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Insomnia Blog

Related terms: Difficulty sleeping, Dyssomnia, Inability to sleep, Sleeplessness, Wakefulness

Belsomra (suvorexant) Approved for Insomnia

Posted 14 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 14, 2014 – Belsomra (suvorexant) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat insomnia. It's among a new class of drugs called orexin receptor antagonists that target orexins, brain chemicals that regulate the body's sleep-wake cycle. Belsomra should be taken once nightly within 30 minutes of going to bed, the FDA said Wednesday in a news release. Approved in four strengths ranging from 5 milligrams to 20 milligrams, Belsomra should be taken at the lowest effective dose to minimize daytime sleepiness and related side effects, the agency said. In clinical studies involving more than 500 participants, the drug's most common side effect was next-day drowsiness. As a condition of approval, New Jersey-based drug maker Merck, Sharpe & Dohme is required to study next-day driving performance among men and women who took the 20-milligram dose, the FDA said. ... Read more

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FDA Approves New Kind of Insomnia Drug Belsomra

Posted 13 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 – A new prescription insomnia drug that's the first of its kind was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday. Belsomra (suvorexant) tablets are approved to treat patients with insomnia, which means they have difficulty falling and staying asleep. The new sleep drug is called an orexin receptor antagonist and it works by altering the action of brain chemicals called orexins, which help regulate the sleep-wake cycle and also help keep people awake. "To assist health care professionals and patients in finding the best dose to treat each individual patient's sleeplessness, the FDA has approved Belsomra in four different strengths – 5, 10, 15 and 20 milligrams [mg]," Dr. Ellis Unger, director of the Office of Drug Evaluation I in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release. "Using the lowest effective dose ... Read more

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FDA Approves Belsomra (suvorexant) for Insomnia

Posted 13 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

August 13, 2014 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Belsomra (suvorexant) tablets for use as needed to treat difficulty in falling and staying asleep (insomnia). Belsomra is an orexin receptor antagonist and is the first approved drug of this type. Orexins are chemicals that are involved in regulating the sleep-wake cycle and play a role in keeping people awake. Belsomra alters the signaling (action) of orexin in the brain. Insomnia is a common condition in which a person has trouble falling or staying asleep. It can range from mild to severe, depending on how often it occurs and for how long. Insomnia can cause daytime sleepiness and lack of energy. It also can make a person feel anxious, depressed, or irritable. People with insomnia may have trouble with attentiveness, learning, and memory. “To assist health care professionals and patients in finding the best d ... Read more

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Study Hints at Link Between Poor Sleep, Suicide Risk

Posted 13 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 – Sleeping difficulties may increase the risk of suicide in older adults even when other symptoms of depression aren't present, a new study suggests. The study focused on adults 65 and older, and poor sleep included difficulty falling or staying asleep, waking up early in the morning, experiencing daytime sleepiness and not feeling fully rested after a night's sleep. "These findings suggest that sleep disturbances stand alone as a valid risk factor – independent of depressed mood – and worthy of focus as a potential [suicide] risk factor, screening and intervention tool," said lead researcher Rebecca Bernert, an instructor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine. "Compared to many other known suicide risk factors, sleep disturbances are arguably less stigmatizing and may be undone, and are highly treatable." Among the 20 study participants who ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Sleep Disorders, Insomnia

Many Shift Workers Use Drugs to Sleep, Stay Awake, Study Finds

Posted 13 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13, 2014 – Many shift workers take drugs to sleep or stay awake despite lingering questions about their benefits and risks, researchers report. The study authors analyzed the findings of 15 clinical trials that included a total of 718 people. Nine of the trials found that the over-the-counter hormone drug melatonin helped shift workers sleep about 24 minutes longer during the night or day, but did not help them get to sleep quicker. One study looked at the hypnotic drug zopiclone (similar to eszopiclone which is available in the U.S.), and found that it was no more effective than an inactive placebo at helping shift workers sleep during the day. The other five studies assessed the effects of caffeine and the drugs modafinil and armodafinil, which are prescribed for sleepiness during night shifts. Caffeine reduced sleepiness during night shifts when workers also took ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Nuvigil, Caffeine, Provigil, Melatonin, Lunesta, Alert, Modafinil, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, Eszopiclone, NoDoz, Armodafinil, Stay Alert, No Doz, Valentine, Vivarin, Bio-Melatonin, Stat Awake

