There are quite a few different types of medications on the market right now that could, in theory, help you to stop snoring. Some of them are specifically designed for this purpose, and some help by treating the causes/symptoms separately. There are a lot of different essential oil/herbal supplements that are designed to help you treat the causes and symptoms of snoring, as well as tablets that fall more under the ‘medication’ label.
Article at a Glance:
- 1 How Are Stop Snoring Medications Meant To Work?
- 2 Do We Believe That Stop Snoring Medications Work?
People sometimes prefer medications to other stop snoring methods because they are an easier fix than using devices. Using an MAD or nasal strips, for example, require you to put some effort into the process by applying the strips, or putting the device into your mouth and keeping it in during sleep, etc.
But medications are easy. You just pop them into your mouth (or apply the essential oil), and you are good to go.
How Are Stop Snoring Medications Meant To Work?
Most stop snoring medications help via one of the following methods. Some of them fall under the ‘aromatherapy’ category. These would include essential oils, or any type of product that would help to break up congestion. These types of products are pretty popular right now, and can do an especially good job of treating nasal snoring that is caused by allergies or congestion.
The other type would fall more under the ‘medication’ label (an example would be SnoreStop Fast Tabs). These generally help by affecting the airway and soft palate, which is usually the area associated with most cases of snoring.
When the tissues in the soft palate relax during sleep, they can tend to collapse in on the airway and create resistance. Then, when breathing occurs, they may vibrate – which is what causes the sounds that we have come to know as ‘snoring.’
So these types of medications are usually formulated to temporarily shrink these tissues, in an attempt to make them tighter, and to lessen the odds of snoring occurring. Some of them need to be taken or used every night, while others are said to not be required quite so often. It depends on the type of medication.
Do We Believe That Stop Snoring Medications Work?
We have looked at quite a few different stop snoring medications. And in our experience, these types of products can help – though they are perhaps not as likely to do the trick as a mechanically-based product (like a mandibular advancement device) that actually advances the jaw or holds the nostrils open (like nasal strips).
In our experience, you are actually more likely to see positive results with lifestyle changes than with stop snoring medications. But… when used in conjunction with lifestyle changes, stop snoring medications can actually help to speed up the results.
Losing weight, observing more regular sleeping/waking times, not sleeping on your back, and sleeping with a quality pillow (or even better, a stop snoring pillow) can all be changes that, if used together, can add up to bigger advances in the quality of your sleep… and a stop snoring medication can add to this.
It takes time to lose weight. So in the meantime, using an over-the-counter medication to help keep snoring in check can be a great way to speed up the process and get you sleeping as good as possible, as quickly as possible!
Who Would Want To Use This Type Of Treatment, And When?
Adults who snore, who do not want to mess with any other type of stop snoring device or remedy, may benefit the most from this type of stop-snoring product. You may also find some great products in this category among common essential oils and the like… so if you are a big fan of holistic medicine, you might be more inclined to take this route.
Who Should Avoid This Type Of Product?
Kids and teenagers should probably avoid using some of these types of products… though in some cases, essential oils and the like are still fine for use in younger people. This type of product is also not going to be very good for anyone who might be sensitive to any active ingredients.
Before using any medications, over the counter, holistic, or prescription, it is a good idea to review the side effect information, as well as what types of drugs might provoke bad interactions with the medication you have chosen to use.
What Ingredients Are Usually Found in Anti-Snoring Medications?
This is a very good question that we hear a lot. Unfortunately, the active ingredients are not always ‘readily apparent’ on anti-snoring medications… which could cause concern for some people. You obviously want to be careful about what you put in your body… but you also need to know what you’re dealing with so that you can make the best decision about whether or not a particular ingredient is actually going to help.
There are A LOT of snoring medications on the market today, especially when you throw aromatherapy into the mix. But for the sake of demonstration, we are going to walk you through the motions of looking at the ingredient list for one of the more popular over-the-counter anti-snoring medications… Snorestop Fasttabs Chewable Tablets. You can buy these at virtually any drug store or pharmacy, and they cost around $15 for 60 tabs.
Basically, you take these tablets before you go to bed, and they are supposed to help with snoring.
But we wanted to take a closer look at the ingredient list. Thankfully, this was easy to find on the CVS website. Here it is.
(HPUS): Belladonna 6X, Ephedra Vulg, 6X, Histaminum Hydrochloricum 12X, Hydrastis 6X, Kali Bic, 6X, Nux Vom, 4X, 6X, Teucrium Mar, 6X. Inactive Ingredients: Cellulose, Croscarmellose Sodium, Dextrose, Lactose, Magnesium Stearate.
The first thing we noticed was that very few of these ingredients sounded familiar. So, we decided to start doing some research. We just Googled each one to see what we could find. Here are the highlights of some of the active ingredients.
First of all, you will notice the acronym ‘HPUS’ at the front of the list. Well, it turns out that this stands for a website called HPUS.com, which is the official website for the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States. This is essentially a constantly updated homeopathy resource… and it actually looked pretty cool. If you are interested in homeopathy, you may want to check it out!
Belladonna is a plant. The leaf and the root are used to make medicine, and it has a pretty long and colorful history. Apparently, the name itself means ‘beautiful lady.’ The name came from a practice where women used to use the belladonna berry juice to ‘enlarge their pupils,’ to give them a more ‘striking’ appearance. It eventually came to light that this was a bad idea, though, as belladonna can be poisonous when used this way.
