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New guidelines to ease sleepless nights
Date:9/1/2010

Finding sleep inducing drugs that are readily absorbed by the body, work fast enough to be useful but clear out of the system by the morning to avoid a 'hangover' can be a challenge. In addition, stopping treatment can lead to problems in some cases, although this is not inevitable and is not an issue with several drugs that researchers have now studied. Long term drug use for insomnia is controversial and has been discouraged in the past although in fact this was due to the fact no longer term clinical trials had been conducted rather than due to a known risk of continued use. Despite the recommendation for treatment with hypnotic drugs being only two to four weeks, many millions of patients worldwide remain on long-term treatment. Researchers have recently carried out placebo-controlled trials which suggest that the risk/benefit for many drugs offered for insomnia does not change after three or four weeks' use. Taking drugs only 'as needed' rather than every night is one solution. However, the longer-term safety and efficacy of many other commonly used hypnotics remains uncertain.

Insomnia and other sleep disorders can decrease patients' quality of life, impair functioning, and increase the chances of depression, anxiety, and possibly cardiovascular disorders. Thankfully, a choice of treatments guided by professionals armed with the BAP guidelines mean a good night's rest could finally be within reach.


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Contact: Jayne Fairley
jayne.fairley@sagepub.co.uk
44-207-324-8719
SAGE Publications UK
Source:Eurekalert

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