Suvorexant, a Novel Dual Orexin Receptor Antagonist, for the Management of Insomnia


North Florida


Osceola Regional Medical Center

Document Type


Publication Date



Insomnia, Suvorexant, Orexin receptors, Sleep, Antagonist


Nervous System Diseases | Neurology


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The present investigation is a comprehensive review regarding the use of Suvorexant for insomnia treatment. It covers the background, pathophysiology, and significance of addressing insomnia, the pharmaceutical details of Suvorexant, and its safety, efficacy, and implications in treating insomnia. We further discuss Suvorexant's role in targeting insomnia with other comorbidities.

RECENT FINDINGS: Insomnia refers to poor quality and/or quantity of sleep. While there are many existing treatments such as benzodiazepines, melatonin agonists, TCAs, and atypical antipsychotics used to target various receptors involved in normal induction and maintenance of sleep, Suvorexant is an antagonist that specifically targets orexin receptors. Recent clinical studies suggest that Suvorexant is both clinically safe and effective. Quantity and quality of sleep are measured in various ways, yet the consensus points towards Suvorexant's effectiveness in improving sleep time, onset, latency, and quality compared to placebo. In addition to helping improve isolated insomnia, Suvorexant helps improve sleep in patients that have other comorbidities such as obstructive sleep apnea, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, acute stroke, and delirium. While Suvorexant is safe, there are still adverse effects associated with the drug that needs to be considered. The most common adverse effects include dizziness, somnolence, headaches, and cognitive impairment.

SUMMARY: Insomnia is a major public health concern that affects many people worldwide and has been linked to many adverse health outcomes. While there are existing treatments that target different receptors and pathways of normal sleep induction and maintenance, Suvorexant is a novel drug that targets dual orexin receptors. Its safety and efficacy, mechanism of action, pharmacokinetic parameters, and relative lack of rebound and withdrawal effects render suvorexant a reliable choice for the treatment of insomnia.

Publisher or Conference

Health Psychology Research