Every time you turn on your television, open a newspaper or magazine or even listen to the radio you are bound to hear about people having insomnia. The problem – most of the information is coming from pharmaceutical and biotech companies determined to take advantage of the sleepless masses.
The market for insomnia drugs in the U.S. reached $4.6 billion in 2006 alone. No wonder many pharmaceutical companies are treating this phenomenon as the “new gold rush”. These companies are in a race to capture market share.
How big is this market?
An estimated 30-50% of the general population is affected by insomnia. According to the National Institute of Health, more than 70 million Americans experience insomnia. However, only 15% seek treatment for their insomnia. The number one reason most people refuse to take insomnia drugs are because of the side effects.
Some of those side effects include:
o Drug dependence
o Withdrawal symptoms
o Physical side effects
o Serious interactions with other drugs or chemicals in the body
Now that the pharmaceutical companies realize they have the medical profession behind them the advertising has reached an all time high. It is understandable that the medical profession would agree that insomnia is a problem. They believe treating insomnia is important because a lack of sleep can lead to serious disorders.
But, the trend of enticing an entire nation to believe that Pharma pills are some how a magical quick fix is erroneous. Many of the successful treatments for insomnia are time-intensive and require a lot of work by the insomniac. So, with all of this hard work and the insomniac being bombarded with ads, all of a sudden the thought of a pill that can solve your pharma problem quickly sounds like a winning proposition.
Listed below are a few of the more prevalent sleep drug treatments:
o Benzodiazepines, which are included in a class of drugs called hypnotics. Some types of benzodiazepines include Klonopin, Valium, Restoril, Xanax, and Ativan.
o Non-benzodiazepine hypnotics such Ambien, Sonata and Lunesta treat short-term insomnia.
o Opiates, such as codeine, oxycodone, methadone, dihydromorphone, and propoxyphene. These drugs may be used to treat restless legs syndrome.
Pick up a newspaper, tune into the television or surf Google AdWords on any given day, and you’re likely to find at least a dozen ads related to insomnia. One thing is for sure, trends come and go, but consumers are pretty savvy. They seek products that are safe, natural and cost-effective.