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Suvorexant

Generic Name: Suvorexant (soo voe REX ant)
Brand Name: Belsomra

Medically reviewed on Sep 5, 2018

Uses of Suvorexant:

  • It is used to treat sleep problems.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Suvorexant?

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with suvorexant.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take suvorexant with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Suvorexant?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take suvorexant. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert for at least 8 hours after you take suvorexant. Avoid these tasks or actions until you feel fully awake.
  • You may still feel sleepy the day after you take suvorexant. This can affect how you drive and may raise the chance of falling asleep while driving. Call your doctor right away if you drive and you feel sleepy during the day.
  • This medicine may be habit-forming with long-term use.
  • When sleep drugs are used nightly for more than a few weeks, they may not work as well to help sleep problems. This is known as tolerance. Only use sleep drugs for a short time. If sleep problems last, call the doctor.
  • Avoid alcohol while taking suvorexant. Do not take suvorexant if you drank alcohol that evening or before bed.
  • Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs and natural products that slow your actions.
  • Some people have done certain tasks or actions while they were not fully awake like driving, making and eating food, and having sex. Most of the time, people do not remember doing these things. Tell your doctor if this happens to you.
  • If you drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit often, talk with your doctor.
  • If you are taking digoxin, talk with your doctor. You may need to have your blood work checked more closely while you are taking it with suvorexant.
  • If you are overweight, use suvorexant with care. You could have more side effects.
  • If you are a woman, use suvorexant with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using suvorexant while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Suvorexant) best taken?

Use suvorexant as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take within 30 minutes of bedtime.
  • Take with or without food. If taken with or right after a meal, suvorexant may take longer to work.
  • Use suvorexant only for short periods of time (7 to 10 days).
  • If you still have trouble sleeping after 7 to 10 days, call your doctor.
  • Do not take suvorexant unless you can get a full night's sleep (at least 7 to 8 hours) before you need to be active again.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • If you take suvorexant on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If you will not be able to get a full night's sleep (at least 7 hours) after taking the missed dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • Do not take more than 1 dose of suvorexant in the same day.
  • Many times suvorexant is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Change in the way you act.
  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
  • Memory problems or loss.
  • Not able to move or speak for up to several minutes while going to sleep or waking up.
  • Muscle weakness can happen with suvorexant. This can last from seconds to a few minutes and can happen both at night and during the day. Call your doctor right away if this happens to you.

What are some other side effects of Suvorexant?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

  • Feeling sleepy the next day.
  • Headache.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Suvorexant?

  • Store in the original container at room temperature.
  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
  • Protect from light.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.

Consumer information use

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time suvorexant is refilled. If you have any questions about suvorexant, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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