Merck's New Sleeping Pill to Come Out Soon

Roll over, Ambien! After much debate, the FDA has finally approved Merck’s new drug for insomnia. Expect to see Belsomra (a.k.a. suvorexant) on the market early next year.

So what can we hope for from this new sleeping pill and how does it differ from hypnotics available now?

Belsomra, a new sleeping pill approved for insomnia, will enter the market early next year

Belsomra, a new sleeping pill approved for insomnia, will enter the market early next yearRoll over, Ambien! After much debate, the FDA has finally approved Merck’s new drug for insomnia. Expect to see Belsomra (a.k.a. suvorexant) on the market early next year.

So what can we hope for from this new sleeping pill and how does it differ from hypnotics available now?

 

A Different Path to Sleep

Older sleeping pills—from barbiturates and benzodiazepines to Ambien and Lunesta—induce sleep via the GABA system. GABA is the main neurotransmitter responsible for calming the brain and putting us to sleep. GABA-producing neurons are found throughout the brain, and when they start firing, other brain activity grinds to a halt. Most sleeping pills speed this process up, thus helping put us to sleep and keep us asleep.

Belsomra does not achieve its soporific effect through the GABA system. Instead, it works on the orexin system—on a much smaller group of neurons in the hypothalamus. These orexin-producing neurons are normally quiet during periods of sleep. But in the daytime they fire continuously, keeping us awake and alert. People who lack orexin neurons are narcoleptic, succumbing to irresistible sleep attacks during the day.

Insomnia sufferers may have the opposite problem, researchers have suggested. The orexin neurons in our brains may be overactive, keeping us awake at night. Orexin receptor antagonists such as Belsomra are being developed based on experiments that show that suppressing activity of the orexin neurons induces sleep.

How Effective Will Belsomra Be?

The FDA does not require new drugs to be more effective than older drugs before gaining approval. How Belsomra stacks up against Ambien, America’s most popular sleeping pill, is anybody’s guess.

But new drugs do have to work better than placebo. Here, Belsomra apparently passes muster. Compared with placebo, it has helped insomnia sufferers fall asleep faster and experience fewer middle-of-the-night awakenings. A year-long trial published in the May 2014 Lancet Neurology showed that after one month, insomniacs who took Belsomra got to sleep about 10 minutes faster than insomniacs taking a placebo and slept about 23 minutes longer. No great shakes! But we’re talking averages here.

Is the New Drug Safe?

A year ago there was quite a bit of concern that suvorexant in doses higher than 10 mg left a significant number of test subjects feeling groggy in the morning, impaired their driving, and led to other “narcolepsy-like” symptoms. But, based on documentation subsequently submitted by Merck, the FDA has decided to approve Belsomra for use in doses of 5, 10, 15, and 20 mg. Higher doses of the drug are said to be more effective—but they also tend to come with more side effects.

The US Drug Enforcement Agency will probably make Belsomra a scheduled drug. A Schedule IV classification would place it in the same category as Ambien and most other hypnotics on the market today. So if and when Belsomra comes on the market and you go on to try it, use it with care.

February 3, 2015: There seems to be a lot of interest in this new sleeping pill. Belsomra is now available here in the United States, and people are writing to me with questions about  effectiveness, side effects, and cost.

I have no plans to try it myself, so I can’t comment on it one way or another. But if you try Belsomra, I know others would appreciate hearing what you think about it.

You may also be interested in learning more about the safety and efficacy of Belsomra. You’ll find that information here.

Author: Lois Maharg, The Savvy Insomniac

Lois Maharg has worked with language for many years. She taught ESL, coauthored two textbooks, and then became a reporter, writing about health, education, government, Latino affairs, and food. Her lifelong struggle with insomnia and interest in investigative reporting motivated her to write a book, The Savvy Insomniac: A Personal Journey through Science to Better Sleep. She now freelances as an editor and copy writer at On the Mark Editing.

131 thoughts on “Merck's New Sleeping Pill to Come Out Soon”

    1. take it it works! i have been on every sleep aid last was restrol for 3 years and zanax 35 years have had to take something to sleep got sample of Belsomra 20 mg from doctor and it works!! first slept 5 hours second night 7 hours woke up alert no side effects .I am 66 now and this seems like a blessing now I can get off the zanax and restrol anatripline,I have tried them all! doctors trying to get approved from medicare cost no insurance $295.00 at sam’s club one month $95.00 if I get approved

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      1. Have just tried to new belsomra sleeping tabs. Oh they were aweful, they did not help with sleep. When I did fall asleep was dream panicking and woke with a migraine. I’m going back to my ambien, they have worked for 10 years so not going to change again.

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      2. I have been on Ambien for about 5 years, and about 10-15 minutes after I take it, I’m asleep. This belsorma sounds dangerous, and I don’t think I ever want to take it. Ambien works fine for me, and if I need to take a sleep medicine, it’s going to be Ambien.

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      3. How is your Dr let’s you take it for years? I can’t get to sleep and have “looping thoughts” that keep me awake! I’m trying a short course of Ambien…did you try Belsomra?
        Thanks,
        Vicki

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      4. Tried EVERYTHING!! only other one works is ambien but the wacky behavior sleep talking and walking was to much. Gave me 20mg to much. Cut them to 10. A world of difference!!

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  1. I’m not aware of plans to approve Belsomra for use in countries outside the US. But I’ll look out for that information and get back to you if and when I hear anything about pending approval in Israel.

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  2. The DEA actually approved Belsomra as a Schedule IV drug just a few days after I posted this blog. This was the last hurdle for Merck–I’m sure they’re now moving as quickly as possible to bring this drug to market.

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    1. Terrible sleeping drug belsomra, it made me hilousinate and woke up with a migraine. Will never take it again. Be warned it is nothing like ambien, which helps to relax you.

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    2. My doctor gave me some 20mg sample packets to try. And I TOTALLY hate it!! Have not slept well at all while on it. Wake up with mild migraines and horrible irritability. I am going back on Ambien. But before I do, I want to know if Belsomra is safe to take with an OTC sleep aid? No one wants to answer this question for me. Answers PLEASE!!! This lack of sleep SUCKS!!!

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      1. Hi Karla,

        I’m sorry you’re having such a problem with your sleep. A doctor or pharmacist might be able to answer your question. The one comment I can make is that sleep specialists tend to dislike OTC sleep aids because of their many adverse effects: daytime sedation, diminished cognitive function, dry mouth, blurred vision, urinary retention, and constipation.

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  3. I’ve looked on the company website, and I can’t find information about plans to introduce Belsomra in any country outside the US.

