Pharmacotherapy of insomnia

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2008 Feb;9(3):351-62. doi: 10.1517/14656566.9.3.351.


Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the industrialized world. A variety of precipitating events have been identified, but when it becomes a persistent problem, maladaptive patterns become established, thereby, perpetuating the sleep disturbance. Individuals with insomnia have impaired next-day functioning, which impacts their quality of life and places them at increased risk of motor vehicle accidents. Insomnia is commonly associated with chronic medical conditions, as well as an increased incidence of mental disorders. Despite considerable scientific advances in both the understanding and treatment, insomnia continues to be inadequately identified and treated, with < 15% of those with severe insomnia receiving appropriate treatment. The mainstay of treatment for insomnia is cognitive-behavioral therapy, along with judicious use of hypnotic agents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Benzodiazepines / therapeutic use
  • Central Nervous System Depressants / therapeutic use
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Complementary Therapies
  • GABA-A Receptor Agonists
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use
  • Receptors, Melatonin / agonists
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / therapy


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Central Nervous System Depressants
  • GABA-A Receptor Agonists
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Receptors, Melatonin
  • Benzodiazepines