Antidepressants / antipsychotics

Sedative drugs other than hypnotics are not recommended for the management of insomnia61. However, a number of drugs used to treat insomnia are used outside or beyond their licensed indications. These drugs include antihistamines, atypical anti-psychotics, choral hydrate, clomethiazole, and barbiturates.

There is limited evidence that these interventions work in the treatment of insomnia and there are problems with side effects, potential for abuse, lethal overdose and dependence. The British Association of Psychopharmacology recommends that antidepressants/antipsychotics may be used if the patient also has a mood disorder, but should be used only at their licenced dose97.

School of Pharmacy,
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Keele, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG.

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