Hydrochloride makes you sleepy

Over-the-counter sleeping pills are not harmless

Status: 06/21/2019 12:17 p.m. | archive
Coordination problems, dizziness, and drowsiness can be side effects of sleeping pills.

Many people with persistent sleep disorders resort to over-the-counter and supposedly harmless sleeping pills for fear of drug addiction and the consequences of lack of sleep. They are among the best-selling medicines. But the over-the-counter preparations with their harmless-sounding names are anything but harmless. They can lead to heart problems as the heart rate increases after ingestion. This is particularly worrying in the case of already pre-stressed patients.

The sedative effect is often underestimated, which can lead to impaired coordination and concentration, dizziness, drowsiness and confusion even ten hours after ingestion. As a result, older people in particular are at risk of falling and other accidents, including car accidents. But that's not all: According to a recent study from the USA with 3,500 people, the ingredients of many sleep aids are even suspected of promoting dementia in some cases.

Effects in the peripheral nervous system and brain

The substances have a central effect on the peripheral nervous system and the brain. There they influence certain signal transmitters - the so-called neurotransmitters. The best-known active ingredients are diphenhydramine and doxylamine succinate. Both are so-called histamine blockers of the first generation and were mainly used in allergy patients a few years ago. As a side effect, they make you tired due to their central mode of action - and that is exactly what makes them so popular today as an over-the-counter sleep aid. Current antihistamines for allergies no longer have these side effects and are better tolerated.

Herbal alternatives: valerian and passionflower

If you regularly have problems falling asleep, you should use natural alternatives. The best known representative is the valerian. Its active ingredients influence the metabolism of the nerve cells and thus alleviate restlessness and nervousness. The recommended daily dose is 450 to 750 milligrams. The effect of valerian can be increased by adding hops: the natural bitter substances have a strong calming effect. The passion flower also has a sleep-promoting effect.

With the natural sleeping pills, however, a little patience is important, because the herbal helpers usually only take effect after 14 days. In order to promote the effect, the ingestion should become a fixed ritual: make tea, relax and from this point on avoid bright light.

Interactions of sleeping pills

The elderly and the chronically ill often take a variety of different medications. You should definitely seek advice from a doctor or pharmacist before taking sleeping pills, because over-the-counter sleeping pills can also weaken or intensify the effect of other medications.

Sleeping pills on prescription: what you should pay attention to

In acute crises, the short-term use of prescription sleeping pills, so-called benzodiazepines or Z-drugs, can be useful. However, experts criticize the fact that the drugs are all too often prescribed hastily and negligently. A dependency can develop after one to two weeks.

In Germany, 1.5 million people are already dependent. Even the Z-drugs that are rated as less dangerous are now under criticism. Long-term fatal effects have been reported in the United States.

Therefore, the so-called 4-component rule should be observed with prescription sleeping pills:

  • kclear indication
  • ksmallest dose required
  • kshort application
  • ka sudden withdrawal

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Market | 06/24/2019 | 8:15 pm