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Generic name: suvorexant [ SOO-voe-REX-ant ]
Brand name: Belsomra
Dosage form: oral tablet (10 mg; 15 mg; 20 mg; 5 mg)
Drug class: Miscellaneous anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics

Medically reviewed by on Mar 17, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is suvorexant?

Suvorexant is a sleep medicine that is used to treat insomnia (trouble falling asleep or staying asleep).

Suvorexant may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.


Do not take more suvorexant than your doctor has prescribed.

Take suvorexant 30 minutes before bedtime. Never take suvorexant if you do not have 7 hours to sleep before being active again.

Some people using this medicine have engaged in activity while not fully awake and later had no memory of it. If this happens to you, call your doctor right away.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use suvorexant if you are allergic to it, or if you have narcolepsy.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

  • depression, mental illness, or thoughts about suicide;

  • drug or alcohol abuse or addiction;

  • breathing problems, sleep apnea (breathing stops during sleep);

  • liver disease;

  • sudden muscle weakness;

  • excessive sleepiness during normal waking hours; or

  • if you have ever fallen asleep at unexpected times.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Suvorexant is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

How should I take suvorexant?

Follow the directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides. Never use suvorexant in larger amounts, or for longer than prescribed. Tell your doctor if you feel an increased urge to use more of suvorexant.

Suvorexant may be habit-forming. Misuse can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Keep the medication in a place where others cannot get to it. Selling or giving away this medicine is against the law.

Take suvorexant only once per night, 30 minutes before bedtime.

You may take suvorexant with or without food. Avoid taking the medicine shortly after eating a meal, or the medicine may take longer to work.

Suvorexant will make you fall asleep. Never take this medicine if you do not have 7 hours to sleep before being active again.

You may have trouble speaking or moving while you are falling asleep. It may take longer for you to wake up, speak, or move around when you wake up. You may feel like you are still dreaming for several minutes after waking.

Call your doctor if your insomnia symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse after using suvorexant for 7 to 10 nights in a row.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep track of your medicine. You should be aware if anyone is using it improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since suvorexant is taken only at bedtime if needed, you are not likely to miss a dose. Never take this medicine if you do not have 7 hours to sleep before being active again.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking suvorexant?

For at least 8 hours after taking suvorexant, do not drive or do anything that requires you to be alert. Your reactions may be impaired.

Avoid drinking alcohol. Do not take suvorexant if you have consumed alcohol within a few hours before getting ready for sleep.

Suvorexant side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Some people using suvorexant have engaged in activity while not fully awake and later had no memory of it. This may include walking, driving, eating, having sex, or making phone calls. If this happens to you, call your doctor right away.

Suvorexant may cause serious side effects. Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • trouble moving or talking when you first wake up;

  • a weak feeling in your legs;

  • unusual thoughts or behavior;

  • anxiety, agitation, depression;

  • memory problems;

  • confusion, hallucinations; or

  • thoughts about hurting yourself.

You may be more likely to have side effects if you are overweight.

Common side effects of suvorexant may include:

  • strange dreams; or

  • drowsiness during the day after taking suvorexant.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Suvorexant dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Insomnia:

10 mg orally once a day at bedtime
Maximum dose: 20 mg once a day

-Take within 30 minutes of going to bed, with at least 7 hours remaining before the planned time of awakening.
-If 10 mg is well-tolerated but not effective, the dose can be increased.
-Time to effect may be delayed if taken with or soon after a meal.

Use: Insomnia characterized by difficulties with sleep onset and/or sleep maintenance.

What other drugs will affect suvorexant?

Using suvorexant with other drugs that make you drowsy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before using opioid medication, a sleeping pill, a muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety or seizures.

Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.

Other drugs may affect suvorexant, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any medicine you start or stop using.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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