With the increase in people using online pharmacies to purchase sleeping pills, there has also been an upsurge in people being treated for an overdose on sleeping pills. Most overdoses are actually unintentional and due to mistakes being made with dispensation or because of not following the guidelines set out by the manufacturer. Whether intentional or accidental, the effects are the same if the number of sleeping tablets consumed is similar.
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An overdose of sleeping tablets is much the same as an overdose of any medication in principle, except the nature of overdose on sleeping tablets can be worse due to the way they affect the body. Essentially an overdose is when a user takes more of a medication than is advised or prescribed, which can often lead to health complications or even death in worst-case scenarios. Sleeping tablets can be particularly high risk because they put users to sleep and can depress the circulatory system.
When thinking about an overdose of sleeping pills people most often assume this to be deliberate, which studies suggest is most likely to lead to mortality than accidental overdose. Less severe and more common is people accidentally taking too much medication due to forgetfulness. It is also becoming more of a problem with the misuse of sleeping pills by people with a history of substance abuse that might be chasing a particular feeling.
The straightforward answer is yes. If a treatment plan is created to treat the sleep condition it should focus on alternative approaches to aid sleep as well as medication. There should also be contingencies put in place for developing tolerance and a tapering off schedule to reduce the chances of withdrawal. When using prescription sleeping pills following dosage guidelines set out by the manufacturer is the first line of safety, these measurements have been through numerous trials to ensure safety.
When taken according to dosage guidelines and with no other factors like pre-existing conditions, this type of medication can be taken safely without heightened fear of overdose. However, when people are already using different types of medication this increases the chances of experiencing side effects or overdosing. It is strongly advised to speak with a medical professional if this is the case.
An increasingly commonly searched question online is how many sleeping tablets to overdose? There is no singular answer to this question as it depends on the person, their size, age, weight, and what they have eaten that day. Even if it did not have those variables, it would be irresponsible to answer such a question as that information could be used for the purpose of harm.
In essence, it only takes a percentage of a tablet more than the recommended dosage to start experiencing symptoms of overdose. In general, when people buy sleeping tablets, they will come in the correct dosage of capsules or tablets. To minimise the sleeping pills side effects, they should be taken 1 hour before bedtime, this will give the body time to fully metabolise the medication and reach the elimination half-life.
First and foremost, if you or anyone you know is considering committing suicide, regardless of it being with anti-anxiety medication, nootropics, or sleep medication, please seek help immediately. No matter how lonely you feel, there are people whether it is family, friends, or professionals that can help in this situation. That initial outreach is often the hardest, but what most people find is that it gets easier with support.
The damage that can be done to the body by an unsuccessful suicide attempt using over-the-counter or painkiller pills is substantial. Many people who survive are left with issues ranging from blindness to impaired kidney function to severe brain damage. These outcomes often lead to the person feeling more of a burden to those around them than if they had just opened up about what was affecting them in the first place.
Regardless of the sleeping tablets names, using them irresponsibly carries the same risks. Be sure to check the packaging and leaflet that comes with the medication, if there is no packaging or it cannot be determined exactly what the medication is, it should not be taken under any circumstances. Substance misuse can have serious consequences not only for the individual but possibly for anyone found to have facilitated the abuse of that medication.
One of the simplest ways of avoiding accidental overdose is to pop pills from their packaging into a weekly medication box that has an opening for each day. This way when it comes to taking medication at night time, it is easy to know whether the medication has been taken already by the day of the week that needs opening.
It is hoped that this article will give the reader enough knowledge about the potential dangers of overdosing when using it that they will take the precautions needed. It cannot be reiterated enough how important a treatment plan is that follows a schedule of use and has alternative medication options to stop the user from building tolerance. If any issues have not been covered here that might affect your decision to use this or any other type of medicine, speak to a doctor.
If you are looking to restore your sleep wake cycle in complete confidence visit the NHS or Mayo Clinic and take the first step on your journey to a better night's sleep. For anyone affected by suicide or contemplating self-harm, you are not alone. For someone to talk to confidentially, call Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Content Published: 08 February 2023
Date for Review: February 2024