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What is suvorexant?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Suvorexant (Belsomra) was approved by the FDA in 2014 to treat people who have problems falling asleep or staying asleep. It works differently than other sleep aid drugs by blocking the body's orexin pathways. This lowers your sense of alertness and arousal and allows for more continuous sleep. 

Because suvorexant is newer than other sleep drugs, there is less information about its effects. But it seems to be less likely than other sleep aids to cause side effects when taken as directed. It does not seem to be habit-forming. It does not seem to make sleep problems worse when a person stops taking it, even after a year of nightly treatment. 

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.