Start Sleep Drug Lunesta at Lower Dose for Safety, FDA Says

Posted 16 May 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 15, 2014 – Some users of the popular sleep medicine Lunesta remain too drowsy for safety during the day, and the recommended starting dose for the medicine should be lowered, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday. In a statement, the agency said it took the action due to studies showing that levels of Lunesta (eszopiclone) in some patients may remain high enough in the morning to interfere with driving and other activities that require them to be mentally alert. This impairment can occur even if patients feel fully awake, the FDA said. "To help ensure patient safety, health care professionals should prescribe, and patients should take, the lowest dose of a sleep medicine that effectively treats their insomnia," Dr. Ellis Unger, director of the Office of Drug Evaluation I in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in the FDA news release. ... Read more

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FDA Medwatch Alert: Eszopiclone Containing Sleep Aids: Drug Safety Communication - Can Cause Next-Day Impairment

Posted 15 May 2014 by Drugs.com

Including Lunesta and generics [Posted 05/15/2014] ISSUE: FDA has notified health professionals and their medical care organizations of a new warning that the insomnia drug Lunesta (eszopiclone) can cause next-day impairment of driving and other activities that require alertness. FDA recommends a decreased starting dose of Lunesta to 1 mg at bedtime. Women and men are equally susceptible to impairment from Lunesta, so the recommended starting dose of 1 mg is the same for both. FDA approved changes to the Lunesta prescribing information and the patient Medication Guide to include these new recommendations. The drug labels for generic eszopiclone products will also be updated to include these changes.   BACKGROUND: A study of Lunesta found that the previously recommended dose of 3 mg can cause impairment to driving skills, memory, and coordination that can last more than 11 hours after ... Read more

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Insomnia May Raise Stroke Risk, Especially for Younger Adults

Posted 3 Apr 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 3, 2014 – People plagued with insomnia might have an increased risk of stroke, particularly if they are young adults, a new, large study from Taiwan suggests. Over the course of four years, researchers found that insomnia seemed to raise the likelihood that a person will be hospitalized due to stroke by 54 percent. That risk skyrocketed for people between the ages of 18 and 34, who were eight times more likely to suffer strokes if they had insomnia when compared to their peers who got good sleep, the study found. "We pay a lot of attention to high blood pressure, to obesity, to issues related to cholesterol. Those are known risk factors," said Dr. Demetrius Lopes, director of the Interventional Cerebrovascular Center at Rush University in Chicago and a spokesman for the American Heart Association. "But I think what is underrated is if you don't have a good sleep ... Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Ischemic Stroke

Insomniacs' Brains May Work Differently

Posted 28 Feb 2014 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 28, 2014 – The brains of insomniacs buzz with more activity during the day, preliminary new research suggests, offering possible insight into why people with sleep problems complain that their minds won't shut down at night. The findings, based on a small study of 28 people aged 50 and older, aren't definitive and won't immediately lead to help for insomniacs. But the results are "potentially getting us closer to different types of treatment to treat this excitability they're having in the brain," said study lead author Dr. Rachel Salas, a neurologist and assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, in Baltimore. At issue: The millions of people who suffer from insomnia. About 10 percent to 15 percent of adults in the United States think they have chronic insomnia, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, while surveys by the National Sleep ... Read more

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Insomnia Cure Boosts Success of Depression Treatment, Study Finds

Posted 19 Nov 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 – Treating persistent insomnia at the same time as depression could double the chances that the mood disorder will disappear, a new study shows. Doctors have long reported a link between insomnia – the inability to sleep – and depression, but many thought that depression led to insomnia. Now, experts suspect sleep problems can sometimes precede depression. If other ongoing studies confirm these results, it might lead to major changes in depression treatment, experts added. Such changes would represent the biggest advance in depression treatment since the antidepressant Prozac was introduced in 1987, The New York Times reported. "The way this story is unfolding, I think we need to start augmenting standard depression treatment with therapy focused on insomnia," Colleen Carney, lead author of the small study, told the Times. The study was funded by the U.S. ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Insomnia

