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Doxylamine (Aldex)


Doxylamine is referred to ethanolamines, a sleeping drugs class, discovered in 1948. Penetrating into the central nervous system, the drug has a marked sedative effect, promoting sleep. A number of studies have shown that doxylamine is a decent alternative to benzodiazepines.

The medication significantly reduces the amount of time needed to fall asleep, improves sleep quality and duration and does not violate the core structure of sleep. A range of sedative properties of the drug has also been studied: it was discovered that hypnotic effect in doses of 25 and 50 mg is more pronounced than, for example, secobarbital (100 mg), and is almost equivalent to sekobarbital of 200 mg.

The drug is absorbed in gastrointestinal tract; the metabolization takes place in the liver. The Cmax (the abbreviation stands for maximum concentration in plasma) is registered after 60-80 minutes after administration (the half-life equals 10 hours). Doxylamine is excreted by the kidneys, and even though small amounts of decomposition products are formed, the bulk of doxilamine succinate (about 60 %) appears unchanged in the urine. Doxylamine passes including the blood-brain barrier smoothly and spreads over to tissues and organs. Unfortunately, there is no adequate clinical trials data regarding doxylamine’s ability to build in breast milk, however, the ability shall not be excluded in either event.

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Doxylamine indications for use

Currently, a disorder associated with difficulties initiating and/or maintaining sleep, despite having all the necessary conditions, falls under the classification of insomnia. The disorder is defined as a qualitative and quantitative lack of sleep, required for normal daily activities. In the medical environment, insomnia, hypersomnia and sleep rhythm disorders generally defined as a state with primarily psychogenic emotionally due to violation of quality or duration of sleep rhythm.

The main indications for the appointment of doxylamine are insomnia and sleep disturbances. The preparation accelerates the process of falling asleep and makes your sleep deeper, boosting physical regeneration.

Another vital advantage of doxylamine consists in maintaining natural structure of sleep, with no addiction and dependence; the course is not accompanied by deterioration of cognitive functions. In addition, the preparation makes no negative impact on respiratory function during sleep.

The drug is prescribed for adults and children older than 15 years at a dosage of 7.5 – 15 mg (1/2-1 tablet). The pills are typically recommended to be administered 15 minutes prior to sleep (in the evening). If necessary, the dose may be increased to 30 mg on a daily basis in case of good tolerability. Coated tablets should be taken with plenty of water. The duration of treatment typically equals 2 – 5 days.

Doxylamine precautions

Being a synthesized preparation, doxylamine treatment should be avoided by those having angle-closure glaucoma, difficulty in urination (diseases of the urethra and prostate cancer); the treatment must be ceased for pregnancy and lactation periods or in case hypersensitivity to the drug is discovered. The possible side effects are mainly associated with anticholinergic effects of the drug: dry mouth, accommodation disturbances, constipation and urinary retention. The fact should be underlined that in the morning, after an evening dose, the reaction to external events can be slow down, so avoiding sudden movements is highly recommended.

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