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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.
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.
Current as of:
November 18, 2013
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Lisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
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