insomnia

Insomnia, a common yet debilitating condition characterized by persistent difficulties in initiating or maintaining sleep, has far-reaching consequences on an individual’s daily functioning and overall quality of life. Those afflicted often report significant impairments in concentration, productivity, and general well-being.


While various pharmacological treatments have been explored for the short-term relief of insomnia symptoms, existing treatment options frequently come with significant drawbacks. The potential for dependence, coupled with adverse effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, and cognitive impairment, has highlighted the need for safer and more effective therapeutic alternatives.

If you’re among the countless people struggling with insomnia, you know the exhausting toll it can take on your energy, productivity, and overall well-being. But what if we told you there’s a revolutionary new treatment that could finally help you get the restorative sleep you so desperately need? Meet daridorexant – the innovative insomnia medication taking the medical world by storm.


How is Daridorexant (Quviviq®) different from other insomnia pills?

Unlike traditional sleep aids that can leave you feeling groggy, daridorexant is designed to work with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Compared to traditional insomnia medications, such as sedating antihistamines, benzodiazepines (Temazepam, Diazepam, Lorazepam), and Z-drugs (e.g., zolpidem, zopiclone), daridorexant offers several potential advantages:

  • Targeted mechanism of action: By selectively targeting the orexin system, daridorexant addresses a specific pathway involved in sleep regulation, potentially leading to improved efficacy and fewer side effects.
  • Low risk of dependence:
    Clinical studies suggest that daridorexant does not lead to physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation, a significant improvement over many existing insomnia medications.
  • Improved daytime functioning:
    By promoting better sleep quality, daridorexant may enhance daytime alertness, focus, and overall productivity.

Who Can Benefit from Daridorexant?

While Daridorexant holds promise for a broad spectrum of insomnia sufferers, it is particularly well-suited for adults meeting specific criteria:

  • Experience insomnia symptoms three or more nights per week for at least three months.
  • Endure significant impairment in daytime functioning due to insomnia.
  • Have attempted Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia (CBTi) without success.

Is daridorexant safe?

While daridorexant is generally well-tolerated, it is essential to be aware of potential risks and precautions:

  • Elderly population:
    Individuals over the age of 65 should exercise caution when taking daridorexant due to an increased risk of falls in this age group.
  • Impaired driving and operating machinery:
    Daridorexant may cause drowsiness, particularly during the initial treatment phase. It is recommended to allow approximately 9 hours between taking the medication and engaging in activities that require alertness, such as driving or operating heavy machinery.
  • Interactions with other medications:
    Daridorexant should not be taken with other sedatives, sleep medications, or alcohol, as these combinations may potentiate the sedative effects.
  • Pre-existing conditions:
    Individuals with depression, psychiatric disorders, substance abuse history, liver problems, or breathing difficulties should consult with their healthcare provider before initiating treatment with daridorexant.

What are potential daridorexant side effects you should know?

As with any medication, it’s crucial to discuss your full medical history and current medications with your doctor.

In clinical trials, daridorexant was generally well-tolerated, with common side effects like headaches, dizziness, and nausea affecting up to 1 in 10 people.

Rarer side effects included sleep paralysis and vivid dreams/hallucinations, primarily during the first few weeks.


How do you take Daridorexant and for how long?

Daridorexant is typically taken once daily, within 30 minutes of bedtime. The recommended starting dose is 50 mg, but a lower dose of 25 mg may be prescribed for individuals with liver problems or those taking certain medications. It can be taken with or without food, although it may take longer to take effect when consumed with a large, fatty meal.

As with most insomnia medications, daridorexant should be used for the shortest duration possible. Your healthcare provider should regularly assess the effectiveness and potential side effects of the medication, typically within three months of starting treatment and at regular intervals thereafter. Currently, data on long-term continuous use is available for up to 12 months.


Can You Become Addicted to Daridorexant?

Clinical studies found no evidence of physical dependence or withdrawal effects when stopping daridorexant. This sets it apart from older insomnia drugs. However, those with a history of substance abuse may be at higher risk of misusing daridorexant, so discuss your history thoroughly with your doctor.


How do you stop taking Daridorexant?

You can stop taking daridorexant abruptly without needing to taper the dose gradually. There are no expected harmful effects from discontinuing this medication.


If you’d like to schedule an appointment to discuss if daridorexant (Quviviq®) could be an appropriate treatment option for your insomnia, please contact The Brook Surgery. You can either email us at reception@thebrooksurgery.com or call our surgery at 020 7435 0211. Our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.