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Merck & Company Incorporated
FDA approves Belsomra, a new prescription sleep drug
FDA approves Belsomra, a new prescription sleep drug

The Food & Drug Administration on Wednesday approved U.S. marketing of the first in a new class of sleep drugs that targets the brain's wakefulness centers to speed the onset of sleep and reduce nighttime awakening. The new medication, which goes by the generic name suvorexant, is to be marketed by its manufacturer, Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Corp., as Belsomra. In approving Belsomra in four different strengths, the FDA bowed to concerns raised by an independent panel of advisors that, at high doses, the new drug can cause drowsiness and impaired driving that persists into the next day. Patients should take no more than the maximum dose approved, 20 milligrams, of Belsomra, with a...

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