What Is the Danger of Taking Sleeping Pills for a Long Period of Time?

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In some cases taking sleeping pills for an extended period of time might actually be appropriate. If you have a medical condition or you are taking another medication that might promote sleeplessness then that might make sense but for most people, it should be a short term use of medication.

So what do I mean by short term use? People should be using medication somewhere in between maybe three or four weeks as high as maybe 12 or 15 weeks depending upon what their situation is and who their talking with in terms of their doctor. Now there're a lots of different sleep medications out there and some of them can actually be okay for longer periods of time, some for shorter periods of time.

So let's talk about that for just a second. The prescribed sleep medication medications are designed to be used for between 30 and 45 days. Well I've had patients that have been on medications longer, I've had patients that have been on medications shorter. You and your doctor need to sit down and decide if that makes sense for you.

When we talk about over the counter medications, those are generally not supposed to be used every night and they certainly shouldn't be used for more than about 2 to 3 weeks. If you're using anything for longer than that and your doctor doesn't know about it, one of the first things you need to do is talk with your doctor, because some of those over the counter medications can infact interact with other medication that you might be taking and that can propose a danger to you.