Newer medications help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Some of these sleep-inducing drugs, which bind to the same receptors in the brain as do benzodiazepines, include Lunesta , Sonata , and Ambien . They are somewhat less likely than benzodiazepines to be habit-forming, but over time can still sometimes cause physical dependence. They can work quickly to increase drowsiness and sleep. Another sleep aid, called Rozerem , acts differently from other sleep medicines by affecting a brain hormone called melatonin, and is not habit-forming. Belsomra is another unique sleep aid that affects a brain chemical called orexin , and is not addictive or habit-forming.
But not every side effect is a bad one. Some are downright welcome. Take finasteride . Introduced in 1992 to treat noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland , it was found to regrow hair (and is marketed for that purpose under the name Propecia). Today, millions of men use a low dose of finasteride to treat male pattern baldness . Similarly, minoxidil , originally marketed as an oral tablet for high blood pressure , was found to grow hair in those using it. Today, as a topical lotion or foam, it is a popular over-the-counter remedy for baldness.