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An approach to long-term sedative-hypnotic use

Authors Shahid A, Chung S, Phillipson R, Shapiro C

Received 18 November 2011

Accepted for publication 18 January 2012

Published 2 April 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 53—61


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Azmeh Shahid, Sharon A Chung, Ron Phillipson, Colin M Shapiro

Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto and Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada

Abstract: Insomnia is a common, often chronic medical disorder with significant medical and socioeconomic repercussions. However, unlike other medical conditions, there is intense debate as to whether the long-term treatment of insomnia is clinically appropriate. The perceived deleterious side effect of sedative-hypnotic medications may result in patients remaining untreated or undertreated. This review proposes that a more subtle approach needs to be taken in the management of patients with chronic insomnia and that long-term use of the newer sedative-hypnotics may be a feasible and effective treatment option when used in conjunction with thorough medical assessment and regular patient follow-up. This review discusses these issues and discusses the pros and cons of long-term sedative-hypnotic use.

Keywords: insomnia, long-term use, hypnotics

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