These new drugs are also less likely to be abused than many of the other sedative-hypnotics and cause little respiratory depression.Buspirone (Bu Spar) is the only anti-anxiety medication that is not a sedative.An advance in the development of sedative-hypnotics occurred with the discovery of the non-benzodiazepine drugs zolpidem (Ambien), zopiclone, and zaleplon.These drugs are short-acting hypnotics that produce fewer side effects, such as a hangover effect (remaining sedation after the person stops taking the drug).They are also relatively safe to give to children for sedation before or after surgery.
When swelling is relieved, pressure on the brain also reduces, hopefully preventing some or all brain damage from occurring.
Patients who take them for insomnia are less likely to have sleep problems again when they stop taking the drugs.
This "rebound insomnia" is a common problem with benzodiazepines.
By the age of 70 or older, 30 to 50 percent of adults will have sleep problems. Because sleep problems occur more frequently in older adults, use of sedative-hypnotic drugs is more common in older age groups.
For many, a prescription for a sedative-hypnotic drug is an effective treatment. For example, in the United States 2.6 percent of all adults take a benzodiazepine as a sleeping pill during a year.