July 27, 2021

FDA approves insomnia drug, Suvorexant, for Alzheimer’s

Recently, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new insomnia drug for Alzheimer’s patients to help smooth out sleep difficulties.

Whether it’s more sleep than normal or fragmented sleep, people living with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia may experience disruptions in their circadian rhythms.

The FDA approved Belsomra, an insomnia drug developed by Merck, for use among Alzheimer’s patients. Belsomra is also known by its generic name, suvorexant.

In a recent study published in Alzheimers & Dementia, researchers investigated suvorexant’s potential in treating insomnia among patients, who had mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The study focused on 285 participants and found that suvorexant improved their total sleep time (TST). Given the latest findings, the FDA approved an updated label on Belsomra to include treatment for Alzheimer’s-related insomnia, as per the company’s news release.

“Alzheimer’s disease is often accompanied by disruptions to an individual’s sleep-wake patterns and overall difficulty in sleeping. We’re pleased that the prescribing information for Belsomra now includes findings from Merck’s first dedicated study of an insomnia medication in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.”

– Dr. Joseph Herring, AVP – Global Clinical Research, Neuroscience, Merck Research Laboratories

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