AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

Known as a plague of humanity since the dawn of time, insomnia is one of those afflictions that often brings with it no real physical harm, but still manages to take a massive toll on the human psyche – if you’ve suffered its effects, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

They don’t plague me regularly, but I tend to go through bouts of insomnia that seem to be brought on by irregular stresses, with each bout lasting up to a month until I’m able to get it under control. While I always have the end of it all to look forward to, the nights of that month are characterized by tossing, turning, and a lack of sleep that quickly turns into an ugly mood and general fatigue that seem impossible to shake.

Insomnia may not be life threatening, but it certainly threatens the quality of that life.

Luckily for those of us who suffer insomnia of any kind, there is a new drug on the horizon that fights the problem in a unique and promising way, opening a door into peaceful, restful sleep even for those who have never known its sweet touch. Say hello to suvorexant.

Suvorexant: Survey Says…

The Family Feud reference comes courtesy of too many late nights spent watching game show reruns while trying to get to sleep!

Currently still in experimental status with pharmaceutical firm Merck, suvorexant has been undergoing testing under the head of that company’s clinical neuroscience division, and the results have been promising.

One study – the only of those conducted to be published, so far – used a group of 60 patients suffering from insomnia, with one half given a placebo, and the other half given suvorexant, each for four weeks, before reversing those roles. The results were quite apparent, showing that average sleep efficiency was improved by a measure of between 5 and 13 percent when suvorexant was in a patient’s system, leading to 21 to 37 less minutes spent awake during the night.

In laymen’s terms, that means that patients taking suvorexant were able to get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer than their counterparts; while the numbers themselves may seem underwhelming, anyone who has suffered the effects of insomnia knows that, when it comes to sleepless nights and frequent looks at your bedside clock as you count down the hours until morning, every single minute counts.

Suvorexant and You

What makes suvorexant particularly exciting is the fact that it works quite differently than other medications aimed at helping you to get to sleep. In most currently available medications, the drug taken works by enhancing the brain functions that are known to cause sleepiness, simply making you so tired that your body is not able to hold out, even if it wants to. With suvorexant, the positive effects are achieved by inhibiting a hormone called orexin, a compound that triggers wakefulness in the brain. This difference in function seems to lead patients tested with suvorexant to not only more sleep, but more fitful sleep, with many of the test subjects reporting being better rested than when using currently available drugs.

Before you get your hopes up too high, it’s worth nothing that, assuming it is approved for use by the respective drug administration agencies of the world’s nations without hassle, Merck still reports that the earliest suvorexant could make it to market would be in the late summer of 2013, putting it out of reach for now.

On the bright side, perhaps simply knowing that a new form of help is on the way for your insomnia symptoms will help you to get a better night’s sleep tonight.

Here’s hoping!

Categories: Drugs and Vitamin
Tags: ,

Leave a Reply