Suvorexant

417

Summary

Suvorexant is a drug used to promote sleep. It antagonizes or blocks the orexin receptor, which is normally responsible for inducing wakefulness or arousal. This blocking of orexin therefore induces sleep, making suvorexant useful for the treatment of insomnia. Since suvorexant does not cause dependence, it’s generally a safer and more preferred drug for sleep than other sleep-promoting drugs like benzodiazepines! There’s a few nonspecific side effects of suvorexant, including fatigue and headaches. Suvorexant should be avoided or used with caution in patients with narcolepsy, advanced liver disease, or those taking CYP inhibiting drugs.

Key Points

  • Suvorexant
    • Mechanism
      • Orexin (hypocretin) receptor antagonist
    • Clinical Use
      • Insomnia
    • Adverse Effects
      • CNS depression (somnolence)
      • Headache
      • Abnormal sleep-related activities
      • Contraindications:
        • Narcolepsy
        • Combination with strong CYP3A4 inhibitors
        • Liver disease
      • Limited physical dependence or abuse potential