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Affirmation Center
One Main Street
Hartford, CT 06106

Phone: (860) 727-8703
Fax: (860) 548-2045

Cole Center
2550 Main Steet
Hartford, CT 06120

Phone: (860) 548-0101
Fax: (860) 524-7781

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What Guides Docs' Sleeping Pill Picks? 'Same Old Same Old,' Study Says

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Mar 1st 2017

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Feb. 28, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to sleeping pill prescriptions, doctors often stick to the same old routine, a new study suggests.

"Our results illuminate the notion that just as everyone else, many physicians are creatures of habit who tend to rely on cognitive shortcuts in their decision-making," said study first author Andrew Beam. He's a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School's department of biomedical informatics in Boston.

"Doctors are not always as rational as we'd like to believe," Beam added in a Harvard news release.

People with insomnia have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. The condition is believed to affect up to 40 percent of Americans, but is underdiagnosed and poorly treated, the researchers said.

Hoping to better understand what guides doctors' prescribing practices, Beam and his colleagues analyzed the medical records, including clinical notes, of more than 1,100 insomnia patients.

They focused on two commonly prescribed sleep aids: zolpidem (Ambien), a newer medication, and trazodone (Oleptro), an older drug usually used for depression. The researchers said trazodone is less effective for insomnia than Ambien but has a better safety record.

The researchers found that a doctor who prescribed a particular insomnia medication in the past was three times as likely to continue prescribing the same drug.

Also, patients with symptoms of depression in addition to insomnia were a bit more likely than those without depression to receive a prescription for trazodone.

That finding indicates that certain patient characteristics do have a role in doctors' prescription decisions, but still less so than habit, the researchers said.

The study was published recently in the journal Scientific Reports.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more on insomnia.




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Children and Adult services are available now with no wait time.  Please contact HBH's Intake Department at 860-548-0101 x354.

 

Affirmation Center
One Main Street

Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: (860) 727-8703
Fax: (860) 548-2045
Mon & Tu: 8:30 - 7:00
Wed, Th, Fri, Sat: 8:30 - 4:30

Cole Center
2550 Main Street
Hartford, CT 06120
Phone: (860) 548-0101
Fax: (860) 524-7781
Mon, Tu, & Fri: 8:30 - 4:30
Wed & Thu: 8:30 - 7:00

Our offices are closed from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM for lunch.

 

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Adults, please call our mobile
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