Here are a few things to think about as you determine whether an OTC (over-the-counter) sleep-aid is right for you, and when it may be best to consult a doctor:
OTHER MEDICINES: THE FINE PRINT
Before you take an OTC medicine to help you sleep, consult the packaging of both the sleep-aid and all other OTC medicines or prescription medicines that you are taking or have recently taken. This will help you to rule out possible contraindications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions that cannot be answered by the packaging info.
SO MANY SLEEP-AIDS—WHAT’S RIGHT FOR ME?
Before you choose an OTC sleep-aid, it’s essential to know why you’re taking it and what you want your sleep-aid to accomplish. Your doctor or pharmacist is the best resource to help you choose the OTC sleep-aid that’s right for you.
WHEN TO CONSULT A DOCTOR
If you’re having trouble sleeping, you’re not alone, but symptoms can vary in frequency, duration, and underlying cause. Sleep medicines that are available over-the-counter, such as ZzzQuil™ (diphenhydramine HCI), are used to treat occasional sleeplessness. This occasional sleeplessness can be triggered, for example, by life changes, temporary stressful situations, or having a lot on your mind when you are trying to sleep. ZzzQuil is effective when used as directed. Stop use and ask a doctor if sleeplessness persists continuously for more than two weeks. Insomnia may be a symptom of a serious, underlying medical illness. That’s why consulting with a doctor, pharmacist, or sleep specialist can help with your diagnosis—and help you find the right sleep-aid for you.