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Faq's On Sleeping Pills

Jan 20, 2008
What are Sleeping pills?

Sleeping pills are sedatives that depress the central nervous system and cause the body to relax. They have a tranquillizing effect and cause the person feel less anxious. Sleeping pills are also called downers, tranquillizers, depressants, anxiolytics, soporifics or sedative hypnotics.

Who should take sleeping pills?

Sleeping pills should not be taken without prescription, as they can be addictive and dangerous to the health. Sleeping pills are generally prescribed for persons with anxiety problems. However, they are also used to help people with chronic insomnia, sleep. The sleeping pill strengthens the sleeping drive and induces sleep.

What is the action of the sleeping pill on the human system?

Most people sleep normally because the pineal gland secretes a hormone called melatonin as darkness sets in, and this slows down the body mechanisms and induces the need for sleep. Sleeping pills simulate the action of melatonin, dampens the nervous system and the body's mechanisms which in turn makes the person sleepy.

What are the ingredients of sleeping pills?

Sleeping pills contain minor tranquillizers called Benzodiazepines. Nitrazepam, Loprazolam and Flurazepam belong to this class of tranquillizers. These drugs are used to tackle anxiety problems, epileptic seizures and amnesia. Newer sleeping pills include eszopiclone, zaleplon, and zolpidem. Mandrake, a natural herb, is an ingredient in many sleeping pills.

What are the side effects of sleeping pills?

Sleeping pills produce many side effects. Headache, drowsiness, light-headedness, unsteadiness, confusion, forgetfulness, dependence, withdrawal, increase in aggression and muscle weakness are some of the side effects of sleeping pills. However, certain drugs when taken along with the sleeping pills can nullify the side effects of the sleeping pills and Melaterol does exactly that.

Can we purchase sleeping pills off the shelf?

Yes. Sleeping pills can be purchased off the shelf. However, it is not advisable to consume sleeping pills without consulting the physician, as it can be dangerous to health. People with respiratory problems, muscle problems, and a history of drug or alcohol abuse or personality disorder should consult their physician before taking sleeping pills. Certain sleeping pills can cause amnesia.

Are Sleeping pills addictive?

Sleeping pills are addictive. Doctors prescribe only the lowest dose of the medication for short durations--up to four weeks maximum-- to prevent addiction to sleeping pills. They encourage the patients to take sleeping pill two to four times a week instead of every night. They discontinue the sleeping pills gradually for the patients and watch to see if the insomnia gets worse or the patient experiences withdrawal symptoms after stopping the pill.

What is rebound insomnia? Is it a symptom of withdrawal from sleeping pills?
Rebound insomnia is a symptom of withdrawal from sleeping pills.

What are the foods that should be avoided while taking sleeping pills?
Grape fruit and grapefruit juice are to be avoided while on sleeping pills.

Is the drug Melatonin a replacement for the hormone melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone tablet and a replacement for the melotonin hormone. Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland when darkness falls and this induces the body to slow down its reflexes and go to sleep. This tablet is sold as a supplement and not as a medicine. This tablet can be purchased in health food stores and pharmacies. However, there are no standard ingredients in the different brands of melatonin sold off the shelf and many of the pills contain ingredients that are not listed on the cover or label. The safety of melatonin taken over a long period of time is not guaranteed. Sufficient research in this area has not yet been done.

Are there any side effects of melatonin?

Patients on melatonin report feeling cold, lack of appetite, dizziness, depression and mild headaches. Experts also advise against melatonin as they suspect that it can adversely affect patients who have epilepsy and who take medication to stop blood from clotting.
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