National Sleep Foundation

Chapter 2: Insomnia

Insomnia Treatment: Medications

The decision to treat, the treatment choice, and when to end treatment are based on risk/benefit ratios (including the risk of not treating). In addition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs, many medications are used “off-label” to treat insomnia. In general, it is optimal when trying to identify the best treatment for a patient, to start with medications that have the lowest-risk profile, before moving to those with a greater potential for side effects.

The following sections describe:

  • Hypnotics
  • Sedating Antidepressants
  • Other Agents to Treat Insomnia
  • Over-the-Counter Medications