Medications for Sleep Disorders
What medications are used to treat sleep disorders?
Most of the time the underlying cause of the sleepiness is treated through modifications in sleep environment or sleep habits along with possible equipment or dental appliances. There are some in stances when you will still feel drowsy during the day, even with treatment, or need help falling asleep while you adjust to using a CPAP machine. In these rare cases, it is possible you will need the help of medications.
While not everyone needs treatment with medications for sleep disorder symptoms, it is something required for those who suffer from daytime sleepiness or other common sleep disorder symptoms.
For those who are going through treatment, such as beginning use of a CPAP machine, you may still experience sleepiness during the day. For those symptoms that need to be temporarily treated, your doctor may prescribe you any of the following:
- Modafinil (Provigil) and Armodafinil (Nuvigil) treat excessive sleepiness by changing the action of chemicals in the brain that effect sleep and alter the chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.
- Methylphenidate (Ritalin) stimulants combat sleepiness by keeping you alert for a period.
Trouble Going to Sleep or Staying Asleep
With sleep disorders like Insomnia or Narcolepsy, it can be hard to regulate sleep with just environmental factors, so medications can assist with falling and staying asleep to limit the amount of drowsiness during the day.
For those symptoms that need to be temporarily treated, your doctor may prescribe you any of the following:
- Zolpidem (Ambien) or Eszopiclone (Lunesta) is used for trouble falling asleep.
- Sodium oxybate (Xyrem) is used specifically for Narcolepsy patients.
Medication is not for everyone and your doctor will be able to determine what is the best treatment for you based on a thorough sleep history, exam and possible sleep study.
Appointments can be made to speak with any of our physicians by calling the sleep lab, however you will need a referral to have a study or other tests performed, which can be obtained from your primary care physician.
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