    But the website does provide contact information for Merck in countries around the world. Whatever country you’re in, you could try calling the corresponding phone number to see what you can find out there. Good luck!

    http://www.merck.com/contact/contacts.html

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  4. I now take Ambien (10), but I try to NOT take it every night. I find when I omit a night or two, it works a lot better. I suppose that’s the same with any controlled substance. I’m looking forward for this newest sleep aid (which I have already forgotten it’s name). Perhaps heavy advertising would be helpful. I sleep through the night when I do take Ambien, and that’s about 8 or 9 hours. Just FYI.

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  5. Hi Daniel,

    I think you’re wise not to take Ambien every night. With sleep meds like Ambien and the benzodiazepines, if you’re going to use them on an ongoing basis, it’s better not to take them every night.

    On the subject of Belsomra, the sleeping pill set to come out early in 2015, you can rest assured that Merck will launch a huge advertising campaign to promote the product!

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  6. Thank you for this information resource!
    Is there specific efficacy of Suvorexant for Alpha wave intrusion insomnia? My wife has this diagnosis and has been taking Trazedone and Clomazepam for years. These drugs may be losing efficacy.

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  7. You’re certainly welcome for the information, John. Usually when the FDA approves a new hypnotic, the drug is approved either for treatment of insomnia at sleep onset or treatment of insomnia characterized by difficulties with sleep maintenance. Belsomra has been approved for both uses.

    Since alpha wave intrusion is a sleep maintenance issue, this drug could be an alternative your wife will want to explore with her doctor.

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  8. I really hope this sleeping new sleeping pill Belsomra works Great for people who suffer from insomnia. I have suffered from CHRONIC INSOMNIA since I was around 12 years old. It is pure HELL!! It is”Somewhat” Better now, however Im in Early stages of Premenopausal& the CHRONIC INSOMNIA HAS returned periodically. I sometimes stay awake for.. 3-4 days strait ALL NITE!! I don’t do Drugs, caffeine,Smoke,ECT. I think some people get Chronic Insomnia CONFUSED with,” Oh, I didn’t sleep well last nite, when in all actuality they really slept around 4 to 5 hours just not consecutively. It’s not an Easy thing to explain. I’ve had numerous sleep studies done over the years, and all of the sleep specialist diagnosed me with chronic insomnia and restless leg. I have an extremely soft place in my heart for anyone who sleeps 2-3 hours each nite & then has to get up and work all day and try to function as normal. I’ve been there. I would appreciate any other insomniacs out there who would like to share their stories and I’m sure just as I have we have all tried all of the meds available:-):-)

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    1. Hi Lee,

      Thanks for sharing your story here. Insomnia that begins in childhood is often harder to manage than insomnia that develops in adults. It sounds like you’ve been around the block at least a few times looking for solutions!

      I don’t know much about this new drug except that it works on a different system–the orexin system–than other sleeping pills. So it may be helpful to some people who haven’t had much luck with the other hypnotics.

      If you do try Belsomra, be sure to check back in and let us know how it works.

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      1. I know the feeling I take ambien every night. Most nights I sleep off and on all night. If I Don’t take it I don’t sleep at all.

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      2. I take ambien and a large dose of trazadone, plus the max dose of serequel and Ativan too. If I sleep at all, I constantly wake up, I’m all over the bed and I wake up in pain with a drugged feeling my doctor has submitted an over ride to my insurance. He is starting me out at 10 mg. I sure hope it works, being awake all the time is miserable

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      3. Yes Anita I am the same way.. Unfortunately the longer you are on it the more you have to take for it to work. Its a double edge sword drug.

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      4. I have had insomnia since childhood as well. My father was also an insomniac (we’d find him wandering the house playing solitaire with a deck of cards). I started Ambien, then Ambien CR in 1995 and it worked great until lately when I’ve had to take it with a benzo. Note: I’m on multiple meds for various diseases, including gabapentin, lamictal, trazadone, etc. I am currently trying the Belsomra 20mg. The 1st night it took me 3 hours to fall asleep. The 2nd night about 1/2 hour. Since then, 3 hours at least. I lie in bed and think pleasant thoughts and nothing. Eventually I look at the clock and see that another hour has passed. I’m doing the same thing I did on night 2!!! Now I’m adding a benzo. After the 10pack is finished, maybe the Ambien will work again b/c this (Belsomra)is useless if I have to take it with another drug.

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    2. I have almost identical symptoms as you. Chronic insomnia in my case means I lie awake all night, sometimes for several days in a row. I recall one period, and no one believes this, of a five day period without one wink of sleep. Ambien and Lunesta do do not work for me. I build an intolerance within days. If I don’t take Ambien on an empty stomach, it does nothing for me. My burning question for this new drug is “does it build an intolerance after lengthy use?”. I am 65 years old and my insomnia is now a life threatening issue for me. If anyone has an answer to this intolerance issue, please respond. Plus, it comes in different dosages. My guess, due to my quick metabolism and past anxiety, I will need a high dosage.

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      1. Hello Larry,

        It sounds like you’ve got some pretty severe symptoms of insomnia. I agree that many people who haven’t experienced the problem themselves can’t quite imagine what it’s like to feel as though you’re running on empty for days on end. Those of us who have insomnia know that it can feel miserable.

        In cases of chronic insomnia like yours, it’s really a good idea to consult a sleep specialist. They usually know more about insomnia than primary care doctors and internists.

        Coincidentally, I’ve just written a second blog about Belsomra and I’m going to be posting it tomorrow morning. Briefly I address the tolerance issue so, rather than repeat myself here, I’ll just suggest that you look for the blog tomorrow morning.

        All the best in finding a solution that works for you.

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      2. Hello Larry,
        I’ve thought I’ve been the only one. Also with insomnia but staying up for 5 days easily folks look at me like I have to be making it up. Sleeping meds don’t help me much. I also have a high metabolism but for a few nights a month they will work. That’s how my life is. I plan on trying the Belsomra and hope for an added night or two. I’m at least thankful the medical world is trying, no offense to folks who try to help me by saying do the the following… but I’ve tried the tea’s,music,therpay,bath’s,different beds,working out, all the stuff to help mother nature give what she couldn’t.
        It all pissed me off so bad I not only couldn’t sleep I then had to cure my anxiety and high blood pressure.(smile) So wish me luck maybe this is a cure for us. I’ll let you know.

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      3. Belsomra did nothing except make me feel so ill the next morning. Sticking to ambien, I know it works for me.

