New and Emerging Sleep Drugs

Last updated: October 12, 2019

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The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Read our full medical disclaimer.

There are a wide variety of sleeping disorders present in today’s world and insomnia is the most prevalent one. In fact, up to 50% of adults in the US have reported symptoms of insomnia every week. This could be a cause of overloading stress, caffeine intake, or a sign of a more crucial dilemma.

What’s worse is that nearly half of that 50% don’t get the sound and undisturbed good night’s sleep that they want to attain, even with the proper sleeping drugs they are prescribed with. As a matter of fact, in the last years, there hasn’t been any legitimate study that chronic insomnia has been successfully treated away out of people suffering from it.

Importance of Sleep Drugs

When you take a look in the market, you will see that there is a wide range of sleep medicine that your doctor can prescribe based on what your body needs. The problem with these drugs though is that you build up a tolerance after long-term use. This is why the extended use of these drugs is not recommended. You have a higher risk of developing tolerance and abuse the longer you take these medicines.

Because of this ongoing dilemma, people seek new and rising alternatives to better combat their sleeping disorders.

Advances in science and an increasing understanding of the research in this field has fortunately paved way for new/emerging sleep drugs in the market.

Compounds can now be developed to target specific molecular hormones that are associated with sleep-inducing actions. A large number of new drugs are being developed and are largely evaluated to be possible insomnia treatments. Some of these alternatives include off-label basis prescription drugs, a wide range of unregulated substances and over-the-counter sleep aids that enhance sleep and treat sleeping disorders in a more gentle and better approach.

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What are the rising sleep drugs in today’s time?

Scientists and pharmacists have found a better way to treat your sleeping problems without much risk of adverse effects. Clinical trials have successfully discovered new/emerging sleep drugs to take over the medicine world after years of studying.

New Sleep Drugs

Although these drugs still cater to short-term treatment, they are still better than the older medications in the sense that these drugs offer light to moderate chances of acquiring adverse side effects. These drugs also have no restrictions in place.

Also, keep in mind that sleep deprivation is not a sleeping disorder. Sleep deprivation only means you haven’t had enough sleep. These sleep medications are strictly for countering sleeping disorders. This isn’t the right medicine for you if you don’t have a medical diagnosis.

Suvorexant

Suvorexant is a sedative-hypnotic which is known to effectively counter primary to chronic insomnia.

Suvorexant one of the new and emerging sleeping pills in the market. This sleep medicine was approved by the US Food and Drug Association just recently in 2014.

This powerful yet gentle drug works by targeting our orexin system, which is responsible for distributing uncontrollable wakefulness. By decreasing orexins, this action, in return, will put a person to a rewarding, less anxious state. This will also give a person more chances of getting a sound and undisturbed good night’s rest.

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Suvorexant is also the first dual orexin receptor antagonist (DORA) that showed powerful effects of treating such sleeping disorders. It is a naturally selective substance, which makes it behave well in our body and gives us fewer chances of risk factors.

You can find Suvorexant in drug stores under the brand name Belsomra.

This drug requires a doctor’s prescription. Although it is more controlled than any other sedative, do not take a dose of Suvorexant unless your doctor permits you to do so.

Tasimelteon

Tasimelteon is another sleep-inducing drug that just recently entered the younger batch of sleeping pills. It is a sleep medicine that effectively treats non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder.

Just like Suvorexant, this drug was approved by the US Food and Drug Association in January 2014. Just five months after its approval in the US, the European Medicines Agency introduced Tasimelteon.

A year after, July 2015, the drug was finally approved as a legitimate sleep medicine that can treat non-24-hour sleep-wake rhythm disorder. The drug even proved to be very effective in patients suffering from total blindness.

Since then, it has shown the rewarding effects of countering several sleeping disorders.

Classified as a selective-agonist drug, Tasimelteon works just like melatonin. It imitates melatonin’s function and helps control a patient’s sleep-wake cycle. Tasimelteon helps release sleep-inducing hormones which will give you an easier time to sleep at night and will increase your energy during the day.

Tasimelteon is a prescription drug. This sleep medication is also not suitable for children under the age of 18. Consult your local physician before taking this drug.

Tasimelteon is commercially available under the name Hetlioz.

Eszopiclone

Eszopiclone is a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic, an oral drug used for its ability to provide treatment of insomnia. This works by triggering the release of GABA, which then targets GABA receptors.

This drug also belongs to the list of sleep medications that just recently emerged in the market. It was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Association in May 2014.

This drug has a slightly higher difference of substance content than any other medications listed above. In fact, the same month it was approved, the USFDA changed its starting dosage from 2 milligrams to 1 milligram. This is because of the observation that people in Eszopiclone prescription were unable to cope with their activities that require focus and alertness, even after 8 hours.

But on the brighter side, people still consider Eszopiclone to be well-tolerated and gives little to no chances of serious side effects.

Eszopiclone is another sleep medication that requires a doctor’s prescription. Never try to take a dose by self-medicating; it doesn’t help.

You can find Eszopiclone in the market under the brand name Lunesta.

Orexin receptor antagonists

If there is one component that could stand out of the long list of new/emerging sleep drugs, this is it. These are drugs that have been recently discovered to greatly counter sleeping disorders in a whole different perspective. This could widely change the course of how people see sleeping drugs as an entirety, for the better.

Sleep-inducing hormones that target orexins are called orexin receptor antagonists (ORA). This component is an effective instrument for countering sleeping problems.

Modes of Action of ORA

What makes drugs of this family stand out from any other sleep aids is how it targets our body.

Many of the sleeping pills in the market target the distribution of a neurotransmitter called GABA. Orexin receptor antagonists, on the other hand, act differently.

Our orexin system, located in the perifornical area and hypothalamus, is responsible for distributing orexins. This keeps us awake during the day. And too much activity in our orexin systems worsens our ability to sleep.

This is where orexin receptor antagonists come into play. These drugs work by dramatically blocking the signals of chemical orexins in our brain. Since orexins play a vital role in keeping us awake, a drug of this classification reverses that process.

This, in return, has high potential to promote chances of falling asleep really quick.

Orexin receptor antagonist drugs also act more naturally and selective within our orexin system. This means that these drugs reduce the risk of experiencing adverse effects.

These medications are not advised for children and adolescents under the age of 18. Only adults can take this medication due to its potency.

Drugs of this classification require a doctor’s prescription just like everything mentioned above. As a rule of thumb, have yourself checked by a doctor first.

Look for the right symptoms. Discuss it with your doctor if any of the symptoms are evident. Your doctor will prescribe you the right sleep medication suited to your condition. But until then, do not self-medicate.

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