You've made a decision to ignore the proven effective treatment and decided instead to do who knows what." Mc Call said he treats an insomnia patient with sleeping drugs first.When those options don't work, he turns to antidepressants.Insomnia drugs help the patient sleep, but they do not treat the underlying cause, which could be a result of another illness, life changes or shifting work schedules.And patients who seek relief for insomnia may not receive the most effective prescription.Over the last two decades, doctors treating sleep disorders have prescribed more antidepressants than insomnia drugs, according to several published analyses.And there is insufficient evidence that most antidepressants are effective in treating insomnia, concluded a National Institutes of Health panel that convened on the topic in 2005.
"I think the harm in it is the delay of effective treatment.
But the Food and Drug Administration has not officially approved antidepressants for insomnia.
"There's inadequate body of information to support use of the unapproved treatment," said Dr.
Antidepressants balance the natural chemicals in the brain that are involved in regulating mood.
The drugs can block reabsorption of the chemicals, such as serotonin, leaving more available in the brain.