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      4. recently another gal actually a friend of several months
        shared she has been taking ambien for 20 years 10mg
        and her doctor switched her to another name pill
        she has not had with drawal….can that be done

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    3. I’m trying it tonight. I’ve suffered with insomnia for 25 years. I’ve been up these past three nights, ambien wouldn’t work and benzos wouldn’t work either. I pray for some sleep tonight. I’m in remission from stage 3 cancer and I really need my sleep. I’m terribly fatigued. good luck to anyone giving this a try

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    4. Oh yes, I know true insomnia. Cannot shut my wakefulness off. Tonight I have taken 15 mg Ambien, then 5 mg Valium which I only take when I am desperate. It is now 3 am – I work in the AM so it will not be a good day. Sleep study showed I had no sleep. I have taken Ambien 10 years and sleep 4 hrs with it, can repeat with 1/2 tab. No hangover effect. Not working tonight!

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      1. This insomnia suck’s! I’ve had insomnia for 12 yrs. Ambien puts me too sleep in 15-20 min on 10mg. ..ive just started belsomra at 15mg for office sample and Dr have me rx for 10mg I took them at 1030 and it’s now 2 hours later. My eyes are heavy,but my brain still isn’t shutting down. I’m supposed to get up for work at 430. No way can I function on 4 hrs sleep around massive equipment and drive. Dr told me to try n get back to her on Monday to increase dosage. I work weekends didn’t sleep much but a few hrs. I’m totally out of ambien and is frustrating to wait for it to kick in. This drug is too new to try when you have only one income and family depends on you. My brain does not shut down like everybody else’s. I can’t afford to be a guinea pig at this time. It suck’s when you can hear the world waking up and you haven’t feel asleep. Then the side effects could be like otc sleep aids. Make you feel nasty the next day

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      2. It really hit me when you wrote [how awful it is to hearing the world waking and you know that you haven’t slept] I love birdsong but when I hear it at that hour it depresses and scares me and I’m 54, female

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    5. Hi Lee,
      I 100% relate to your comments. I have battled with Chronic Insomnia since I was about 13, but going back to early childhood years my mom told me I was never a good “sleeper”. I’ve had to work full time the majority of my life working 40-60 hours a week on approx 2 hours / sleep a night. 8 years ago my husband and I moved to Hawaii for a job change for him and I went to work part-time, so we had a very big lifestyle change and I was so hopeful I would somehow get better sleep with this new lifestyle. Well, that didn’t happen. I’ve been on ambien for probably 10+ years and am now in my early 40’s dealing with hormonal issues as well. And I find that my bouts of insomnia worsen. Meaning, I can go months and months and get only 2-4hrs per night and sleeping during the day is absolutely not an option for me. I am extremely light sensitive, sound sensitive, etc. etc. so the story goes and I’ve been to 2 sleep clinics and I still follow most of the sleep / bedtime hygiene which I did before going to them. It is one of the most frustrating things I’ve ever been through in my life and it continues day after day. Most people really cannot comprehend what happens with lack of sleep after years and years. I fear so many things, but the older I get the more I fear more serious health problems, even early death (not always on my mind) but definitely something I think about because I have to. CHRONIC INSOMNIA to me is a problem most people even sleep specialists don’t truly understand.

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    6. Hi I’m Kate from New YORK and I hear you I haven’t been able to sleep since I’m a little girl had a stressful life with alcoholic father used to come home late at night and I use to count the stairs has he would come up to Apple bedroom and so my sleep problems started from that point even after my parents got divorced when I was 7 or 8 I still was very extremely have problems with sleeping been on Ambien for about less than 10 years and everybody just wants to get you all that and being tried balsamic twice in my life I have to tell my doctor in Texas wants me off and being so she gave me the song again and it’s like the worst thing ever where am being at least I’ll get a couple hours of sleep call Sam I just lay there and listen to my husband snore so I hear you and I just want to know from somebody out there am I allowed to take a Xanax with the pass off before the bus or more after the summer I’m just going to take it anyway because I need to have at least a couple hours of sleep so that I can go to work all day but I hear you and a lot of people like to call you a drug addict if he can sleep there just tell you just go to sleep I’ve done everything from tea Natural Things natural pills melatonin Sleepytime tea 7 Cups I had last night and then finally I just got up out of bed I have to take him 20 milligrams of Osama and sat at the kitchen table reading a book and then at 5 o’clock in the morning I tried to lay back down again it’s a nightmare hopefully really understands unless they have it somebody please tell me if you could take it Ozonics if you can’t sleep with the boss, I’m going to try this but someone may be a couple more days and if my doctor won’t give me back the Ambien I’m going to go to a different doctor everybody out there do whatever you can to go to sleep because it’s very important can cause heart attacks if you don’t sleep and this is on the 52 year old woman who hasn’t been sleeping since I’m seven years old the only Advantage I ever had was a couple of a couple of great years with Ambien and I don’t know why they want to call and be in the devil because at least it gives you a few hours of sleep

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      1. An inexperienced
        doctor pulled me off 10 mg ambien to 5 mg
        no did not work for me
        I found another doctor to give me 10mg
        I feel more secure
        take a melatonin
        or. Zzzzz liquid sleep aide Can be found at smith’s or any grocery store
        no I don’t take any other pill

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    7. Your story sounds as if you where writing mine!! I finally got them to let me try belsorama. And it worked. Now whose crazy!! I was diagnosed depresses etc. Um like you said NO SLEEP!not unrest full sleep. No sleep. My max was 5 days straight!!

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    8. Been there, started years ago, now I can go days without any sleep, try to function go to work etc, but high stress job made it impossible to continue. I went 5 days without any, then I got so anxious it was terrible. I finally broke down and took 1/2 pill just to sleep 3 hrs. I have prayed and pleaded with God to help me. I have little insurance, now I don’t work due to stress of not sleeping

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  9. I had a stroke and since then have not slept on a regular schedule. Dr. says the part of my brain that was damage from stroke affects my sleep. no medicine has worked. hoping Belsomra can help me go to sleep!!!

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    1. Hi Bill,

      I’m very sorry to hear about the stroke and its negative effect on your sleep. Good sleepers are usually quite regular in their sleep habits. If regularity has flown out the window, I can well imagine how frustrating and even worrisome that must feel.

      There’s no predicting whether this new sleeping pill will help. The only way to find out is to try it. Belsomra was launched in Japan on November 26 and is now available in the U.S.

      If it’s feasible and you haven’t yet done it, I suggest that you consult a sleep specialist. Your sleep problem is different, and likely more challenging to solve, than most.

      I wish you the best of luck in finding a way to get your sleep back on track.

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  10. I am starting the new drug Belsomra tonight.
    I’ve had a sleeping problem since as long as I can remember. From the
    Times as being little a kid watching my brothers
    Sleep.I pray my children
    Don’t have problem.
    I’ve tried everything under the sun to sleep.
    I’m 45 years old now. It’s a good night if I get a couple hours of sleep. I’ll post how it tomorrow. I’m crossing my fingers. That it works. Because it will a life changers for me.

