Medications Used for Pediatric Insomnia

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2021 Jan;30(1):85-99. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2020.09.001. Epub 2020 Oct 27.


Pediatric insomnia can affect physical and mental health and cause cognitive deficits, social deficits and decrease quality of life. There are no Food and Drug Administration approved medications approved for pediatric insomnia. Pharmacologic interventions derive mostly from adult data or pediatric case reports. This review focuses on Food and Drug Administration approved prescription drugs (in adults), over-the-counter drugs, and off-label pediatric insomnia drugs. This review helps the clinician learn general principles, practice guidelines, and pharmacologic considerations for medication selection in the pediatric population. Pharmacologic management should be considered in combination with behavior therapy, which is proven to have long-lasting outcomes.

Keywords: Children; Insomnia; Medications; Pediatrics; Pharmacotherapy; Sleep disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations*
  • Quality of Life
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders* / drug therapy


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations