Insomnia medication from Merck now available in the U.S.

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Merck announced Tuesday that BELSOMRA (suvorexant), a medication for the treatment of insomnia in adults, is now available in United States pharmacies.

“Insomnia is a serious condition that affects millions of Americans,” National Sleep Foundation CEO David Cloud said. “With BELSOMRA, health care professionals and patients now have an additional option to consider."

The brain has a wake circuit and sleep circuit that together control when a person is awake or asleep. BELSOMRA blocks receptors of orexin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that encourages staying awake. It is the only orexin receptor antagonist that is FDA approved to treat adults with insomnia. 

“Merck has been conducting research in the sleep field for more than a decade,” Merck Research Laboratories Vice President for Neurosciences David Michelson said. “We are proud to be one of the earliest companies to research the role of orexin receptors in insomnia, which ultimately led to the introduction of BELSOMRA in the United States.”

The suggested prescription of BELSOMRA is 10mg taken once a night, 30 minutes before going to sleep. Dosages should not be more than 20 mg a day.

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