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    1. Hello David,

      We’ve just tested the reply feature of this website and it seems to work just fine.

      If you want to try your post again using the “Reply” button, make sure to fill in your name (first name only is fine) and email address (which will not appear in your posting). If it doesn’t work, then skip the reply feature and add your comment at the bottom of the page.

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      1. Last night did not go well. I had a really bad tooth ache. The dentist says I need a root canal done. I did take the new drug. I was amazed how much it help me fall asleep. All the business and thinking seemed to be gone. It was very peaceful. Until I woke up in pain from my tooth ache. I hope the medicine from the the dentist doesn’t mess up the sleep medicine. I’ll post again in a day or so.

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      2. Let us know Richard – I have the med too but wont take it until this coming weekend – have a lot going on this week. Please please give us your comments – like how much sleep you got plus how you feel the next day. I had to get 30 pills which I didn’t want but transition they charge you $86 but next time will have to have prior authorization from my dr which can be done; otherwise, pricey. How does Bellsomra compare with Lunesta and ambien. I will look for your response. Thank you so much for keeping us informed as we all have the jitters on this new med.

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  11. I tried suverexant last night for the first time. I0mg at first was still awake 4 hours later then took 1/2 more of 10 mg pill still no sleep. I have suffered since I was 13 years old I am now 43 and tried an abundance of sleep drugs including antidepressant trazadone. Nothing works for long. I was really hoping this might be the answer to my life long horrific issue.

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    1. Hi Teresa,

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such a problem with sleep. Trouble sleeping that starts in childhood is best treated by a sleep specialist. I hope you’re in the care of someone who’s knowledgeable about all available treatments for insomnia, including those that are off label and others that are drug free.

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    2. I’ve just been given the free trial today by my doctor for #10 -10mg pills. I’ve been wanting to just start out with 5mg, mainly because of the side effects till I think I can handle it. Does anyone know if it’d be okay to score the 10mg? I am an RN and have done extensive search on this subject, but nothing unless it’s related to taking a certain medication in combination.

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      1. Hi Tracy,

        Why not call or email your doctor with this question? The 5 mg dose is on the market now though the 10 mg dose is the one that’s “recommended.” My understanding is that the only type of hypnotic medication that you shouldn’t break in half is the timed-release type. Belsomra is not a timed-release drug.

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  12. 20 mg of belsomra did not make me fall asleep as fast as Ambien, however, when I finally fell asleep it was the best nights sleep I’ve had in years. Ambien works much faster for me. I will continue to use this and hope it continues to help get a more restorative nights sleep

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    1. Thanks for taking time to record your experience with Belsomra on this blog, John. Best of luck in your quest for more restorative sleep.

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    2. Took 10mg last night for the 1st time and also did not fall asleep as quick as Ambien 10mg dose. Took another half dose 10mg and finally got some sleep but had some really wierd dreams. Well see how tonight goes.

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  13. Hi Lois. I have been on sleeping pills for the past 15 years. Right now I take every night Halcion, Temazepam, Intermezzo and Seroquel xr. Do you think Belsomra will work for me ?
    Thanks

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    1. Hi Nick,

      I’m sorry, but I’m not in a position to answer your question. My advice would be to consult your physician or therapist–they’re people who would know your medical history and be qualified to judge whether taking Belsomra would be a good idea or not.

      Personally, I’m very cautious about taking sleep meds. It’s not that I object to them on principle. Sleep problems differ greatly from one person to the next, and I am persuaded, after all the reading I’ve done in medical journals and talking with hundreds of people with insomnia, that sleep medication may be a reasonable solution for some people.

      It’s the side effects of most sleeping pills that concern me–specifically the long-term effects, which can remain unknown for years after a drug is approved for use. So I use sleeping pills sparingly myself–on the rare nights when the drug-free ways I’ve found to manage my sleep don’t work.

      But my situation and needs may be very different from yours. So again I suggest consulting your doctor about the advisability of taking Belsomra.

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  14. I have been following suvorexant through the clinical trial and approval process for years. I had extremely high hopes the mechanism of action for Belsomra would help alleviate the chronic insomnia I have had for 20+ years. I was able to secure a prescription for the 10 free trial tablets available from the Belsomra web site.

    Unfortunately, the drug has not worked as I had hoped. The first night I took 1/2 of a 20mg tablet at 10:30. By midnight I was still wide awake so I took the other half. I got between 1-2 hours total sleep that night. The second night I tried about 25-30 mg by further splitting a tablet. The results were marginally better. About 2-3 hours in total. Awakened at 3:00 and that was it for the night.

    The idea of this drug working of the Orexin 1 and 2 site in the brain versus most all other drugs at GABAa had me hoping to break the cycle. Last night I had to go back to Lunesta. Got 7-8 hours total. I cut a 3mg tablet in half and does 2-3 times a night in total. Not optimal, but much better than suffering through days with only 2-3 hours of sleep.

    I would welcome comments on others who find success with Belsomra.

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    1. Hi Dudley,

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience of Belsomra with others who read this blog. I’m sorry it didn’t measure up to what you were hoping for.

      Only a handful of people have commented on it so far. Like you, I’m curious to hear how people feel about this new drug. I’m hoping others weigh in.

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      1. It is now 6 hours after taking 10mg of Belsomra and I am STILL awake. This is the third night of many hours waiting for it to take effect!!!
        I had high expectations.

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  15. I’m a 45 year old male. I normally take half a dose (1 pill instead of 2) of over the counter Sominex about 3-4 times per week. On occasion I take Lorazepam (1/2 mg) instead. The other nights I sleep but not great. I try to keep the dose and pace low and slow so that I don’t build a tolerance but the days after I sleep ‘naturally’ are definitely not as good as those after taking Sominex.

    I was very interested in the Belsomra because of the claim that people do not build a tolerance to it. I tried 20 mg (2 10 mg pills) last night for the first time. I took the pills at 8:30pm and first noticed the effect at about 9:30pm. Within minutes (maybe seconds) I was asleep (about 9:31pm).

    The sleep lasted a couple hours. I woke up for a few minutes but fell back asleep. I woke up a few times during the night but on the whole slept OK. I normally don’t wake up at all if I take Sominex or Lorazepam.

    I’m considering taking 30mg tonight. However, 10 ten mg pills cost me $101 at Walmart. So 30 mg costs $30. $30 per night is not a practical long term solution for me. If insurance covers it or the price comes down then I could see this as a nightly routine.

    My favorite for sleep is Lorazepam but given that Belsomra may not cause dependence or tolerance, it would be my first choice once the price is comparable.

    I woke up and took careful stock of my coordination etc. before driving. All seemed fine and normal. I slept about 9 hours which is a perfect night for me.

