What is the role of suvorexant (Belsomra) in the treatment of insomnia?

Updated: Sep 11, 2018
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Suvorexant (Belsomra) was approved by the FDA in August 2014 and is the first orexin receptor antagonist for insomnia. It is indicated for the treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulties with sleep onset and/or sleep maintenance. The orexin neuropeptide signaling system is a central promoter of wakefulness. Blocking the binding of wake-promoting neuropeptides orexin A and orexin B to receptors OX1R and OX2R by suvorexant is thought to suppress wake drive. Approval was based on three clinical trials involving more than 500 participants. The recommended dose is 10 mg for most patients. After taking 20 mg, impairment of next-day driving was observed.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends that suvorexant be used as a treatment for sleep maintenance insomnia as opposed to no treatment. [6]


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