OTHER DRUGS USED IN INSOMNIA

Chloral Hydrate
Sold as Noctec, chloral hydrate is one of the ingredients, along with alcohol, of the knockout drink known as a Mickey Finn. This drug is used for patients unable to take other types of prescription sleep medicines, such as the very young, the very old, and the very ill. Since the creation of benzodiazepines chloral hydrate is used less frequently, although physicians concerned about flurazepam’s long half-life may opt to prescribe chloral hydrate instead. Noctec is relatively inexpensive and the risk of overdosage or side effects, such as gastric irritation, is low.
Glutethimide; Methyprylon
Originally, these drugs were offered as alternative sedatives to barbiturates, but they were found to have actions similar to the drugs they were meant to replace—and similar drawbacks as well, including the potential for addiction. Many physicians feel the hazards so far outweigh any possible benefit that they will not prescribe these drugs under any circumstances.
Ethchlorvynol
Known by the brand name Placidyl, ethchlorvynol is unrelated to other hypnotic drugs. Its advantages are primarily that it is absorbed quickly and that it has a half-life of only six hours, resulting in a lower risk of daytime sedation. The drug improves the onset of sleep, but its effects wear off during the middle of the night, and it will be effective only for a few days at a time. Side effects include confusion and emotional distress on the following day, as well as lack of coordination, confusion,  slurred speech, and muscle weakness; there is also a strong potential for inducing drug-withdrawal insomnia.
Methysergide Maleate
Generally indicated for the treatment of vascular headache, this drug, sold under the brand name Sansert, has some use in the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness of undetermined cause. Symptoms of this disorder include prolonged sleep and sleep drunkenness, but without the other symptoms of narcolepsy, such as cataplexy.
Tryptophan
Tryptophan is not a drug and is thus not subject to regulation or testing by the FDA. It is an essential amino acid that is derived from the protein found in foods such as grains, legumes, and seeds. Tryptophan is also sold as a dietary supplement in health food stores and drugstores. Many believe tryptophan may play a role in facilitating the onset of sleep through its effects on the production of serotonin.
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OTHER DRUGS USED IN INSOMNIAChloral HydrateSold as Noctec, chloral hydrate is one of the ingredients, along with alcohol, of the knockout drink known as a Mickey Finn. This drug is used for patients unable to take other types of prescription sleep medicines, such as the very young, the very old, and the very ill. Since the creation of benzodiazepines chloral hydrate is used less frequently, although physicians concerned about flurazepam’s long half-life may opt to prescribe chloral hydrate instead. Noctec is relatively inexpensive and the risk of overdosage or side effects, such as gastric irritation, is low.Glutethimide; MethyprylonOriginally, these drugs were offered as alternative sedatives to barbiturates, but they were found to have actions similar to the drugs they were meant to replace—and similar drawbacks as well, including the potential for addiction. Many physicians feel the hazards so far outweigh any possible benefit that they will not prescribe these drugs under any circumstances.EthchlorvynolKnown by the brand name Placidyl, ethchlorvynol is unrelated to other hypnotic drugs. Its advantages are primarily that it is absorbed quickly and that it has a half-life of only six hours, resulting in a lower risk of daytime sedation. The drug improves the onset of sleep, but its effects wear off during the middle of the night, and it will be effective only for a few days at a time. Side effects include confusion and emotional distress on the following day, as well as lack of coordination, confusion,  slurred speech, and muscle weakness; there is also a strong potential for inducing drug-withdrawal insomnia.Methysergide MaleateGenerally indicated for the treatment of vascular headache, this drug, sold under the brand name Sansert, has some use in the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness of undetermined cause. Symptoms of this disorder include prolonged sleep and sleep drunkenness, but without the other symptoms of narcolepsy, such as cataplexy.TryptophanTryptophan is not a drug and is thus not subject to regulation or testing by the FDA. It is an essential amino acid that is derived from the protein found in foods such as grains, legumes, and seeds. Tryptophan is also sold as a dietary supplement in health food stores and drugstores. Many believe tryptophan may play a role in facilitating the onset of sleep through its effects on the production of serotonin.*280\226\8*

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