Antidepressant medicines are often prescribed for people
insomnia. Best results are seen in people who also
have depression.1 Doctors often prescribe low doses of
certain antidepressants in an attempt to facilitate sleep, even though the
medicines have not been well studied for insomnia.
the antidepressants that might be prescribed for insomnia are amitriptyline and
The side effects of these medicines, which may include
sexual dysfunction, weight gain, dry mouth and throat, racing pulse, confusion,
and disturbed dreams, must be weighed against their potential benefits.
FDA advisories. The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) has issued:
A warning on the antidepressants Paxil and Paxil
CR (paroxetine) and birth defects. One new study showed that women who took
Paxil during their first 12 weeks of pregnancy had a slightly higher chance of
having a baby with birth defects.
advisory on antidepressant medicines and the risk of
suicide. The FDA does not recommend that people stop using these medicines.
Instead, a person taking antidepressants should be watched for
warning signs of suicide. This is especially important
at the beginning of treatment or when the doses are changed.
Mahowald MW (2008). Disorders of sleep. In L Goldman,
D Ausiello, eds., Cecil Medicine, 23rd ed., vol. 3, pp.
2696–2701. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.