18-Aug-14 10:00 AM  CST

Belsomra: FDA Approves New Type Of Drug For Sleep

Those who suffer from insomnia will delight in the news that the FDA has approved Belsomra (suvorexant) for sleep. Approximately 60 million Americans have a problem with insomnia, of which 40% are women, and 30% are men.  Belsomra, made by Merck & Co, is a new type of sleeping pill that works by targeting brain chemicals and certain receptors in the brain that keep individuals awake at night and it also speeds up the onset of sleep.  Belsomra specifically works by inhibiting orexin.  Orexin is a chemical that keeps the brain awake and keeps patients from falling asleep and staying asleep.

            Carol Ash, Director of Sleep Medicine at Meridian Health recently commented on the new drug approval for CBS News. “The Drug is a breakthrough for insomnia researchers.  This is an exciting new drug.  It really is a new tool and toolkit for the treatment of insomnia.  Usually sleeping drugs are a knockout punch to the brain; they knock out circuits throughout the brain. Think of a house where you get a surge and the electricity goes off for the refrigerator, the TV, and not just the lights. This drug is like a switch that actually turns off the lights,” said Ash.

            Belsomra will be available in 5, 10, 15, and 20 milligram strengths and should be available in late 2014 or early 2015. To learn more about the latest pharmacy technician news and FDA drug approvals, please visit www.pharmacytechnician.org.






1. Lusk, Darian. “Groundbreaking Sleeping Pill May Put Insomnia Issues To Bed.” CBS News. Web. Date of Access: 18 Aug 2014.

2. Ventura, Jeff. “FDA Approves New Type Of Sleep Drug, Belsomra.” FDA.gov. Web. Date of Access: 18 Aug 2014

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Source: Jennifer S. O’Reilly  

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