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  16. Hi – I took 10 mg and only slept 3 hours and that was it – I woke up and was awake the rest of the night. Since I am 71 years old not sure if I should take 20 mg – don’t know if the doctor nor the pharmacist know what to tell me either. I may try 1-1/2 which would be 15 but I didn’t like the drugged feeling the next day.

    Did you feel drugged? When I got up during the nite after the 3 hours my eyes were really drowsy but wasn’t able to get back to sleep.

    Wonder what I should do. I got 30 of 10 mg for $86 but will need prior authorization I am told if my insurance will help pay for it; otherwise it will be very expensive and will not spend over $300 just for that unless I can take just once a week or something.

    Anyway, would like to know if you were in a daze the next day. I felt drugged when I got up but not sleepy drugged so couldn’t get back to sleep – maybe I was scared since it was the first time and I put so much hope in this new med.

    Hope you will continue to share so we can all figure out what to do. Thank you.

    Like

    1. I did feel tired the next afternoon. Took a half hour and felt sharp. But then couldn’t fall asleep tonight so tried 10mg. I didn’t take 20 mg because its already midnight and I have to drive in the morning. I plan on trying 30 mg on the weekend. My guess is that waking up after 3 hours is because the dose is low. The drug maker believed 40 mg was the most effective dose. The FDA took a more conservative approach with 20 mg. I was nervous trying something so new but feel that it was similar to other sleep pills. The big upside being no tolerance — if true.

      Like

  17. So I’ve taken Belsomra 4 of the last 5 nights (20mg the first night and 10mg the other 3 nights. I notice a few pros and cons.

    Pros:
    1. 1 hour after taking just 10mg I am definitely ready to fall sound asleep.
    2. The day after I take this medication I feel remarkably alert and rested both mentally and physically.
    3. The next day it almost seems to have a similar effect as Lorazepam (like all is right and beautiful in the world).
    4. I have good dreams.

    Cons:
    1. About an hour to an hour and a half after taking the pill, I feel a strange sense of panic, like I’m falling or my heart is stopping. My heart rate is higher and I feel my heart thumping. It lasts only a couple minutes but is consistent.
    2. About an hour to an hour and a half after taking the pill,I get a mild headache that lasts about 5 or 10 minutes.
    3. I wake up about 2 or 3 hours after falling asleep and usually a couple more times during the night, though I have no trouble falling back asleep. When I awake I am in the middle of unusually long (but happy) dreams. I am either dreaming more or remembering more dreams while on Belsomra.

    In summary, I keep taking Belsomra despite the disconcerting panic heart stopping feeling that happens briefly, because I feel so great the next day.

    I hope that the reports that there is no physical dependence from using this medication are accurate.

    Like

  18. I have suffered from insomnia from as far back back as my memory goes. I am 62 and my tried everything. I have built up a tolerance for Ambien over the years but it is the only thing that works nominally. In July 2006 I survived a lightening strike and it set my insomnia levels into hell. A side effect many survivors share. Hopefully this new drug will Work. I have not found any information on transitioning and because it works so differently I would appreciate any comments regarding this. I notice many of you are taking the higher doses. Thank you for youvinput

    Like

  19. I have been taking belsomra 20mg for 2 weeks. Still have troubles falling asleep but once I get to sleep, I sleep well. I’m taking lunesta 3mg to help me fall asleep and I’ve just started doing that.

    Like

  20. Sad to report i have neen taking 20mg of Belsomra for 5 days now and it isn’t working for me at all! I’m Open to suggestions on anything else I’ve been struggling with insomnia for years and nothing seems to work except things like ativan and valium

    Like

  21. I have found Ambien to have terrible side effects even if you get some sleep with it – the next day headache and you feel like crap for me. Is it worth it? Surprised you don’t have those nasty side effects. I prefer Lunesta but am trying to get off it. The bad taste is nothing compared to Ambien side effects. Just had to put my 2 cents worth in here. I am not an Ambien fan – however, after talking with a pharmacist if I mix Lunesta with it – the side effects of Ambien aren’t as bad. This one pharmacist told me they do different things so it was okay to do that. But I don’t do it often as the more you take any drug the less it works. I hope we have a lot of Belsomra reviews as it is only in the reviews that we can find out how it is working. I tried 10 mg once and I only slept 3 hours and when I woke up it was over and the next day I felt in a daze with very droopy eyes. It did not give me a sleepy feeling – I have 29 pills left but not sure when I’ll try again.

    Like

  22. Night 1 on 10 mg. Was using ambien b4 but stopped due to black outs. Took this at 12 am its now 345 and still wide awake. Does it take a few doses to kick in?

    Like

  23. I was on and mostly am still on seroquel, trazadone, amitriptyline, lamictal, gabapentin,and temazepam all for insomnia at or near the max doses commonly used. Since adding belsomra I have cut the seroquel 250mg and the temazepam in to .25-.5mg of lorazepam. I find belsomra does not have that kick to make me fall asleep. I can ignore it all night. I have to actually take steps to fall asleep but it is usually good sleep. The lorazepam is the little bit of extra that helps me fall asleep.

    I am on 10mg of belsomra and might raise it to 15 in the hope I can continue at least getting rid of seroquel. I worry what insurance will do in the future and that I might get off all these pills and then be left with nothing while we prove to the insurance that I have tried other methods and need this. I’d love to have up to 40mgs to play with but it’s probably going to be a long time before doctors and insurance companies allow that aside from a handful. I have read of some people getting 40mgs per night somehow. All this concern about drowsiness and doing things in your sleep is silly. Every other sleeping medication has that problem and that’s where the caution comes from. I know people who have wrecked their car while on ambien. Why do we have to be more careful with this med than every other? You think I don’t have drowsiness with what I’m on…

    The first few weeks I felt a lot more alert and was able to function for a lot more hours of the day. Complete opposite of everyone’s concerns. After however long belsomra has been out, are we at 2months? I have trouble with time, the past week I’ve been tired and seem to be waking up a lot. This could be a disturbance elsewhere since in the past I have had times that all those meds just failed on me for awhile.

    I have noticed the anxiolytic effects some others have mentioned. I had a bit of mood swings in the first week but when falling asleep I was more relaxed and throughout the next day I felt better. The result of better sleep or an effect of belsomra?

    Like

  24. Just reading your post – it seems you are on a lot of heavy duty medicines – seroquel is a psychotic med – took it one nite and that was enough for me – way too strong – didn’t help me sleep either – if I were you I would ask dr for one sleeping med – all those combinations are scary – how do you feel the next day – drugged big time? Anyway, I would be afraid to take all those meds at the same time. Play it safe.

