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Reported November 29, 2012

Not Catching Enough Z’s? A New Drug May Help


(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Getting enough sleep is crucial to a person’s health, but what if you can’t seem to ever get enough shut-eye? Insomnia is a problem for many people, but a recent study may change the way insomnia is treated and offer new relief for those suffering from the sleeping disorder. 
The study focused on the effectiveness of the new drug suvorexant for treating people with insomnia. 254 people between the ages of 18 and 64 who had insomnia that was not due to another medical condition were given either a placebo or suvorexant for four weeks. After the first four weeks, researchers switched what the participants were taking for an additional four weeks. 
Suvorexant is different from most other insomnia medications in that it blocks the chemical messengers in the brain called orexins, which regulate wakefulness, whereas other treatments target different brain receptors. 
The results demonstrated that suvorexant actually does help people with insomnia get more sleep. The total amount of time participants slept during a fixed eight hour time in bed improved by five to 13% for those taking suvorexant, and they also had 21 to 37 fewer minutes awake after they initially had fallen asleep. 
More good news regarding the drug is that… 
“Suvorexant was generally well-tolerated, and there were no serious side effects,” study author W. Joseph Herring, M.D., Ph.D., of North Wales, Penn., Executive Director of Clinical Research with Merck and the maker of suvorexant was quoted as saying. 
Even more studies are being done to prove the effectiveness and safety of the new drug, including one which deals specifically with the elderly. 
So if insomnia is keeping you from a good night’s sleep, then help may be on the way in the form of suvorexant.  
Source: Neurology, November, 2012

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