Prescription Sleeping Pills
If you're regularly having trouble either falling or staying asleep (insomnia), make an appointment with your doctor. Treatment is available - but it depends on what's causing your insomnia. In many cases an underlying medical or sleep disorder can be diagnosed and treated, a much more effective approach than just treating the symptom of insomnia itself.
Today's prescription sleeping pills don't carry the same level of risks of dependence and overdoses as sleeping pills of the past. But risks remain - especially for people who have certain medical conditions, including liver and kidney disease. Always talk with your doctor before trying a new treatment for insomnia.
Types of prescription sleeping pills
Prescription sleeping pills are available to help you fall asleep easier, stay asleep longer - or both. Before prescribing a medication to help you sleep, your doctor will ask you a number of questions to get a clear picture of your sleep patterns. He or she may also order tests to rule out any underlying conditions that may be causing difficulty sleeping.
To reduce the risk of side effects and of becoming reliant on drugs to sleep, your doctor likely will prescribe medications for two weeks or less. If the first medication you take doesn't work after the full prescribed course, call your doctor. You may need to try more than one prescription sleeping pill before finding one that works for you.
Some prescription sleeping pills are available as generic drugs, which are typically less expensive than brand names. Ask your doctor whether there is a generic version available of the medication he or she prescribes.
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