New Insomnia Drug Is a Step Forward
A new drug can help insomniacs fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, research shows.
A yearlong study of suvorexant showed that insomniacs who used the drug were able to fall asleep 30 minutes faster and sleep one hour longer than insomniacs who took a placebo.
W. Joseph Herring MD, PhD, senior director of clinical research in neuroscience and ophthalmology at Merck Research Laboratories, said that the mean age of the participants was 61 and that 55 percent were women.
The drug acts by inhibiting the production of orexin, a naturally occurring substance that causes sleeplessness.
Negative effects were said to be virtually nonexistent.
Experts said the drug represented a step forward in sleep remedies because it targeted a specific area of the body that causes insomnia rather than the entire central nervous system.