Because clinical studies of Rozerem have found little evidence for abuse and tolerance (it was tested in patients with a history of drug abuse), it's the only prescription sleep medication not classified as a controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. This means it's easier for doctors to prescribe long-term than other prescription sleep aids.
The idea may be encouraging, but in reality all sleep aids have very little abuse risk for most patients. Rozerem also costs more than older benzodiazepine medications, since it is not yet available as a generic.
The scientists behind Rozerem's development explain that by targeting melatonin receptorswhich are responsible for the brain's sleep-wake cycleit may avoid the groggy side effects of sedative drugs, which work by slowing down the central nervous system. A company representative has compared taking Rozerem to shutting down a computer the right way, whereas using other medications is like pulling the plug so that the reboot process takes longer.