But when it comes to snoring, the plant does harbor some useful properties. Though it is widely regarded as ‘unsafe’ in many applications, it can be used as a sedative. To be more specific, it can be used to stop bronchial spasms in asthma. It can also be used as a cold and hay fever remedy, and has even been used to treat whooping cough.
It is pretty easy to see how this plant could be used to help calm the airway and prevent snoring.
Ephedra is an interesting herb that was actually banned in the United States back in 2004. Apparently, there are safety concerns with side-effects when ephedra alkaloids are used… so products with ephedrine in them are indeed banned in the United States.
Ephedra extracts not containing ephedrine, however, have not been banned, and are still sold legally.
When we look at the historic use of Ephedra, we see that it is not so dissimilar to Belladonna. Ephedra is a stimulant that, historically, has been used to treat obesity and to improve athletic performance. But it has also been used to treat allergies, hay fever, respiratory tract conditions, asthma, bronchitis, and nasal congestion.
It is not difficult to see why Ephedra Vulgaris would be included as an ingredient in this product.
This homeopathic remedy has been used to treat allergic reactions for years… though it has also been used to treat asthma, bronchitis, and muscle/joint pain.
Contrary to popular belief, Histaminum Hydrochloricum is not an antihistamine. Rather, it works by helping the body to regular histamine production. This means that the ingredient could, in theory, give the user relief from allergic reactions like hay fever without making you susceptible to the same types of side effects that antihistamines present.
Hydrastis canadensis comes from Goldenseal, and has traditionally been used for infections. According to WebMD.com, there is not enough evidence to prove that Goldenseal actually does anything for people who take it medicinally… though many homeopathic medicine advocates swear by it.
It is used for a wide variety of different things, though it is probably included here for its reputation as a medicinal herb used to treat conditions like the common cold, respiratory tract infections, and hay fever.
Kali Bic is short for kali bichromicum. This is a homeopathic medicinal supplement that is used to treat colds, nasal congestion, and any condition that would cause a thick nasal discharge.
Nux Vomica is a plant that has been used traditionally for years as a medicinal agent. It is perhaps most commonly known for its use in rat poison, due to two key chemicals in contains… though it has also been used in a number of other applications, including as a treatment for…
- Digestive tract problems
- Heart disorders
- Eye disease
- Lung disease
- Migraine headaches
- Menopause symptoms
- Blood vessel disorders
- Erectile Dysfunction
According to WebMD.com, Nux Vomica is actually unsafe to take… though in small amounts, it can potentially be used without negative affects.
A Note About Homeopathic Remedies
As you saw in the above-mentioned case with Nux Vomica, there is no-telling what you are going to find in over-the-counter homeopathic medications. In small amounts, Nux Vomica may be safe. But if too much of it is used, it can cause a range of dangerous negative effects… and nobody wants that!
So you have to be aware of the balance that exists with homeopathic medicine. We must be aware that…
- Yes, homeopathic medicine is largely unregulated, and that this is generally a good thing… because it allows us to make use of natural ingredients and products that could potentially make our lives better. It also helps to keep the uses of these natural plants from being buried in bureaucratic processes.
- It is also important to understand that just because something can be used homeopathically does not mean that it should be used all the time, or that it is right for everyone to take.
So it is very important to look at every product you plan to put into your body, and do some research about the ingredient list.
This particular anti-snoring medication, which is an over-the-counter medication that uses natural ingredients, is used by a lot of people every year. It does not seem to be dangerous, in any way-shape, or form.
But still… be aware of what you are taking, especially if it has the words homeopathic or natural printed on it! These are awesome words that can describe awesome products… but just because a product has these words written on it does not always mean that the product is going to be good or helpful.
How Do You Research Ingredients For Anti-Snoring Medications?
If you are thinking about trying a stop-snoring medication, then you should absolutely do some research before you buy it or try it. Here are some steps you can take to avoid putting something ‘regrettable’ into your body!
Step 1: Look up the ingredients. Beware of products that do not tell you exactly what the ingredients are! If in doubt, contact the company and ask them for an ingredient list. If they tell you that their formula is ‘proprietary’ and that they cannot share it with you, you may want to move on and use something different.
Step 2: Use Google.com to search every ingredient in the product. Make sure to look at reliable websites. Any .gov website should be a great resource, but you can also use commercial sites that you trust. WebMD.com, for example, always has their articles reviewed by medical professionals… so that is a great choice.
Step 3: If there are any scientific studies on a particular ingredient, make sure to look into these as well. Articles are awesome, but scientific studies can tell you a lot more. Plus, good articles will probably link to studies, so it shouldn’t be that difficult to see where websites are getting their information from.
Step 4: Beware of seedy homeopathic websites that either don’t source their material, or that only quote sources from a long time ago. Humans are constantly learning about plants and what they can do for us, so make sure that the information you are reading is true and correct! Black-hat sources should be disregarded in favor of more ‘current and reliable’ sources!
Medications are designed to help. But it is also important to know that what you are buying will actually help you, not hurt you!
Stop snoring medications are not our favorite snoring remedy. In our opinion, there are other remedies that can do a lot more good. We feel that tongue retention devices are some of the best stop snoring products out there, and that mandibular advancement devices are probably close to second-best.
We would also promote basic lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, over medications for snoring. Contrary to popular belief, sleeping on your side instead of on your back can also do worlds of good for your snoring problems.
But, stop snoring medications can be helpful as well, especially if they are used in conjunction with other anti-snoring products. They may not be the best thing out there, but they give you more hope of fixing the problem than doing nothing – and some people do have decent luck with them.