A new study found the use of a particular medication helped individuals suffering from insomnia and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The clinical trial assessed the use of an insomnia treatment in conjunction with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI, in the treatment of patients with insomnia and co-morbid GAD.
The study, published in the May issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, examined the safety and efficacy of LUNESTA tablets co-administered with the antidepressant escitalopram oxalate, which is commonly used in the treatment of anxiety.
Escitalopram is also known as Cipralex, Sipralexa and Seroplex.
The study also evaluated the potential for co-administration of LUNESTA to increase the magnitude and/or accelerate the anxiety reducing effects versus using only an antidepressant.
“Patients suffering from insomnia may have co-existing medical and psychiatric illnesses,” said Mark H.N. Corrigan, M.D., Executive Vice President, Research and Development at Sepracor, the manufacturer of the medication.
“In fact, studies indicate that approximately ten percent of the adult population suffers from chronic insomnia, and that in approximately 80 percent of these patients, insomnia co-exists with other psychiatric and medical illnesses.
The results of this study are consistent with results of other studies of LUNESTA evaluating insomnia with major depressive disorder and symptoms associated with perimenopause, which have shown that improvements in sleep can have positive effects on the co-morbid condition.”
“To my knowledge, this is the first large-scale, double-blind, randomized clinical trial published that assessed the use of an insomnia treatment in conjunction with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI, in the treatment of patients with insomnia and co-morbid GAD,” said W. Vaughn McCall, M.D., Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.
“In this study, patients with insomnia and co-morbid GAD who took LUNESTA and escitalopram co-therapy showed improvements in measures of sleep and anxiety. Given the high incidence of insomnia symptoms co-existing with GAD, and the results seen in this clinical trial, I believe that further study of insomnia and its relationship to GAD is warranted.”