Author(s): Jacobson LH, Callander GE, Hoyer D
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Abstract Suvorexant (Belsorma(®)) is the first orexin receptor antagonist approved by the US FDA (August 2014) for insomnia treatment. Following comprehensive Phase II/III studies, with up to 12 months of treatment in adult and elderly patients, there is little doubt that suvorexant induces and maintains sleep. However, the FDA and sponsor disagreed about effective versus safe doses (November 2012). The FDA considered that 5-15 mg were efficient and probably safe, whereas the sponsors had proposed 15-40 mg. The final approved doses are 5, 10, 15 and 20 mg. The major issues are next-morning somnolence and safety as seen in driving tests, with possible signs of muscle weakness, weird dreams, sleep walking, other nighttime behaviors and suicidal ideation. Despite its limitations, suvorexant's market entry offers a truly novel treatment for insomnia, paving the way for follow-up compounds and opening therapeutic avenues in other disorders for orexin receptor modulating compounds.
This article was published in Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology