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Those so-called Natural Sleep Aids
Sep 19, 2010

I am on Atripla now for 2 years. Doing well. CD4 500, VL undetectable. So changing meds seems like a bad idea. But the problem is that I seem to have some trouble sleeping on some nights. I do take my meds at night. Is there any truth to these 'natural sleep aids' such as valerian root, lemon balm, hops, etc. and are they really safe ? Tried Ambien and it was not good for me.

I trust your and value your opinions !

Thanks again.


Response from Dr. Henry

There is little to no published data on the efficacy of many of over the counter natural sleep aids. Critical review of the claims suggest that many would not work as advertised. Benadryl (diphenhydramine)is the active ingredient of many of the sleep aids. Melatonin (1-3 mg) is seems helpful to a subset of patients. Sleep abnormalities are common in the general population. The efavirenz in Atripla can cause ongoing sleep problems in a small subset of patients. If the efaviren seems likely to be the main factor than a switch to an alternative regimen is reasonable to considert (ie nevirapine or ralgegravir or a boosted PI instead of efavirenz). In some case evaluation be a sleep specialist can be helpful. KH

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