The magazine 60 million consumers publishes recommendations on drugs for sleep disorders. Be careful, some references are simply to be avoided.
Sleep is health, but falling into the arms of Morpheus is not always easy. Many drugs can fight against sleep disorders, but some are to be avoided. 60 million consumers publishes a special issue on sleep, on newsstands from Thursday, November 8, and lists the drugs to proscribe.
Risks of addiction
About one in eight French people are reported to have taken a benzodiazepine medication, a treatment for prescription sleep disorders. 60 million consumers explain that this compound is very addictive: after one month, it can make the person dependent, and weaning can last up to a year. On the other hand, the harder it takes, the less effective it is because the body gets used to the molecule.
Takes too long
If these treatments are taken by a doctor, this is not the case for non-prescription drugs. Self-service sleeping pills are based on antihistamines, normally used to treat allergies. Their action is very long: in ten hours, the concentration of the product decreases by only half. The main risks are the loss of vigilance, which can be responsible for road accidents or falls in the elderly.
Patients tend to take them too long. On average it takes six months, while it is recommended not to exceed five days. Several drugs are to be avoided. With the Phénergan, journalists from 60 million consumers have identified serious side effects: anaphylactic shock, hallucination and confusion. Calcibronat is not very effective according to the studies and can cause loss of appetite and confusion. To overcome insomnia, some people use Toplexil, a cough syrup. Rather than treating and relieving sleep disorders, it eventually decreases the cycles of deep sleep.
5 drugs to ban
Some people with sleep disorders use melatonin-based dietary supplements for treatment. These treatments are recommended only for people over 55 and for a maximum of 13 weeks. ANSES has also researched these dietary supplements, and has noted the appearance of several adverse effects: vertigo, headache, gastroenterological, neurological and psychiatric disorders. Several other products to avoid are listed by the magazine: Chronodorm Melatonin, Fortenuit, Super Melatonin, C'Zen Night, Granions Somdor + Sweet Night.
If you have trouble sleeping, it is best to consult a doctor before taking any treatment, even if it is sold without a prescription. One in five people in France suffers from chronic insomnia.