1 What is Belsomra?

Brand: Belsomra

Generic: Suvorexant

Suvorexant, also known and sold under the trade name of Belsomra, belongs to the group of medications called central nervous system depressants or also known as sedative-hypnotics.

This medicine is used to treat insomnia – a condition in which you experience trouble with sleeping. This medication acts on the brain, to produce a calming effect and providing a good night of long and healthy sleep.

Usually, the medications from this group are used only in a short periods of 7 to 10 days, or even 1 to 2 days. The medication should only be used when you experience a trouble with sleeping, not on a regular basis.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before the treatment is decided and prescribed, the benefits and potential risks must be considered, where the benefits must outweigh the potential risks.

In the consultation with your doctor, make sure you inform the doctor about:

  • Allergies – Inform the doctor about any allergic reactions that you have had in the past to this medicine or any of the other ones that belong to the same group (if used before) or to any other medicines. Inform the healthcare professional about any allergic reactions that you have to any specific food, dye, fabric and etc.
  • Pediatric – There are no studies that show the benefits and potential risks if this medicine is used within pediatric patients, because of that safety is not guaranteed.
  • Geriatric – Studies have shown that this medicine is safe to use within geriatric patients and that there are no risks connected to the age of the patients.
  • Pregnancy – Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or have any plans about pregnancy in the near future. There are no studies that show the benefits and potential risks within pregnant women, because of that it must be used only when it is clearly needed.
  • Breastfeeding – Inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding. It is not known if this medicine is extracted into the milk, because of that consult your doctor if you are on the treatment with Suvorexant before breastfeeding.
  • Drug interactions – Some medicines should not be used in a combination with others, because of the interactions that may occur. But, sometimes some combinations of two and more medicines are needed. Inform your doctor if you are taking any other medication, prescribed or no prescribed. Using this medicine in a combination with any of the following is not advised: Atazanavir, Ritonavir, Telaprevir, Tpranavir and many others. On the other hand, using this medicine in a combination with any of the following is not recommended, but sometimes is needed: Asenapine, Benperidol, Bromazepam, Clobazam, Codeine, Diazepam, Flurazepam, Halothane, Ketamine, Lorazepam, Melperone, Morphine and many others. Consult your doctor about more details and the complete list of restricted and recommended medicines in a combination with Suvorexant.
  • Other interactions – Consult your doctor if any special diet is needed in the time of the treatment with Suvorexant, also inform about the usage of alcohol and tobacco. Sometimes, interactions and occur when some medicines are used in a combination with alcohol and tobacco.
  • Other medical problems – Inform your doctor about your medical history, any medical problems that you have had in the past and any medical conditions that you have at the moment.
    Especially inform the doctor if there is any of the following medical conditions present: alcohol abuse, drug abuse, breathing problems, depression, cataplexy, mental illness, narcolepsy, and obesity.

3 Proper Usage

Take the medicine as directed from the doctor.

This medicine is in the form of a tablet. Take the tablet with water, 30 minutes before you go to bed. Do not chew or break the tablet.

The dosage is prescribed by your doctor according to your medical condition and your response to the treatment. The medication should be only used when you have time for a full night’s sleep or at least for 7 to 8 hours. If you sleep less than 7 hours while the treatment with Suvorexant, you may have some memory loss and you may not be able to do any activities that require alertness.

If you miss a dose, skip the missed and take the next one when the time comes. Do not double the dose. Take the medication only when you can’t sleep. If an overdose is suspected, contact your doctor right away.

4 Precautions To Take

Visit your doctor at the scheduled appointments to inform him about your condition, the progress of the treatment and also to inform him if you notice any potential side effects.

Inform your doctor about any allergic reactions that you have had in the past to any medications. This medicine may contain inactive ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction.

If used in nights when there is less than 7 hours of sleep, the next day you may experience memory loss and difficulty while trying to concentrate. Because of that, driving oR doing any activities that require alertness are not recommended.

During pregnancy, it is not advised to take this medication because there are no adequate studies that show whether this medication can harm the infant. Also, it is not known if this medication is extracted into the milk, because of which this medication is not recommended for usage of nursing mothers.

Suvorexant can cause sleep paralysis or have cataplexy-like symptoms (temporary weakness in the legs), so if you have any of this symptoms inform your doctor right away.

5 Potential Side Effects

Along with the beneficial effects, Suvorexant may cause potential side effects, some more severe than others. The side effects may not last for long, they can disappear with time, when the body has adjusted to its presence.

The most common side effect is sleepiness and on the other hand less common is unusual or abnormal dreams. Other side effects are: decreased appetite, loss of memory, irritability, changes in behavior, temporary weakness in the limbs, trouble concentrating and etc.

Consult your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or have become a problem for you: headache, body pains, fever and chills, diarrhea, dizziness, sore throat, dry mouth and etc. Other side effects can occur as well.

Be cautious and notice the side effects (if present) in time and inform the doctor for their presence.

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