OTC Sleep Meds and Insomnia
Many older adults struggle with poor sleep meds otc . It may be the result of chronic medical conditions or pain, or a side effect of medications. When they can’t get the restful slumber they need, many turn to over-the-counter sleep aids to help them drift off into dreamland. While OTC sleep medicines can work in a pinch, their long-term use could do more harm than good.
The two most common OTC sleep aids are antihistamines, especially diphenhydramine and doxylamine. Decades of use as first-generation antihistamines have shown that these drugs are sedating, but it remains unclear whether they improve sleep. This is because OTC drugs are marketed under the FDA’s monograph process and were “grandfathered in,” so they have not been subject to the randomized placebo-controlled trials required for new drugs going through a formal drug approval process.
Sleep Meds OTC: A Comprehensive Review of Over-the-Counter Sleep Aids
While the labeling for these drugs warns consumers to consult a health care provider before taking them chronically, many people use these medications for weeks or even months at a time. This is a particular problem for older adults, who are more likely to suffer from chronic sleep disturbance or insomnia.
Some older adults who take OTC sleep meds develop a tolerance and become dependent on them, which is not healthy for their long-term well-being. Those who have trouble sleeping should consider lifestyle modifications or cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) under the guidance of a healthcare professional.