BELSOMRA® (suvorexant) tablets

BELSOMRA® (suvorexant) tablets

BELSOMRA® (suvorexant) tablets

BELSOMRA tablets contain suvorexant, a highly selective antagonist for orexin receptors OX1R and OX2R.

Suvorexant is described chemically as: [(7R)-4-(5-chloro-2-benzoxazolyl) hexahydro-7-methyl-1H-1,4-diazepin-1-yl][5-methyl-2-(2H-1,2,3-triazol2-yl)phenyl]methanone Its empirical formula is C23H23ClN6O2 and the molecular weight is 450.92.

Suvorexant is a white to off-white powder that is insoluble in water.

Each film coated tablet contains 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, or 20 mg of suvorexant and the following inactive ingredients: polyvinylpyrrolidone/vinyl acetate copolymer (copovidone), microcrystalline cellulose, lactose monohydrate, croscarmellose sodium, and magnesium stearate.

In addition, the film coating contains the following inactive ingredients: lactose monohydrate, hypromellose, titanium dioxide, and triacetin. The film coating for the 5 mg tablets also contains iron oxide yellow and iron oxide black, and the film coating for the 10 mg tablets also contains iron oxide yellow and FD&C Blue #1/Brilliant Blue FCF Aluminum Lake.

Indications and usage

BELSOMRA is an orexin receptor antagonist indicated for the treatment of insomnia, characterized by difficulties with sleep onset and/or sleep maintenance.

Dosage and administration

  • Use the lowest dose effective for the patient.
  • Recommended dose is 10 mg, no more than once per night taken within 30 minutes of going to bed, with at least 7 hours remaining before the planned time of awakening. If the 10 mg dose is welltolerated but not effective, the dose can be increased, not to exceed 20 mg once daily.
  • Time to effect may be delayed if taken with or soon after a meal


Do not use in patients with narcolepsy

Adverse reactions

The most common adverse reaction (reported in 5% or more of patients treated with BELSOMRA and at least twice the placebo rate) with BELSOMRA was somnolence.


Warnings and precautions

CNS Depressant Effects and Daytime Impairment: BELSOMRA is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that can impair daytime wakefulness even when used as prescribed. Prescribers should monitor for somnolence and CNS depressant effects, but impairment can occur in the absence of symptoms, and may not be reliably detected by ordinary clinical exam (i.e., less than formal testing of daytime wakefulness and/or psychomotor performance). CNS depressant effects may persist in some patients for up to several days after discontinuing BELSOMRA.

Need to Evaluate for Co-Morbid Diagnoses: Because sleep disturbances may be the presenting manifestation of a physical and/or psychiatric disorder, treatment of insomnia should be initiated only after careful evaluation of the patient. The failure of insomnia to remit after 7 to 10 days of treatment may indicate the presence of a primary psychiatric and/or medical illness that should be evaluated. Worsening of insomnia or the emergence of new cognitive or behavioral abnormalities may be the result of an unrecognized underlying psychiatric or physical disorder, and can emerge during the course of treatment with hypnotic drugs such as BELSOMRA.

Abnormal Thinking and Behavioral Changes: A variety of cognitive and behavioral changes (e.g., amnesia, anxiety, hallucinations and other neuropsychiatric symptoms) have been reported to occur in association with the use of hypnotics such as BELSOMRA. Complex behaviors such as “sleep-driving” (i.e., driving while not fully awake after taking a hypnotic) and other complex behaviors (e.g., preparing and eating food, making phone calls, or having sex), with amnesia for the event, have been reported in association with the use of hypnotics. These events can occur in hypnotic-naïve as well as in hypnotic-experienced persons. The use of alcohol and other CNS depressants may increase the risk of such behaviors. Discontinuation of BELSOMRA should be strongly considered for patients who report any complex sleep behavior.

