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Sleeping pills are indicated by doctors   in certain serious illnesses, such as cancer.  In mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, severe anxiety, etc.


They are also prescribed to break cycles of insomnia   at specific moments in the face of some dramatic episode such as the death of a loved one or physical injury.  

However, sleeping pills are generally not recommended for the treatment of chronic insomnia or for prolonged periods.

Pharmacological treatments administered for insomnia are evaluated according to the criteria defined in the ICSD-3 and DSM-5, and according to the recommendations of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and always have to be prescribed and controlled by a medical professional.

Among the pills for insomnia or hypnotics, the benzodiazepines BZD) and those called "Z-Drugs" are used. These types of pills act as GABA A  agonist and bind to type A gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA A ) receptors and modulate their activity.  


Traditional BZD hypnotics also have some sedative, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant, and amnesic effects (Riemann & Perlis, 2009).

Compared to conventional BZDs, "Z-Drugs" have a similar hypnotic action but without muscle relaxant, anticonvulsant, or anxiolytic properties; they are less likely to cause rebound insomnia, withdrawal or tolerance symptoms, or to alter sleep architecture (Brandt & Leong 2017).

Later studies present dual orexin receptor antagonists (DORA) as a new perspective in the pharmacological treatment of primary insomnia.


Also Melatonin, is often used to treat disorders of the circadian rhythm of sleep - wakefulness and insomnia.


Some antidepressants and antipsychotics can also be found, although their use is not allowed by some administration. 

The head pharmacist in Madrid, Luis Fernando Díaz Barreda , has developed an online course, which may be of interest to you, if you want to know more about what specific prescription and non-prescription medications are used, their effects, which are the best supplements and their natural alternatives.  Access the course here:

Other types of pills are natural supplements , which generally do not require a prescription and are sometimes used to treat insomnia and include antihistamines, L-tryptophan, valerian or chamomile. 

Insomnia is a disorder that must be treated properly, since it leads to chronicity and multiple health conditions and undesired consequences in people's daily lives at all levels: personal, emotional, social, cognitive, work... 

For this reason, it is important that a doctor evaluates and indicates whether the administration of pills is necessary for each specific case.

In  other circumstances, in which the use of pills is not prescribed,   cognitive behavioral sleep therapy is very useful and preferable to learn to sleep well.

There are also other therapies such as Mindfulness or Neurolinguistic Programming or NLP that in recent years have achieved great prominence due to the good response to them. 

Medicamentos con receta
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Online course

3 hours, 33 classes

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Taught by Mr. Luis Fernando Díaz Barreda, titular pharmacist in Madrid

sleep with or without pills


- Importance of sleep

- Sleep regulation

- Changes according to age

- Best plugins

- Medication

- Learn about different disorders.

- Natural alternatives

- Diseases

NOTE: This product is not a substitute for expert opinion. You should always consult a professional to deal with matters related to your health.


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