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Seditol® is an herbal medication manufactured by the company Next Pharmaceuticals, Incorporated (Npi, Inc.). It was introduced in the mid 2000s as an alternative to other herbal, over the counter, and prescribed drugs for insomnia. Combining extracts of jujube seeds and magnolia, which have long had use in traditional Chinese medicine, Seditol® is intended to promote better sleep, be non-addictive, and has little to no side effects. Research supporting these claims hasn’t been evaluated by agencies like the Food and Drug Association (FDA) and there is little evidence beyond that produced by the company that the product is effective, though there are many anecdotal claims that it works. Npi, Inc. and the companies that sell Seditol® advise customers to speak to doctors about its use if they take other medications or have health conditions, and the drug is not advised for use by children or pregnant or nursing women.
Research produced by Npi, Inc. or those in association with the company claim that Seditol® works because it acts on a number of brain receptors or neurotransmitters. It is said to help eliminate extra cortisol in the body that can be produced by stress. It may also raise free serotonin levels, and influence dopamine and GABA receptors. These actions may help promote sleep.
Instructions for use of Seditol® include that it must be taken for 10-14 days before it is most effective, though anecdotally some users report success in a shorter time period. Anecdotes also exist of those who feel excessively sedated when taking the medicine, and as with any sleep medication, people may want to try it out on a day when they don’t have to operate machinery or drive early the next morning. The recommendation to continue the medicine for more than two weeks differs from many other sleep medications, which are often ideally discontinued after two weeks or only used longer under physician guidance. According to Npi, Inc., their product is not addictive, so long-term use doesn’t create a problem.
Even if the research produced by the company contains no bias, there are important questions about safety. For example, the drug’s ability to affect serotonin suggests the possibility of causing serotonin withdrawal syndrome, especially with extended use, and extra serotonin could create mania in people with bipolar disorder. Moreover, the product’s ability to influence so many other neurotransmitters means caution is needed for anyone taking medications for sleep, pain, psychiatric illness, seizures, and a host of other conditions. The company gives very good advice when it tells customers to obtain doctor’s advice before use of the product, especially if they take medicines or have any medical conditions.
Seditol® may be found in natural foods stores and from plenty of online vendors. There are a few companies that imitate this product, but they cannot produce an identical mix because the precise blend produced by Npi, Inc. is proprietary and patented. Some people who possess significant training, prefer to mix their own sleep medication with a combination of these extracts.