Worsening of Depression/Suicidal Ideation: In clinical studies, a dose-dependent increase in suicidal ideation was observed in patients taking BELSOMRA as assessed by questionnaire. Immediately evaluate patients with suicidal ideation or any new behavioral sign or symptom.

Patients with Compromised Respiratory Function: Effect of BELSOMRA on respiratory function should be considered if prescribed to patients with compromised respiratory function. BELSOMRA has not been studied in patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Sleep Paralysis, Hypnagogic/Hypnopompic Hallucinations, Cataplexy-Like Symptoms: Sleep paralysis, an inability to move or speak for up to several minutes during sleep-wake transitions, and hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations, including vivid and disturbing perceptions by the patient, can occur with the use of BELSOMRA. Prescribers should explain the nature of these events to patients when prescribing BELSOMRA.

Drug interactions

CNS-Active Agents: When BELSOMRA was co-administered with alcohol, additive psychomotor impairment was demonstrated. There was no alteration in the pharmacokinetics of BELSOMRA.

CYP3A Inhibitors: Concomitant use of BELSOMRA with strong inhibitors of CYP3A (e.g., ketoconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole, clarithromycin, nefazodone, ritonavir, saquinavir, nelfinavir, indinavir, boceprevir, telaprevir, telithromycin and conivaptan) is not recommended.

CYP3A Inducers: Suvorexant exposure can be substantially decreased when co-administered with strong CYP3A inducers (e.g., rifampin, carbamazepine and phenytoin). The efficacy of BELSOMRA may be reduced.

Digoxin: Concomitant administration of BELSOMRA with digoxin slightly increased digoxin levels due to inhibition of intestinal P-gp. Digoxin concentrations should be monitored when co-administering BELSOMRA with digoxin.

Use in specific populations

Pregnancy: Pregnancy Category C. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. BELSOMRA should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.

Nursing Mothers: Suvorexant and a hydroxyl-suvorexant metabolite were excreted in rat milk at levels higher (9 and 1.5 times, respectively) than that in maternal plasma. It is not known whether this drug is secreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when BELSOMRA is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use: Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established.

Patients with Hepatic Impairment: No dose adjustment is required in patients with mild and moderate hepatic impairment. BELSOMRA has not been studied in patients with severe hepatic impairment and is not recommended for these patients

Patients with Renal Impairment: No dose adjustment is required in patients with renal impairment

Drug abuse and dependence

Controlled Substance: BELSOMRA contains suvorexant, a Schedule IV controlled substance.


Abuse of BELSOMRA poses an increased risk of somnolence, daytime sleepiness, impaired reaction time and impaired driving skills. Patients at risk for abuse may include those with prolonged use of BELSOMRA, those with a history of drug abuse, and those who use BELSOMRA in combination with alcohol or other abused drugs.


Physical dependence is a state that develops as a result of physiological adaptation in response to repeated drug use. Physical dependence manifests by drug class-specific withdrawal symptoms after abrupt discontinuation or a significant dose reduction of a drug. In completed clinical trials with BELSOMRA, there was no evidence for physical dependence with the prolonged use of BELSOMRA. There were no reported withdrawal symptoms after discontinuation of BELSOMRA.



There is limited premarketing clinical experience with an overdosage of BELSOMRA. In clinical pharmacology studies, healthy subjects who were administered morning doses of up to 240 mg of suvorexant showed dose-dependent increases in the frequency and duration of somnolence.

General symptomatic and supportive measures should be used, along with immediate gastric lavage where appropriate. Intravenous fluids should be administered as needed. As in all cases of drug overdose, vital signs should be monitored and general supportive measures employed. The value of dialysis in the treatment of overdosage has not been determined. As suvorexant is highly protein-bound, hemodialysis is not expected to contribute to elimination of suvorexant.

As with the management of all overdosage, the possibility of multiple drug ingestion should be considered. Consider contacting a poison control center for up-to-date information on the management of hypnotic drug product overdosage.


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