sleep. The newer medications do have a different chemical structure from a benzodiazepine, but they act more specifically in the same area of the brain on the Gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors (GABA). Therefore the hypnotic effects are similar to benzodiazepines even though sleeping pills are molecularly distinct. The term non-benzodiazepines was given to these new classes of sleeping pills, making many believe they will not experience dependence. But the warnings from the manufactures of zolpidem (Ambien) state, “Complex behaviors such as somnambulism, including driving or eating while not fully awake, with amnesia for the event, as well as abnormal behaviors such as being more outgoing or aggressive than normal, confusion, agitation and hallucinations may occur.” Continuous use is not recommended for more than 7--14 days. Similar warnings appear for all sleeping pills.
A trial performed by Dr. J.F. Pagel, a sleep physician at the University of Colorado Medical School, indicated that bizarre actions being committed while on sleeping pills are very prevalent. There have been 4 cases of murder in which the defendant was found not guilty due to a blackout and subsequent amnesia while on sleeping pills.
Rebound insomnia is the inability to sleep that occurs following the discontinuation of sleeping pills. Regular use of these substances can cause dependence and when the medication is stopped, the rebound insomnia can be worse than the sleep issues the drug was intended to treat.
Sleeping pills are considered to have less potential for addiction than benzodiazepines, but evidence is mounting that they share the same side effects and dependence tendency.
Side Effects May Include: Memory loss, Behavioral changes including less inhibition or aggressiveness, Abnormal thinking, Night eating or driving with amnesia, Loss of concentration, Depression, Manic reactions, Suicidal thoughts, Loss of identity, Hypertension, Tachycardia, Angina, Sudden falls, Heart attacks, Confusion, Agitation, Sleepi<br/>ness, Poor coordination, Dizziness, Insomnia, Excessive sleepiness, Anxiety, Gastrointestinal issues, Headaches
Sleeping Pill Drug Names Include
- Zopiclone (Lunesta)
- Zalepn (Sonata)
- Zolpidem (Ambien)
Melatonin Receptor Agonist Hypnotic:
Ramelteon (Rozerem) is a melatonin receptor agonist that mimics the sleep regulation hormone melatonin. It is used for sleep onset problems and is not effective for difficult staying asleep. Ramelteon is a short-acting drug that clears the body within an hour or two and in trials the most common side effects were fatigue, sluggishness and dizziness. Whether it will prove to be safe and effective is still uncertain.
Because of the insufficient information and trials, Ramelteon is not recommended for pregnant women, nursing mothers or children. Certain medications, including fluvoxamine (antidepressant), compete with Ramelteon to bind the enzymes in the liver that break the drug down. This will slow the clearance and elimination from the body and increase the risk of side effects. Those with liver disease should not take Ramelteon and alcohol should not be combined or hallucinations, depression, irritability and confusion may occur.
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*Because these drugs can cause severe withdrawal reactions, do not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician. The decision to quit any mediction should be discussed with your doctor and with their consent and support .More...