Treatment of insomnia: new generation drug Ambien.

Insomnia pursues a person as much as there is a dream. Some believe that William Shakespeare suffered from insomnia, as he described bright and plausible lack of sleep, rollover and throwing in bed, sleepwalking in his plays Hamlet and Macbeth. And now the old William has millions and millions of followers.

A 2007 poll by the National Sleep Foundation showed that 67% of women surveyed often suffer from sleep problems.

The survey of 2005 showed that 35% of the adult population suffer nightly from insomnia.

But only modern people suffering from insomnia before Shakespeare have one advantage – this is a sleeping pill. Over the past 10-15 years, the market has flooded with new and improved medications that do not cause a feeling, like a hangover, side effects or addiction, like earlier drugs.

But this does not mean at all that there is no risk and that these drugs are ideal for everyone who has problems with sleep.

A good sleep without a hangover

Medications of the old generation, especially benzodiazepines, for example, Valium and Xanax, have not only advantages: they help to fall asleep. “They affect how you sleep, changing the mechanism of sleep,” says Donna Arand, Ph.D., director of the Sleep Center in Kettering, Ohio.

“They reduce the duration of certain stages of sleep, especially the third and fourth stages (the deepest sleep during which the body rests as much as possible),” says Arand, who works at the Department of the American Academy of Sleep Research and the American Sleep Association. “After taking such medications, people often complain of a hangover-like sensation.” This is because the drugs have a long half-life and therefore remain and continue to function in the body for a long time.

Z- drugs, such as Ambien, Ambien CR, Rozerem, Sonata and Lunesta, have more advantages over sleeping pills of the previous generation:

They have a short half-life, so the morning hangover does not appear. As Arand relates: “There were very few complaints about side effects in the form of a hangover when taking these new drugs.”

In contrast to the hypnotic previous generation, they cause less dependence, the emergence of withdrawal symptoms (withdrawal) or increased tolerance (when the body requires more and more medication to get the same effect).


The new drugs only work on certain brain receptors that are responsible for sleep, while a group of drugs from the previous generation had a more general effect and acted on various brain receptors. “New drugs are considered the safest,” says Thomas Roth, MD, head of the Research Center for Sleep Problems under the Henry Ford Health System in the city of Detroit.

New sleeping pills are not suitable for everyone

“If insomnia is a consequence, for example, of difficulty breathing during sleep (apnea) or tired leg syndrome, these drugs will not solve the problem of insomnia,” says Roth. And of course these drugs are not recommended for pregnant women.

In addition, if at any time of the night you can be called to work or can wake up a child, these drugs may not help you.

Also they are associated with some incomprehensible side effects. In March 2007, the Food and Drug Administration reported that taking medications such as Ambien and Lunesta could cause abnormal behavior during sleep. Some people report that he was driving and driving somewhere to eat, or literally devastated the refrigerator, completely unaware of it.

The management decided that all drug manufacturers should indicate this side effect on their medications. In addition, the Office found that some allergic reactions and swelling of the face are also associated with these drugs.

If the doctor has prescribed one of these drugs, take it very carefully, not forgetting about the potential side effects. Ask the spouse or other adults to follow you while you sleep.

What the pharmacy can offer today

The variety of medications for insomnia can really be confusing.

Which is best suited?

What to choose?

The answer to this question is best addressed to a doctor or a specialized center for sleep problems, if the doctor cannot solve the problem.