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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.
December 13, 2010
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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