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Clin Cornerstone. 2003;5(3):16-27.

Pharmacologic approaches for the treatment of chronic insomnia.

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Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


Insomnia is a common problem that for many sufferers persists chronically and may result from a wide range of causes. Specific treatments address particular underlying medical disorders. General therapeutic approaches, including pharmacologic and behavioral strategies, may have broad applicability to insomnia patients. Many different medications and substances have been used in an attempt to improve sleep. This article reviews the advantages and disadvantages of medications and other substances employed to promote improved sleep. Special emphasis is given to the use of the newer-generation benzodiazepine receptor agonist hypnotics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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