What are the mechanisms of action of sedating antidepressants for insomnia?

Updated: Sep 11, 2018
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

These medications, which include amitriptyline, trimipramine, doxepin, trazodone, and mirtazapine, were identified as therapeutic agents for the treatment of insomnia when patients treated for depression reported sedating side effects. They exert their effects by blocking the receptors of wake-promoting neurotransmitters—namely, serotonin, norepinephrine, and histamine. [24]


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