Suvorexant is a selective, dual orexin receptor antagonist made by Merck & Co. It was approved for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on August 13, 2014.The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has placed it on the list of schedule IV controlled substances, as it may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in schedule III. The potential for psychological dependence is similar to that of zolpidem.The drug became available in Japan in November 2014 and in the United States in February 2015.
Medical uses of Suvorexant (Belsomra)
Suvorexant is used for the treatment of insomnia, characterized by difficulties with sleep onset and/or sleep maintenance.
It is unclear how the medication compares to others used for insomnia as no comparisons have been done.It is also unclear if this medication is safe among people with a history of addiction, as they were excluded from the clinical trials of suvorexant.
Side effects of Suvorexant (Belsomra)
The most common complaint about the drug is from users who report that it did not help them to sleep. Some people reported that the drug caused a sleep disturbance such as a nightmare, sleep terror, or abnormal dream.Others reported that the drug caused them to be more awake.
Issues include sleepiness the next day and issues with driving. Other concerns include thoughts of suicide.
This drug is not recommended in people with liver impairment. Suvorexant pregnancy category is currently classified as Category C.Based on animal testing, this medication may cause fetal harm during pregnancy and should only be given in pregnancy if the potential benefit justifies the potential harm to the fetus. Evidence is inconclusive about whether using this medication while breastfeeding puts the infant at risk of harm.
Suvorexant is contraindicated in people diagnosed with narcolepsy.
Suvorexant is not recommended if people are also taking medications that strongly inhibit the liver enzyme CYP3A like itraconazole, lopinavir/ritonavir, clarithromycin, ritonavir, ketoconazole, indinavir/ritonavir, or conivaptan. If suvorexant is used with a medication that moderately inhibits the liver enzyme CYP3A, like verapamil, erythromycin, diltiazem, or dronedarone, it is recommended that the dose of suvorexant be adjusted