With Insomnia, Mind May Also Wander During Day

Posted 6 Sep 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 5 – People with insomnia have trouble concentrating during the day because the "wandering mind" areas of their brains may not be turned off, according to a new study. Using brain imaging technology, researchers found that people with insomnia who were performing a working memory task did not rely less on the "default mode" regions of their brain that are usually active only when the mind is wandering. The findings might help explain why insomniacs do not function as efficiently during the day, and could also lead to improved treatments for the sleep disorder, according to the authors of the study published in the September issue of the journal Sleep. "We found that insomnia subjects did not properly turn on brain regions critical to a working memory task and did not turn off 'mind-wandering' brain regions irrelevant to the task," study lead author Sean Drummond said in ... Read more

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Prescription Sleep Aids a Common Choice for American Insomnia

Posted 29 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 29 – About 4 percent of American adults – more than 8.5 million people – have used a prescription sleep aid in the past month, and the use increases with age, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. In addition, more women (5 percent) than men (3.1 percent) over the age of 20 take these drugs, and those with higher education levels are more likely to use them, the researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. "This is the first time we have a national estimate on how many people are taking prescription medications for sleep," said report coauthor Yinong Chong, an epidemiologist at the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. In the past 20 years, there has been reports of an increased number of prescriptions for sleep aids in the United States. But, Chong said, the use of such drugs has remained stable in the past decade, rising about ... Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Ambien, Zolpidem, Temazepam, Lunesta, Restoril, Ambien CR, Halcion, Triazolam, Sonata, Rozerem, Dalmane, Eszopiclone, Zaleplon, Chloral Hydrate, Flurazepam, Prosom, Intermezzo, Edluar, Estazolam

FDA Medwatch Alert: Tranquility by Health and Beyond, LLC: Recall - Undeclared Drug Ingredient

Posted 7 Aug 2013 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: Health and Beyond LLC is voluntarily recalling quantity lots of product Tranquility. The products have been found to contain a trace of Doxepin which is a pharmaceutical for sleep and Chlorpormazine for psychotic disorders. The product potentially could result in dizziness and cause public health risk. Health and Beyond LLC has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall. BACKGROUND: The product is used as a sleep product and is packaged in a white bottle with 30 pills per bottle with lot #36678 and 36680. The affected product in the Tranquility lots include the expiration date 9/15. The product was distributed Nationwide, wholesale, retail and via internet. RECOMMENDATION: Health and Beyond LLC is notifying its distributors and customers by personal phone call and written recall letter and is arranging for return/replacement etc. of all recalled products. ... Read more

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Could a Full Moon Keep You Up at Night?

Posted 25 Jul 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 25 – Many myths have told of the powers of a full moon, from werewolves to sudden madness to unexplained seizures, but new research suggests an impact close to home: Sound sleep may be harder to come by when the moon is in its full glory. The study suggests that the human body is cued not only to the daily rising and setting of the sun, which regulates circadian rhythms, but also to the phases of the moon. Published in the July 25 online issue of the journal Current Biology, the idea behind the finding was dreamed up in a bar one night as the Swiss researchers were having a drink. "A lot of people complain that they have bad sleep around a full moon. These are anecdotes, but you hear it from a lot of different people," said Silvia Frey, a neurobiologist at the University of Basel. "So, we were sitting there on a full moon night and just discussing this, and we thought ... Read more

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Sleep Duration Linked to Suicidal Thoughts in People With Insomnia

Posted 27 May 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 24 – New research suggests a link between sleep duration and suicidal thoughts among people with insomnia. Every additional hour someone with insomnia sleeps is associated with a 72 percent drop in the likelihood of moderate or high risk of suicide, according to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania. "We were surprised by the strength of the association between sleep duration and suicide risk," study author, Linden Oliver, clinical research coordinator for the university's behavioral sleep medicine research program, said in a news release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "A 72 percent decrease in the likelihood of moderate or high suicide risk with a one-hour increase in sleep is interesting given the small sample size." The study is scheduled for presentation June 4 at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Baltimore. ... Read more

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