Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Meta-Analysis
, 22 (9), 1335-50

The Efficacy and Safety of Drug Treatments for Chronic Insomnia in Adults: A Meta-Analysis of RCTs

Affiliations
Meta-Analysis

The Efficacy and Safety of Drug Treatments for Chronic Insomnia in Adults: A Meta-Analysis of RCTs

Nina Buscemi et al. J Gen Intern Med.

Abstract

Background: Hypnotics have a role in the management of acute insomnia; however, the efficacy and safety of pharmacological interventions in the management of chronic insomnia is unclear.

Objective: The objective of this paper is to conduct a systematic review of the efficacy and safety of drug treatments for chronic insomnia in adults.

Data sources: Twenty-one electronic databases were searched, up to July 2006.

Study selection: Randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trials were eligible. Quality was assessed using the Jadad scale. Data were pooled using the random effects model.

Data synthesis: One hundred and five studies were included in the review. Sleep onset latency, as measured by polysomnography, was significantly decreased for benzodiazepines (BDZ), (weighted mean difference: -10.0 minutes; 95% CI: -16.6, -3.4), non-benzodiazepines (non-BDZ) (-12.8 minutes; 95% CI: -16.9, -8.8) and antidepressants (ADP) (-7.0 minutes; 95% CI: -10.7, -3.3). Sleep onset latency assessed by sleep diaries was also improved (BDZ: -19.6 minutes; 95% CI: -23.9, -15.3; non-BDZ: -17.0 minutes; 95% CI: -20.0, -14.0; ADP: -12.2 minutes; 95% CI: -22.3, -2.2). Indirect comparisons between drug categories suggest BDZ and non-BDZ have a similar effect. All drug groups had a statistically significant higher risk of harm compared to placebo (BDZ: risk difference [RD]: 0.15; non-BDZ RD: 0.07; and ADP RD: 0.09), although the most commonly reported adverse events were minor. Indirect comparisons suggest that non-BDZ are safer than BDZ.

Conclusions: Benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines are effective treatments in the management of chronic insomnia, although they pose a risk of harm. There is also some evidence that antidepressants are effective and that they pose a risk of harm.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Study selection and retrieval
Figure 2
Figure 2
Meta-graph of sleep onset latency (minutes) in adults with chronic insomnia: benzodiazepines versus placebo
Figure 3
Figure 3
Meta-graph of sleep onset latency (minutes) in adults with chronic insomnia: non-benzodiazepines versus placebo
Figure 4
Figure 4
Meta-graph of sleep onset latency (minutes) in adults with chronic insomnia: antidepressants versus placebo

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 79 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback