Pharmacologic Treatment Options for Insomnia in Patients with Schizophrenia

  • Stummer L
  • Markovic M
  • Maroney M
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Background: Symptoms of sleep disorders, such as disturbances in sleep initiation and continuity, are commonly reported in patients with schizophrenia, especially in the acute phase of illness. Studies have shown that up to 80% of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia report symptoms of insomnia. Sleep disturbances have been shown to increase the risk of cognitive dysfunction and relapse in patients with schizophrenia. Currently, there are no medications approved specifically for the treatment of insomnia in patients with schizophrenia. Methods: A literature search was performed through OVID and PubMed to compile publications of pharmacotherapy options studied to treat insomnia in patients with schizophrenia. Articles were reviewed from 1 January 2000 through 1 March 2018 with some additional earlier articles selected if deemed by the authors to be particularly relevant. Results: Pharmacotherapies collected from the search results that were reviewed and evaluated included melatonin, eszopiclone, sodium oxybate, and antipsychotics. Conclusions: Overall, this review confirmed that there are a few evidence-based options to treat insomnia in patients with schizophrenia, including selecting a more sedating second-generation antipsychotic such as paliperidone, or adding melatonin or eszopiclone. Further randomized controlled trials are needed.




Stummer, L., Markovic, M., & Maroney, M. (2018). Pharmacologic Treatment Options for Insomnia in Patients with Schizophrenia. Medicines, 5(3), 88.

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