    Like

  25. I’m going to try Belsomra. Have been taking Trazadone for a couple of years now and it helps me fall asleep and stay asleep. Unfortunately, sleep study indicates that it takes me 3 hours to reach REM. So the sleep is not restorative. I walk around sleepy and have difficulty with memory and word retrieval. I’m hoping Belsomra works differently with regard to REM. Sigh.

    Like

    1. Hi Katie,

      Trazodone, depending on the dose, can leave people feeling groggy during the daytime. If you try Belsomra, please let us know if it works for you and if there are side effects.

      Good luck!

      Like

  26. I jus happened to find this surfing the web. I am have all the same symptoms as everyone else n ppl think I’m crazy when i tell them too. Up for days. Maybe sleep for 6 hours a week. It all started after i became pregnant. Tried everything under the sun n got sick of wasting money. Md cant find any underlying reason for it. I tried Belsomra for 10 days when it was first available. No help at all. I’m gonna give it another go since there’s a copay card now. Otherwise my copay would be over $250. I feel like i trick my body into thinking I’m sleep when im really not. My body resets itself and I don’t walk away like zombie the next day. Im fine. Ive been dealing with it for 10 years… and counting. Im only 29 and I jus want to sleep like every else but from reading this blog… its pretty much official that’s not gonna happen.

    Like

    1. Hi Kimberly,

      I’m sorry your sleep feels so unsatisfying. But what you say about the way you feel during the daytime (“My body resets itself and I don’t walk away like a zombie the next day. I’m fine”) makes me wonder if you aren’t getting more sleep than you think you are. Check this blog out and see if it feels like it could fit your situation:

      https://thesavvyinsomniac.com/paradoxical-insomnia-what-it-is-how-its-treated/

      Also, people who’ve commented on this particular blog may not be very satisfied with their sleep. Unfortunately, no sleeping pill that works for everyone is available now.

      But some people who’ve tried cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia have had quite a bit of success in improving their sleep. Try reading and listening to the following blog, and then scroll through the comments and see what you think.

      https://thesavvyinsomniac.com/sleep-restriction-up-close-and-personal/

      Like

  27. Hi, I have Fibromyalgia, and can not fall asleep or stay asleep. Ambien and Lunesta did not work for me. I take 30 mg temazapam each night, but sleep is often elusive for days. Do you know if this new drug would be indicated for Fibromyalgia? So many people with this disease would be so grateful if it would help us. Thank you

    Like

    1. Hello Betty,

      I’m very sorry to hear about your fibromyalgia. I’ve read that people with this health problem often have trouble sleeping. But no sleeping pill that I’ve heard of has been specifically approved to treat insomnia that occurs with fibromyalgia.

      A couple years ago there was some talk that Xyrem, a very strong sleep drug currently used to treat trouble sleeping related to narcolepsy, might be approved for fibromyalgia-related insomnia. But the FDA decided against it.

      I wish I could be more helpful here. The only thing I can suggest to you is that you talk about Belsomra with your doctor. This new drug DOES modify the action of a group of neurons targeted by no other drug that’s on the market. There’s a chance it might help you–but you’d have to try it to know for sure.

      Your insomnia sounds quite severe. If I were you, I’d look for a good neurologist or sleep specialist with experience treating people with fibromyalgia-related insomnia and take it from there.

      Like

  28. I do not have fibromyalgia but I do hear that amitriptyline helps with that – I have been on amitriptyline for many years for depression – it also makes you very sleepy and helps with sleep too. I take 100 mg – but starting dose would be less – check with your doctor. It is very cheap – generic for Elavil. Good luck – it may help you – ask your dr. The side effects are mainly dry mouth and constipation but miralax helps me with that and eating a lot of fruit and drinking fluids.

    Like

  29. I came across this site while looking for information on Belsomra. I have chronic insomnia and have been under physician treatment for that past 15 years. I have been on Lunesta daily since 2005 and it has been a life saver. I am able to get a good 6 hours of sleep every night. I have had to increase the dosage over the years, but 3mg still works great for me with no side effects. I had way too many side effects with Ambien and would not recommend this to anyone for daily usage.

    The problem I am facing now is that Lunesta is now in Generic form. Out of all of the generics on the market, only 1 of them works for me. Must be the closest to the real thing. Unfortunately, due to insurance requiring me to use a particular pharmacy an recent issue has arisen. My pharmacy will not longer be able to get me that generic and my insurance will no longer cover the name brand Lunesta. The pharmacist told me about this drug and told me to give it a try as my insurance will cover it.

    After reading everything on this page, I am worried that Belsomra is really close to Ambien in side effects. Has anyone switched from Lunesta to Belsomra? How do they compare. I really don’t want to fork out $$$ for a prescription that won’t work.

    Like

    1. Hi Kevin,

      This is a rather belated reply to your post last week, but I’ve been thinking about your situation and a couple thoughts have occurred to me since then.

      Perhaps by now you’ve decided to try Belsomra despite your reservations about side effects. The truth is that everyone reacts so differently to sleeping pills that it would be hard to predict, based on others’ reactions to Belsomra, whether you, too, would experience those same effects. The only way to know whether a hypnotic will work for you–and whether you’ll experience any adverse effects–is to try it yourself.

      But I’m wondering about your experience with Lunesta and the generic versions now on the market. While there’s very little oversight of dietary supplements sold over the counter, the quality control of drugs manufactured and sold in the US is fairly strict. While we hear that some drugs produced in countries outside the US contain merely filler, barring a situation like this (which would be unusual), you can be certain that the active ingredient (eszopiclone [or S-zopiclone], the ingredient responsible for putting people to sleep) in all the generic versions is the same as the active ingredient in Lunesta. The generics might contain different additives (binding substances, and so forth), but, at least in theory, none of them should add or detract from the medication’s ability to put people to sleep.

      What I’m getting at is this: is it possible that the benefit you were getting from Lunesta was mostly psychological? Maybe at a time when you did need help sleeping, Lunesta worked. Continuing to take it was so reassuring that you stopped worrying about your sleep, so naturally sleep came easily.

      But it was worrisome when your insurance would no longer cover Lunesta and you had to try the generics. Maybe more than anything else, it was worry or anxiety–rather than the generics themselves–that was behind the wakefulness you experienced as you tried the new pills out.

      I’m only suggesting this as a possibility, of course, and only because it might give you more options as you look for ways to get a better night’s sleep.

      Good luck whichever way you go.

      Like

      1. I am trying Belsomra tonight and will let you know…

        But I do have a comment on generics. My father was a physician and approved of certain generics, but not others.

        I have used both name brands and generics for various things, depending on a number of factors. Loperamide, for example, is fine in a generic for Crohn’s runs, but not for the gut trouble caused by Mexico’s pollution – for some reason, only the brand Imodium works. Benadryl works for allergies and in the past I used it sometimes for insomnia; the generics cause muscle twitches (especially in the neck and shoulders).

