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Definition Return to top
Hypnotics are medications that cause sleep or partial loss of consciousness.
Information Return to top
Hypnotics should only be taken under a doctor's direction. They should never be mixed with alcohol or with each other. Taking hypnotics together or with alcohol can lead to excessive drowsiness (sedation) and even death.
References Return to top
Mahowald MW. Disorders of sleep. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 429.Update Date: 12/17/2008 Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.