Some people may need nonprescription sleeping pills from time to time to help them fall asleep. Examples of sleep medicines available without a prescription include Nytol, Sominex, and Sleep-Eze. All of these contain diphenhydramine, which is a type of antihistamine. Using an over-the-counter medicine now and then is okay. But sleep medicine works best as a short-term treatment combined with lifestyle and behavior changes.
Most over-the-counter sleep medicines can be used safely for 7 to 10 days. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Talk to your doctor before you take over-the-counter sleep medicine if:
When you take over-the-counter sleeping pills for a short time, side effects may include:
Over time, using sleeping pills can:
There are other ways to improve your sleep besides using medicine. Talk to your doctor about lifestyle and behavior changes you can try to help you sleep.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||David Messenger, MD|
|Last Revised||December 13, 2010|
Last Revised: December 13, 2010
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.