Although insomnia is a common problem, it is only labeled chronic when repeated three or more times per week and lasts between 60 and 90 days. Given that, and if changes in the routine do not help to remit it, it is then that a person should consider taking sleeping medications.
Currently, the consumption of hypnotics, sleeping pills and narcotics has spread throughout the world, with stress levels, daily hustle or, ultimately, technological addiction being the main triggers. In the short term, consumption does not cause any harm, but in the long term, there are certain topics that are worth addressing.
Consuming sleeping pills could become an addiction
Within the pharmaceutical field, two drugs with sufficient potency are known to help treat severe sleep disorders: benzodiazepines and narcotics.
Not all pills belonging to both compounds produce dependence immediately, but the prolongation in their consumption can eventually trigger addictions and withdrawal syndromes.
Sleeping pills are not always the solution
Although its effect is undeniable, sleep treatments are not always the right solution for sleep disorders. In fact, before considering taking them, patients should first try to change their diet, exercise more and reduce considerably the hours spent in front of the mobile.
Short and long term side effects
When initiating a treatment against insomnia, collateral symptoms do not take long to appear. Of all, the most frequent and common is the state of continuous sleepiness, which does not disappear during the day. However, other effects related to the use of hypnotics, sleeping pills and narcotics involve incoordination, ataxia, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, dry mouth and constipation.
There are more severe symptoms that, when presented, need to be supervised by a health professional. These are muscle seizure, blurred vision, constant feeling of vertigo, respiratory failure, heart failure or memory loss.
Benzodiazepines: Over-the-counter drugs
Debate open to consumers of sleeping pills always puts benzodiazepines against over-the-counter drugs; that is, they do not need a prescription. In that sense, patients should always avoid using the former unless it is extremely necessary.
What over-the-counter treatments can they consume? Tylenol, Benadryl or Diphenhydramine. For patients who are fond of naturopathic medicine, valerian and hops pills can also be considered before benzodiazepine drugs.
Matter of time
The idea of this article is not to dissuade patients about the use of sleeping pills but to help them consider them as a short-term solution. In that sense, and clinically, everything that is benzodiazepine, antihistamine or opioid should not remain in the body for more than 30 days.
At first, it will be necessary for the patient to take their prescribed dose as the doctor considers it, but eventually, there should be a decrease in the dosage to avoid problems of addiction or severe side effects.
Who should not take sleeping pills
Children and adolescents should not be in contact with any narcotic medication unless they are emergency cases that really require it. And yet, only this alternative is considered in patients older than 12 years.
Women in season and lactation period cannot consume certain types of hypnotics, especially if they are made from benzodiazepine.