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Health Agencies Update
July 27, 2005

Treating Chronic Insomnia

JAMA. 2005;294(4):418. doi:10.1001/jama.294.4.418-a

An independent scientific panel convened by the National Institutes of Health has expressed concern over the widespread use of many medications to manage chronic insomnia that have not been studied for that indication. The group also noted that although insomnia drugs are approved only for short-term use, for many individuals, the problem can persist for decades.

Many of the drugs used to treat insomnia, such as antidepressants and antihistamines, have not been approved for this indication. And while newer benzodiazepine receptor agonists have fewer adverse effects than other insomnia medications, further evaluation of long-term use is needed, the panel stated.

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