What you need to know about the latest sleeping pill
A controversial sleeping pill that suppresses orexin, a key chemical promoting wakefulness, is now available on the private market in Australia.
Suvorexant (Belsomra) is the first in a new class of drugs known as orexin-receptor antagonists and is indicated for treatment of insomnia that is characterised by difficulties with sleep onset and/or maintenance.
The TGA failed to approve suvorexant in 2015, citing efficacy and safety concerns, including suicidality, abnormal sleep behaviours and next-day drowsiness affecting the ability to drive.
In clinical studies, the drug has been