Which medications in the drug class Antidepressants, Other are used in the treatment of Insomnia?

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

The side effect of drowsiness seen with some antidepressants can be used to benefit patients in the treatment of sleep-maintenance insomnia or insomnia associated with depression.

Mirtazapine (Remeron, Remeron SolTab)

Mirtazapine exhibits both noradrenergic and serotonergic activity. In cases of depression associated with severe insomnia and anxiety, it has been shown to be superior to other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In patients with depression, the sedative properties of mirtazapine may help with sleep-onset insomnia. This drug is not an FDA-approved treatment for insomnia, and no randomized, placebo-controlled trials have demonstrated its efficacy for insomnia.

Trazodone (Oleptro)

A nontricyclic antidepressant with short onset of action, trazodone consolidates sleep. It is an antagonist at the type 2 serotonin (5-HT2) receptor and inhibits reuptake of 5-HT; it also has negligible affinity for cholinergic and histaminergic receptors.


Nefazodone inhibits serotonin reuptake and is a potent antagonist at the 5-HT2 receptor. It also has negligible affinity for cholinergic, histaminic, or alpha-adrenergic receptors. The FDA has added a Black Box warning regarding rare cases of liver failure with this drug.

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