New Sleep Drug May Cause Fewer Side Effects

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member

    New Sleep Drug May Cause Fewer Side Effects

    A new kind of sleep medication may not cause the typical behavioral side effects, such as dependence and abuse, as other sleep drugs.

    Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio tested the recently-approved prescription sleep drug ramelteon (Rozerem) in monkeys. Results show the drug may spare patients short-term and long-term effects of other sleep aids.

    Ramelteon targets the brain's melatonin receptors rather than its benzodiazepine receptors, which may make its side effects different from those of old and new sedative hypnotics. Standard sleep aids bind to the brain's benzodiazepine receptors and can cause impaired thinking, withdrawal symptoms, and rebound insomnia.

    Researchers conducted three experiments in monkeys to make their conclusions. In one experiment, they measured clinical behavior, learned behavior, and blood levels of the drug to determine whether the monkeys had become dependent on the drug after they stopped taking it. They did not observe 10 of the 33 usual withdrawal-related signs of dependence, including teeth grinding, biting fingernails, shakes and tremors.

    The authors conclude, "Ramelteon does not likely share subjective effects with benzodiazepines in humans and thus, should not be expected to share abuse liability with BzRAs [benzodiazepine receptor agonists]."

    The study was funded by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, which markets ramelteon as Rozerem.

    This article was reported by

    SOURCE: Behavioral Neuroscience, 2006;120:535-541

  2. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    they will not pay a portion of any benzos..but thank goodness my medi-cal will cover it..

    thank you

  3. marw

    marw New Member

    Hi there,

    I have heard many good things about this drug. I plan to ask my doc to prescribe it.

    I didn't quite get that about Medicare not paying for the pays for my Valium and Ativan....I hven't tried any sleeping meds, other that these muscle and anxiety relaxants.

    Thanks for posting this.
  4. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Medicare pays for Valium and Ativan?? It doesn't pay for Xanax or Restoril. Must be your drug card?

    Thanks for this post, jlh. I've made a note of it as back up if my getting off Restoril plan doesn't work.

  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    If anyone is getting them with their Part D, it would have to be the company sponsoring the card which is paying for them. I've never understood why a whole class of meds does not qualify.

    I keep hearing professionals talk about benzo abuse but I have only heard of one person being psychologically addicted to Klonopin. Many of us here take Klonopin and Xanax and do not abuse them. There is potential for abuse with many meds but benzos seem to be the urban myth among docs.

    Anyway, I'm always glad when there is an improved med for anything. I, personally, do not take new meds because so many have been withdrawn or been shown to cause severe side effects down the road. Still, at some point, when they have proven themselves, I am glad to have other options. A lot of the newer meds work in the area of the brain responsible for dopamine levels. This is a little scary to me because there is always the danger of Parkinsonian Syndrome at some point.

    Thanks for the info. This may be one med to watch. Thing is, though, that many of us take Klonopin for other symptoms in addition to insomnia. It helps with anxiety/panic attacks, sensory overload, RLS, tinnitus, pain, and muscle spasms.

    Love, Mikie
    [This Message was Edited on 07/09/2006]

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