Drugs Used in Parasomnia

Sleep Med Clin. 2018 Jun;13(2):191-202. doi: 10.1016/j.jsmc.2018.02.003. Epub 2018 Mar 17.


Patient education and behavioral management represent the first treatment approaches to the patient with parasomnia, especially in case of disorders of arousal (DOA). A pharmacologic treatment of DOA may be useful when episodes are frequent and persist despite resolution of predisposing factors, are associated with a high risk of injury, or cause significant impairment, such as excessive sleepiness. Approved drugs for DOA are still lacking. The most commonly used medications are benzodiazepines and antidepressants. The pharmacologic treatment of rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder is symptomatic, and the most commonly used drugs are clonazepam and melatonin.

Keywords: Antidepressant drugs; Benzodiazepines; Clonazepam; Disorders of arousal; Melatonin; REM behavior disorder; Sleep enuresis; Sleep-related eating disorder.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Parasomnias / drug therapy*
  • REM Sleep Parasomnias / drug therapy
  • Sleep Paralysis / drug therapy