New Developments in Insomnia Medications of Relevance to Mental Health Disorders

Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2015 Dec;38(4):843-60. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2015.08.001. Epub 2015 Sep 11.


Many insomnia medications with high specificity have become available recently. They provide a window into the clinical effects of modulating specific brain systems and establish a new guiding principal for conceptualizing insomnia medications: "mechanism matters." A new paradigm for insomnia therapy in which specific drugs are selected to target the specific type of sleep difficulty for each patient includes administering specific treatments for patients with insomnia comorbid with particular psychiatric disorders. This article reviews insomnia medications and discusses the implications for optimizing the treatment of insomnia occurring comorbid with psychiatric conditions.

Keywords: Comorbid psychiatric disorders; Doxepin; Eszopiclone; Insomnia; Personalization; Prazosin; Suvorexant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-1 Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Benzodiazepines / therapeutic use
  • Histamine Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / complications*
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Orexin Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Receptors, Melatonin / agonists
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / complications*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / drug therapy*


  • Adrenergic alpha-1 Receptor Antagonists
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Histamine Antagonists
  • Orexin Receptor Antagonists
  • Receptors, Melatonin
  • Benzodiazepines