        Incidentally, as I type I am noticing that the only real side-effect is a desire to smoke (I quit last month) and dry mouth. But I will touch base in a day or two and let you know if Bel works better or differently than the long list of things I have taken over the years for insomnia.

        Good luck and good sleep to all!

        Like

      2. Hi Rachel,

        Thanks for your comments on generic vs. brand-name drugs. Interestingly, a few days after I wrote the comment you’re referring to, the New York Times came out with an article saying that the effects of a generic drug for ADHD, said to be equivalent to a brand-name drug, were in fact not the same because the generic was not as long lasting as the brand-name drug. Duration of action is important sometimes–especially in a sleeping pill.

        So my comment was not quite accurate. Apparently it’s more common than I thought that generics containing the same active ingredient(s) differ from brand-name drugs in ways that matter to consumers. Information on how widespread this problem is–and why it occurs as often as it does–is hard to find.

        Let us know how you fare with Belsomra. I hope it works for you!

        Like

      3. Many people outside the business think generics and brand names are equivalent but that is not so. For example, a generic can have 20% more or 20% less of the active ingredient so you can switch pharmacies and suddenly be getting a 40% difference if they use a different company’s brand. If you notice, most transplant patients take brand names b/c they need to be in such a tightly controlled situation.
        Also, generics are not required to prove bioequivalence meaning they can dump all the drug at once in your system or the drug can go straight through your system. Basically, it’s a crap shot. (no pun intended)
        But, the American public wanted cheap and in most cases, cheap is fine. But stay at the same pharmacy, or if it’s not working as a generic, try another pharmacy (but not one within the same chain-they all get their drugs from a central warehouse).
        Hope that helps.

        Like

  30. To Gary, you may be feeling rebound anxiety from using lorazopam. That happened to me, and I won’t ever take it again. My pharmacy had to order Belsomra for me. I have been taking 5 mg. of ambien for years. I have a sleep onset disorder, per sleep specialist M.D. from analyzing sleep study. He said he would rather see me take ambien for the rest of my life than any over-the-counter meds because they work on a different part of the brain, and long term use is not recommended. Ambien works well for me, even 2.5 mg. works sometimes. I am happy to try Belsomra because it works on different brain center, and appears to be more safe than ambien. I will try it tonight and update everyone. I do not have trouble staying asleep, just getting there.

    Like

  31. I’m starting Belsomra tomorrow night. My pharmacy had to order it. I have had trouble sleeping since I was a kid. Trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. I’ve been on ambien in the past which I loved for the effect it had falling asleep and staying asleep. I woke up refreshed and ready for the day most of the time. When I had a significant cucussion this past year I slept all the time, but now that I’m feeling better I am sleeping worse. My pychiatrist who is treating me for headaches and trouble with my cucussion just put me on this med. I’ll let you know how it works for me. I will be taking 20 milligrams. I’m kind of excited because I heard this is safer. I was wondering if anyone knows if it interferes with dreams as ambien did for me. .

    Like

  32. I have been taking this for a little over a week now. Ambien was having no effect on me with 10mg pills unless I mixed it with other medications (benadryl, lorazepam, another ambien) My Dr switched me to this new medication 20mg to no a avail. I am still having trouble getting to sleep

    Like

  33. how long will it take to build tolerance to Belsomra?

    i been taking ambien for over three years now and is basically no longer effective for me. so i was wondering since Belsomra functions differently will the tolerance level be any different?

    Like

    1. Hello Norb,

      The likelihood of a person developing tolerance to Belsomra is something that can’t be determined based on testing done so far. If you read my other blog about Belsomra

      https://thesavvyinsomniac.com/belsomra-weighing-benefits-and-risks/

      you’ll see that in a year-long safety study, when participants stopped taking the drug (at the end of the year), they experienced no more rebound insomnia or withdrawal symptoms than participants who were taking a placebo. Rebound insomnia and withdrawal symptoms are generally considered to be indications that a person may have built up tolerance to a drug or that the drug might cause dependency. So the fact that participants in the Belsomra safety study did not experience more rebound insomnia or withdrawal symptoms than control subjects is somewhat reassuring.

      But keep in mind that this study was conducted for only 1 year. Also, I suspect (although I may be wrong) that the potential for developing tolerance to a sleeping pill may to some extent vary from one person to the next. So I can’t offer a clear answer to your question.

      Much about a drug remains unknown until people have used it for several years. The only way to find out if it will work for you or if you’ll develop tolerance to it is to try it.

      Good luck!

      Like

  34. I have been taking this new sleeping meds now for the past three nights and I love it!!! It’ s so much better then Ambeien and I feel that is safer… I’m on 20 mg.. love it…

    Like

  35. Chronic insomnia for as long as I can remember…been on 15 mg of ambian for last 10 years ( take a 10 mg and 5 mg)…tried to break away from it with belsomra but after being sleepless last 5 nights I’m tapping out…

    Like

  36. Most people, internists included, have NO idea what chronic, severe sleep deprivation is. I have had insomnia for OVER 40 years. Sleep clinics only help you if you have apnea, narcolepsy, restless legs, etc. When you are a true insomniac, they send you home with another sleeping pill. There is no research because we aren’t United (as with AIDS, breast cancer).
    I have filled out more sleep logs. I have been tested in a lab for three nights. I have read all the self-help books.
    I am now on Temazepam and have been on it for about 6 years. 30 mg a night and I barely sleep. When I was working, I went in to work on zero sleep many times. As others mentioned, no one believes you. It has been a total nightmare and no one has the answer for our group.

    My internist is “afraid” to change my medications. They get just a few hours of training on sleep in medical school.

    If you want to read an eye opener, read INSOMNIA by Gayle Greene.
    When I read it, I cried. She is the first person, ever, to know what I have been going through. It is NOT self help. it is NOT for transient insomnia. It is written for chronic, severe insomnia. Get a copy. You will learn a lot about the sleep industry.

    Good luck.

    Like

  37. I’ve suffered with chronic insomnia for over 10 years and have been using Zolpidem (Ambien) for almost 7 years. I try to take 5mg/night, but if it’s critical I get to bed on time or 5mg doesn’t feel like it will work, I’ll take another 5mg. Sometimes that doesn’t even work and I will be up all night. Here’s a little trick I discovered though…..it may be scientific, it may not…. But I have found that if I have about 1oz dark chocolate ( not any sweet) it somehow kick starts my sleeping pill. I’ve tried dozens of other experiments; taking the pill after the chocolate, with it, other sweets, calming teas, etc, but the 20 min spacing seems to be the magic timing. If I don’t use the chocolate trick, my pill either takes nearly an hour to “kick in” or it often doesn’t work at all. I would love to hear if others have tricks, or if you give this a try, I’d love to hear if it works for you.

