Side effect of
What are Sleeping Pills and Tranquillizers?
Sleeping pills and tranquillizers are drugs which are used to
• sleeping problems
• muscle tension
They are often called
• nerve pills
• muscle relaxants
Most medications used to relieve anxiety and stress, or help
with sleeping problems belong to a family of drugs called
benzodiazepines, which must be prescribed by a doctor.
Benzodiazepines depress or slow down the central nervous system.
These medications are often used for relief of depression,
anxiety or sleeping difficulties which may be caused by life
changes such as retirement, reduced financial resources, poor
health, the loss of loved ones, or physical and social
isolation. Also, normal changes in sleeping patterns as we age
may be interpreted as a sleeping disorder. While doctors
prescribe sleeping pills and tranquillizers less often than in
the past, these medications are still used more than they should
be to relieve these symptoms.
Effects of Sleeping Pills and Tranquillizers
Sleeping pills and tranquillizers may relieve anxiety and
sleeping difficulties but, because they treat the symptoms of
stress and not the cause, the relief is only temporary. They may
help during a very stressful time, but they are not meant to be
used for more than 7 to 10 days.
Aging and severe illness increase the body's sensitivity to
sleeping pills and tranquillizers. Most of the side effects of
these medications are more likely to occur in seniors. Drugs
stay in seniors' bodies longer, therefore the effects of
medication can be different in a senior than in a younger
The following side effects may be experienced:
drowsy during the day
confusion and lack of concentration
dizzy or uncoordinated which can result in a fall or another
kind of accident
changes in heart rate
Unlike other medications, the side effects do not disappear with