Silenor (Somaxon)– Doxepin – Sleeping Pill for Insomnia

In March of 2010, Somaxon’s Silenor (generic drug name doxepin) approval was granted FDA approval as a sleep aid for treating insomnia that is exemplified by difficulty in sleep maintenance. Silenor is the only prescription sleeping pill that has been shown in clinical trials not to have a risk of abuse or dependency.

Silenor helps people with insomnia get an entire night’s sleep, including sleep into the seventh and eighth hour. Silenor can be used to treat people suffering from both long-term and short-term insomnia. It can be taken as long as your doctor approves it.

Because Silenor has not been classified by the DEA as a controlled substance, the first and only non-scheduled prescription sleep medicine, your doctor will be able to provide you with Silenor samples to evaluate the use of the sleep aid before getting a prescription.

Even though many elderly people have insomnia, doctors have been reluctant to prescribe them sleeping pills as their sedative effects can cause falls and hip fractures if they wake up in the middle of the night and get out of bed. However, the sedative properties of Silenor are easier to overcome and it is easier to regain cognitive function with Silenor in the middle of the night than with non-benzodiazepine drugs such as Ambien or Lunesta. For this reason Silenor may be the best insomnia sleep aid for the elderly that have insomnia.

Silenor Dosage

This drug is taken orally. The recommended dosage of Silenor for adults is 6 mg once, everyday. For some patients, a 3 mg dose may be initially prescribed.

How Silenor Works

Unlike other prescribed sleep medications, Silenor works uniquely. The Silenor drug has a high affinity to the histamine H1 receptor in the brain and it functions to block histamine, one of the many naturally occurring neurotransmitters in the brain that promote wakefulness. Histamine blocking is shown to decrease wakefulness and is believed to promote the initiation and maintenance of sleep in Silenor.

Taking Silenor

• Silenor is to be taken 30 minutes before bedtime.
• Silenor should not be taken within three hours of a meal. If you do, it may not work as well or may make you sleepy the following day.
• If you are not able to get a full night’s sleep, do not take Silenor.
• If your insomnia does not get better within seven to ten days of taking the sleeping pill, contact your doctor immediately.

Side Effects of Silenor

The most common of side-effects of Silenor is drowsiness the next day, though clinical trials have shown that the risk of this side effect is perceived to be low. Some people report experiencing dry mouth and dry eyes when taking Silenor.

Silenor Important Information

Although it is recommended to be safe for senior citizens, it is not advisable that children take doxepin to relieve symptoms of sleep disorders.

If you are on a MAOI, or monoamine oxidase inhibitor, you should stay away from Silenor as it could prove to be fatal. Furthermore, Silenor is not advisable if you are suffering from glaucoma, urinary retention or if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Silenor.

As with any medication, before you are prescribed with Silenor, you need to inform your doctor if you have a history of mental illness, depression or suicidal thoughts. Extra care should be taken by pregnant women who are taking Silenor. Those who are using this drug regularly while pregnant risk having their newborn babies experience withdrawal symptoms. Women who are breast feeding should not take Silenor, because when taken, it is found in breast milk.

Getting the Sleep You Need

It is not always easy to get the amount of sleep needed to be healthy and productive, and often, we must rely on sleep aids to get us through the night peacefully. If you are experiencing symptoms of insomnia, finding that you are not getting the sleep you need, or are unhappy with your current insomnia treatment, you may want to consider speaking with your doctor about taking Silenor.

Essential further reading:

Further resources: Somaxon

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