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Shahid Karim
Shahid Karim, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 484
Experience:  MBChB
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Why can't over the counter sleep aids like Nytol & Kalms

Customer Question

Why can't over the counter sleep aids like Nytol & Kalms that contain valerian root be used by under 18's
JA: Have you used this medication or anything similar before?
Customer: No, it for my son who has ASD and struggles to sleep, he is 15
JA: Got it. Has your son seen a doctor about the ASD?
Customer: Yes, he is diagnosed but our GP won't prescribe anything for his anxiety or sleep, we have to go through a pediatrician and trying to get an appointment that way is impossible.
JA: Thank you so much for your time. Finally, is there anything else in his medical history you think the Doctor should know?
Customer: Not that I can think of
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Shahid Karim replied 10 days ago.

Hi, thanks for getting in touch. I'm sorry to hear about your son's difficulty sleeping. Valerian root can actually be given to under 18s, what I mean by that is that safety and indeed effectiveness has been shown in children struggling with insomnia. The reason it says not to give to under 18s is that they may not be as able to use it for a short period and I suppose the concern is that they may become dependent on it to sleep. If you absolutely had to use sleeping aids, just make sure it's for less than a week and paired with good 'sleep hygiene'. So getting up and going to bed at the same time each day approx. No screen time in the hour before bed, no caffeine after 5pm, lots of exercise and adequate hydration. I hope that helps.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Many thanks
Expert:  Shahid Karim replied 10 days ago.

You're very welcome, come back if you've further questions in the future, all the very best.