Which medications in the drug class Benzodiazepines are used in the treatment of Sleep Dysfunction in Women?

Updated: Jan 31, 2019
  • Author: Gila Hertz, PhD, ABSM; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Benzodiazepines

These agents have been the hypnotics of choice for many years because of their relative safety compared with barbiturates. By binding to specific receptor sites, benzodiazepines appear to potentiate the effects of GABA and to facilitate inhibitory GABA neurotransmission and other inhibitory transmitters.

Benzodiazepines are used when additional anxiolytic effects are desired in addition to hypnotic effects. Intermediate and long-acting benzodiazepines are used for sleep-maintenance insomnia.

Triazolam (Halcion)

Triazolam, a short-acting agent, is good for use in sleep-onset insomnia. It has no significant residual effects in the morning.

Estazolam

Estazolam is an intermediate-acting agent with a slow onset of action and a long duration. It is a good agent for sleep-maintenance insomnia.

Temazepam (Restoril)

Temazepam is indicated for sleep-onset and maintenance insomnia. It should be taken at bedtime to prevent daytime aftereffects.

Quazepam (Doral)

Quazepam is used for sleep-maintenance insomnia. It enhances the inhibitory effects of the GABA neurotransmitter on neuronal excitability that results by increased neuronal permeability to chloride ions. The shift in chloride ions results in hyperpolarization and stabilization of the neuronal membrane.

Flurazepam

Flurazepam is frequently chosen as a short-term treatment of insomnia. It enhances the inhibitory effects of the GABA neurotransmitter on neuronal excitability that results by increased neuronal permeability to chloride ions. The shift in chloride ions results in hyperpolarization and stabilization of the neuronal membrane.


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