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What are the side effects of non-benzodiazepines to treat insomnia?

Zaleplon (Sonata), eszopiclone (Lunesta) and zolpidem (Ambien) are prescription medications available for short-term treatment of insomnia that fall into a class of drugs known as non-benzodiazepines or benzodiazepine receptor agonists. They have minimal next-day effects due to their rapid metabolism; however, daytime drowsiness may still occur.

In rare cases, these medications may cause unusual behaviors, such as trying to drive or prepare and eat food while asleep. They may also cause severe allergic reactions or facial swelling. If any of these reactions occur while you are taking one of these medications, contact your healthcare professional right away. Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea and rebound insomnia, may occur if you abruptly stop taking these medications. These drugs seem to have better safety profiles than benzodiazepines such as Valium and Restoril, so healthcare professionals are more likely to prescribe them.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.