Current, emerging, and newly available insomnia medications.
Research into the sleep-wake cycle has provided new treatment targets for patients with insomnia as well as a better understanding of how medications affect sleep processes. Current insomnia medications, including benzodiazepines and nonbenzodiazepines, focus on enhancing sleep-promoting systems through broad antagonism of GABA. Other medications that promote sleep by blocking wake-promoting systems include antidepressants, antipsychotics, and antihistamines, but adverse effects and nonspecific therapeutic effects limit their use. New and emerging insomnia medications are focusing on blocking wake-promoting systems via more selective antagonism of orexin, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These medications may offer improved efficacy with fewer adverse effects.
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