How Suvorexant, a New Hypnotic, Works in Early Studies

A drug called suvorexant helped people sleep faster and stay asleep longer

Along Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Health News

Was reviewed by Brunil Danazario, MD

June 13, 2012-A new study shows that new sleeping pills under study help people with insomnia sleep faster and stay asleep longer.

A drug called suvorexant is not available-it has not yet been submitted to the FDA. Suvorexant works differently than other sleeping pills, says Dr. Andrew D. Krystal, MD, a professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center.He shared his findings in Boston this week sleep 2012, Annual Meeting of Related Experts sleep society.

Suvorexant blocks a chemical messenger in the brain known as orexin.

“The orexin system seems to be one of the most important systems for inducing arousal,” Krystal told WebMD. Continuous chunk. Without the fact that orexin is being released more and more during the day, we would fall asleep. “

The development of suvorexant insomnia Doing too much activity in the orexin system when they are about to go sleep, Crystal says.

By reducing orexin activity, “you enhance sleep,” says Crystal, who directs Duke’s sleep research. insomnia program.

Suvorexant has passed Phase III Clinical trial, Measure efficacy and monitor side effects. In these trials, Crystal found that the drug could reduce the time it took to fall asleep by about 30 minutes and add more than an hour of sleep.

According to GlaxoSmithKline, the development of another orexin-targeted drug, Almorexant, was discontinued by GlaxoSmithKline and Actelion last year for “tolerability” reasons. Details of these tolerability issues have not been published.

About insomnia and its treatment

insomnia According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, it affects about 30% of adults in a particular year.Up to 15% say they are chronic insomnia..

People with insomnia have problems falling asleep, staying asleep, or both.

Sleeping pills are widely prescribed. In 2011, there were 63 million prescriptions Hypnotic (Sleeping pills, etc.) Sedative Dispensed in the United States according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

Other sleeping pills work in a variety of ways, including binding to receptors in the brain that help control arousal and relaxation, and receptors that act on the body. Body clock..Of course, there are many other aspects to getting Better sleep.. Good sleep habits are a must. This includes going to bed at the same time each night. caffeine, Keep TVs, computers and smartphones away from the bedroom, motion (However, it is not close to bedtime).

Suvorexant research

Suvorexant lasted for three months and was tested in two studies of approximately 2,000 adults. Krystal’s team randomly assigned them to obtain suvorexant (at various doses) or placebo.

The researchers studied objective measurements from sleep labs and sleep tests. They also examined subjective measurements such as patient reports of how long it took to fall asleep and their total sleep time.

In both studies, patients taking suvorexant fell asleep earlier and stayed asleep longer.

For example, in one study, people taking sleeping pills slept 60.3 minutes longer on average at 3 months, while people taking placebo slept 40.6 minutes longer. This is a difference of 19 minutes or more.

“If you sleep more for 19 minutes a night for a month, you’ll need more sleep,” says Krystal.

In the same study, people taking suvorexant fell asleep about 25 minutes earlier than when the study began. People taking placebo fell asleep about 17 minutes earlier.

Above pill People taking placebo had 25 minutes less, while they woke up during the night about 48 minutes less than before. In the second study, the results were similar. “fact [that] The discovery of sleep research has its benefits, and the discovery of self-reports is important, “says Crystal.

No serious adverse events were found in either study.The most common complaints are drowsiness headache.. All studies were funded by Merck.

In a third study, which lasted a year and was presented at the conference, 522 men and women were given suvorexant and 259 were given placebo.

The new sleeping pill improved the total sleep time reported by patients by an average of 23 minutes. The time to fall asleep has been reduced by 10 minutes.

David Neubauer, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution who studied Almorexant, reviewed the findings of WebMD.

“So far, Clinical trial It’s very encouraging and needs further investigation, “he says.

The new drug reflects a new perspective on Sleeping disorder, Says Neubauer. “The new idea is that insomnia is not just a night sleep problem, but a 24-hour disorder for many,” he says. “For many, it’s a kind of 24-hour hyper-awakening.”

Neubauer served as an advisory board to Purdue Pharma, a sleep aid. Interlude (((Zolpidem).

Crystal is a Merck consultant. He also consulted and conducted research with other companies that manufacture insomnia medications.

The results of these findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone a “peer review” process in which external experts scrutinize the data before it is published in a medical journal.

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Source: Dr. Andrew D. Crystal Medicine, Professor of Psychiatry, Sleep Research Program and Insomnia Program, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, Sleep Medicine 2012, 26th Annual Meeting, June 9-13, Boston. David Neubauer, Maryland, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, Baltimore.

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How Suvorexant, a New Hypnotic, Works in Early Studies

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