Medications

Below are just a few of the medications currently prescribed for Night Terrors. Some of these medications fall under the ANTI-DEPRESSANTS category. If your doctor has prescribed something different, most likely it is a generic of the below or in the same class, you should be fine. If you don't want to take a prescription drug to control night terrors be sure to check out St Johns Wort.

The following are currently being tested:

  • Ambien
  • Lunestra
  • Rozerem
  • Sonata

Also check out Darlene's cure for childhood Night Terrors.

It takes about one to two weeks of experimenting with the dosages of the above medications to find a happy medium between having an episode free night and getting up in the morning! Whatever you do don't give up after a couple of days. You have to give it a chance. A number of the readers of this page have had some success in controlling night terrors by using a mask to cover the eyes at night. I have heard about an article that outlines the results of using a mask for night terrors, but I have not been able to locate the article. I have not tried this approach for the simple fact that I have a hard enough time as it is getting up in the morning. But don't let me stop you from trying this approach. Remember what doesn't work for one person may work for another.

Anti-depressants & psychotherapeutic drugs

  • Tricyclics and Tetracyclics (TCA's)
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI's)
  • Serotonin-specific Reuptake Inhibitors ( SSRI's)
  • Sedatives and Hypnotics (including barbituates and benzodiazepines)

Tricyclics and Tetracyclics (TCA's)

These, along with the MAOI's, are considered the classic antidepressant drugs; they are also effective in a wide range of other disorders, including panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, and pain disorder. Enuresis and ADHD are the most common established indications for the tricyclics in children.

Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOI's)

These drugs are generally accepted as being equal in efficacy to other antidepressant drugs but are currently used less frequently because of the dietary precautions that must be followed (total avoidance of tyramine-containing foods) and the interactions with numerous other medications. They are often used as an alternative for patients who do not respond to the tricyclics and tetracyclics, or in atypical depressions. In addition to depression, MAOI's are used to treat: Bipolar Disorder, Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Eating Disorders, Social Phobia and Pain Disorder.

Serotonin-specific Reuptake Inhibitors ( SSRI's)

These drugs, along with the tricyclic and tetracyclic drugs and the MAOI's, are considered the major antidepressant drugs; they are also effective in a wide range of disorders, including bipolar I disorder, dysthymic disorder, eating disorders, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and borderline personality disorder. Because they generally have fewer adverse side effects than other classes of antidepressants they are more widely prescribed; one SSRI, fluoxetine (Prozac), the least cardiotoxic of all antidepressants, has become the most widely prescribed antidepressant and is one of the top ten most prescribed drugs in the US.

Sedatives and Hypnotics (including barbituates and benzodiazepines)

This class includes the barbituates, which are among the first drugs to be used in clinical psychiatric treatment, being introduced in the US in 1903. One of the oldest sedative-hypnotic drugs still in use, chloral hydrate, has been used since 1869. Because of their high abuse potential and lower therapeutic index, the barbituates are now less commonly prescribed than the newer anxiolytic compounds, such as the benzodiazepines and buspirone, which are considered much safer. Four others of the class, carbamates, piperidinediones, cyclic ethers, and tertiary carbinols, are still available for use, but are used so rarely because of their high abuse potential and toxic effects.