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Sleep meds for under-18s


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What sort of sleep meds can be prescribed to under-18s? I'm on 8mg controlled-release melatonin (Circadin), but, as evident from when I'm posting, I have difficulties getting off to sleep and always wake during the night.

I have tried other things to sleep; once, I found one of my dad's 3.75mg zopiclones. I still took a while to get off to sleep, but slept like a baby for seven hours or so afterwards. I have a friend my age on zopiclone, but my hospital psychiatrist wouldn't give it to me on account of my age (note: I didn't relate the story of my belief in its efficacy to him!). I hope to have better luck with my GP.

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You shouldn't take medication that isn't prescribed to you. I would try something more benign first like Benydral, Trazodone, Doxepin.

Is US Benadryl basically the same preparation as UK Nytol? There isn't very much diphenhydramine in Nytol. :( and UK Benadryl is a non-drowsy antihistamine... Sigh.

Edited by Wintry Berry
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I've read on CB how a lot of people say that LESS melatonin is better than more (works better with less).  Some have mentioned like 0.5 - 0.75 mg if I remember correctly.

The smallest pills I have are 2mg. I might try cutting them. Have you any tips on pill cutting?

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I've read on CB how a lot of people say that LESS melatonin is better than more (works better with less).  Some have mentioned like 0.5 - 0.75 mg if I remember correctly.

The smallest pills I have are 2mg. I might try cutting them. Have you any tips on pill cutting?

 

 

I just use a knife.  If you divide the 2mg tablet into 4 pieces, one of those pieces will = 0.5 mg.  Also if you bring them to the pharmacy they can split them too.

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At least in the US, there aren't any sleep meds approved for pediatric use.  I would talk to your doctor about hydroxyzine and trazodone and make sure that you have covered all of your bases when it comes to sleep hygiene.  Are you currently in therapy?  If you go to your pdoc and explain what non-med options you have tried, you might make a stronger case for trying a sleep med of some kind.

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I was prescribed Ativan by an adolescent psychiatrist for insomnia/anxiety when I was underage (16 or 17 I think). I do remember it working. I'm in the US though, so I don't know if prescribing practices differ, or if it's even common for kids to be prescribed benzos here. 

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I would suggest investing in a pill cutter. I have one and I use it to half my klonopins.

 

I'm not sure about getting sleep meds as a teen. I was put on anti-depressants as a young teen but never anything for sleep, even though I had bad insomnia too. My days and nights got mixed up. Very frustrating! So I do understand why you would want a sleep aid.

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The only time I (personally) have heard of a patient younger than 18 getting sleeping meds was for my sister-in-law. She has fairly bad autism, and would stay up all night self-stimulating, singing, whatever. So they finally tried Trazadone, and she was out like a light. She was 8. She's been on Seroquel, but I'm not sure if it was for sleep or depression or psychosis  She was also on Lamictal, in her teens (about 14), and it was the best I have ever seen her. All before she turned 18. 

 

I don't know, but I can guess there several members who have been on meds at 18 or younger.

 

But I think it is unusual, unless something really goes ape shit, or becomes suicidal. 

 

Part of this may also be a liability issue. Once you turn 18, you are legally an adult, and they don't have to worry as much about your parents making off the mark advice, or interfering with you treatment (which is how a pdoc might look at it).

 

 

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Trazodone was prescribed to me when I was 13 and it worked pretty well for several years; I'm 17 now and was just put on doxepin. I also have taken melatonin supplements since I was 9 or 10, some benadryl (though I've switched to another allergy medicine) and Ativan at night to sleep. My lamictal also makes me a bit drowsy so I take that at night too. 

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