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Nancy Schimelpfening

Antidepressant May Help Insomnia

By July 31, 2007

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According to data presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, the antidepressant doxepin could be useful as a sleep aid in patients with transient insomnia.

In the study, Dr. Howard Schwartz and his colleagues found that a single 6-mg dose of doxepin significantly cut the time needed for adults with transient insomnia to fall soundly asleep. It also improved their sleep quality and the duration of sleep.

Overall, doxepin appeared to be safe and well-tolerated and it did not appear to cause any residual sleepiness after waking.

Doxepin is currently approved for the treatment of depression, but previous studies support its off-label use in the treatment of insomnia.

Dr. Schwartz is a gastroenterologist in private practice in Miami and the medical director of Miami Research Associates, a research facility and sleep lab.

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