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.
Hampton T. Treating Chronic Insomnia. JAMA. 2005;294(4):418. doi:10.1001/jama.294.4.418-a