    Like

  38. I see that I am not alone in having an opposite reaction to this new sleep aid. I am a pain patient due to having RSD/CRPS. The insomnia came with the onset of my disease and severe pain. I have tried multiple sleep meds, and none have worked well. Trazodone has been the best so far, which isn’t saying much. Lunesta used to work, but I would shop online while on it, having little recall the following day. Not a great side effect! Ativan may put me to sleep, but it never kept me there, and I began to have memory issues while on it. (Look up the connection between that class of drug and Alzheimer’s.)
    Belsomra was given to me by a sleep dr. I was hopeful, but I consistently wake 1-2 hours after falling asleep, and sometimes stay up for the rest of the night (like I did last night…). I feel anxious, and have a headache at times. It is worse in higher doses (20mg) but even 2.5 causes this issue. Why continue it? Because it actually helps my RSD/CRPS pain to lessen! I will need to speak with the dr to see what role, if any, this drug has in my healthcare protocol. I am glad to have less pain, but after a few days on this med I could barely stay awake while driving. I hope some researcher will read this and explore the connection between severe unremitting centralized pain (RSD/CRPS) and the pathways that Belsomra acts upon. It is also worth investigating why some of us cannot take this without increased alertness. Thank you for this website and comment section! God bless all of you who strive for sleep..

    Like

  39. Last night was the first night I took Belsomra (10mg). I took it 3 ½ hours after eating; however, I could not fall asleep. (I took the meds at 10:30) My entire night was restless. I even tried listening to calming music around midnight and rubbed some lavender on my chest and pillow. I finally got out of bed around 10:30 this morning and had one of the most unproductive days of my life. It’s currently 3:49 pm and I’m in bed although I don’t want to sleep because it will just screw up my sleep pattern even more. I am going to try Belsomra for at least 3 more nights but if these symptoms continue I will have to stop. [[I hope what I wrote makes sense.]] I feel like a zombie might feel. I’m easily irritated. I have cotton mouth. I also had to cancel my anniversary dinner with my husband because there is no way I could possibly make it through getting dressed up to go out.

    Like

  40. I am 51yrs old and have battled insomnia for as long as I can remember. Not only do I take Ambien, but I have to take Doxepin along with it. I truly want off of Doxepin due to the short and long term side effects, especially memory loss. Is it possible to take Ambien 10mg and Belsomra at low dose ?

    Like

    1. Hi Robert,

      I’m sorry that sleep has been such a problem for you all these many years. I wish I could answer your question, but I’m not a physician or a pharmacologist, so I can’t even venture a guess.

      The thing to do is ask your doctor.

      Like

  41. I have been an insomniac for as long as I can remember, so it is almost refreshing to read some of these posts. I am now 58 years old and my insomnia has gotten progressively worse through the years. There was a time where I would at least fall asleep, and wake a couple of hours later, but now as soon as I turn off the light, my sleepiness vanishes and is replaced with frustration and complete and total insomnia. I really do not sleep at all without the aid of Ambien and Lorazipam.
    I finally took my first Belsomra the night before last after anxiously waiting for it for years. Within about 45 minutes, I was so excited to feel incredibly sleepy, but soon after I shut the light off, that was replaced with my heart beating out of my chest and complete wakefulness. I am so sad. I wanted this to work so badly. Now I’m afraid to try it again, although I wonder if I should take half of the 20 mg pill I was prescribed, but really don’t want to feel that way. I have thought of trying anti depressants or anti anxiety drugs again, like Lexapro, although I didn’t have much luck with them in the past. Any of you have any luck with these drugs and your insomnia ?

    Like

  42. Well, I’m excited to try this new drug. I started off small and my insomnia only grew worse, to date I’ve taken, in no particular order:
    Ambien 10, 15,20
    Lunesta 1, 2, 3
    Zoloft 300, 200
    Benadryl 25-175
    Temazapam – I forget doses
    Ativan
    Remeron,
    Trazadone
    Serowuel
    Risperdal
    A low dose tricyc (forgot name)
    Neurontin
    Alrtyl
    Melatonin
    Topamax
    Unisom
    Xanax

    Like

  43. My dr prescribed Belsomra yesterday, I have had insomnia for a while now. I had the best nights sleep I’ve had in as long as I can remember! I am so excited! It took about an hour and a half to work but once I felt sleepy I went and laid down (I stay out of bed unless I’m relatively sure I’m going to sleep because I’ve read that’s a good thing to do that if you have trouble sleeping) I slept for a little over 9 hours. It was relaxing, deep, restful sleep…finally!! I was a little groggy when I first woke up but it didn’t last long. I feel like this might be the cure for my sleepless nights. I’ve only tried it once, but I’m very hopeful and plan to take it again tonight. I waited until 2 am to take it last night because I have also tried everything (ambien, lunesta, Xanax, trazadone, and every OTC product on the market) with no success, so I wasn’t expecting it to work. It’s 8:45 and I just took it because I’m hoping I can go to sleep like a normal person tonight and not be the only one in my house awake until 4 or 5 am, when I usually lay down because of sheer physical and mental exhaustion and only get an hour or two of sleep. I’ve had surgery for obstructive sleep apnea and have a sleep study scheduled again – going to the sleep dr tomorrow. My cardiologist prescribed Belsomra for 30 days and I plan to tell my sleep dr tomorrow about my great experience. Maybe this is all I need, I am more hopeful than I have ever been after just one night!

    Like

  44. I suffer from Chronic Pain and therefore do not sleep well. I have taken Ambien for years and most recently Lunesta. I have also tried various other sleep medinas. My doctor switched me two weeks ago to 10mg Belsomra which I took the first three nights at which I never fell asleep. Then the next night we upped it to 20mg Belsomra. At that point it still took me over three hours to finally fall asleep and it is not a sound sleep. I wake at every sound, I am groggy the next day and I have the most severe headaches I’ve ever experienced. This is the worst sleep medicine I’ve ever tried! I will be more than happy to go back on the Ambien or Lunesta.

    Like

    1. Hi Susan,

      Lower doses of Belsomra—10 and 20 mg—did not put people to sleep more quickly than placebo in clinical trials. (Higher doses—which were not approved by the FDA—did.) But the drug kept them sleeping longer.

      Belsomra was not tested on people with chronic pain, whose sleep problems are different from those of people whose only diagnosis is chronic insomnia. Now that you’ve tried the new drug out and found it wanting, clearly you’ll want to return to solutions that have worked for you in the past.

      Like

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