Belsomra (suvorexant) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it to treat insomnia in adults.
Belsomra belongs to a drug class called dual orexin receptor antagonists.
Belsomra comes as an oral tablet. It’s not available in a generic version.
For information about the dosage of Belsomra, including its strengths and how to take the drug, keep reading. For a comprehensive look at Belsomra, see this article.
This article describes typical dosages for Belsomra provided by the drug’s manufacturer. However, your doctor will prescribe the Belsomra dosage that’s right for you.
The information below describes Belsomra dosages for insomnia in adults.
Belsomra comes as an oral tablet.
Belsomra strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20mg
Belsomra comes in the following strengths:
- 5 milligrams (mg)
- 10 mg
- 15 mg
- 20 mg
Typically, your doctor will prescribe a low dosage at the start of treatment. Then they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed or recommended. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for insomnia
The typical dosage of Belsomra is 10 mg per night as needed for insomnia. You should take the medication within 30 minutes of going to bed. (For other details, see the “How to take” section below.)
If this dosage isn’t effective for your condition, your doctor may increase it. The dose range of Belsomra is 5 mg to 20 mg. The maximum dosage is 20 mg per night.
Note: Depending on your situation, your doctor may not increase your dosage. Instead, they may consider whether another condition is causing your insomnia.
If you have questions about your Belsomra dosage, talk with your doctor.
Belsomra is typically meant to be taken as a long-term treatment. Specifically, it’s taken as needed, though not more than once per night. If you and your doctor determine that the drug is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
If you have questions about your Belsomra dosage, talk with your doctor.
Here are some frequently asked questions about Belsomra and their answers.
Is there a 30-mg or 40-mg dose of Belsomra?
No, there’s not a 30-milligram (mg) or 40-mg dose of Belsomra. This is because those doses were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The dosage range is 5 mg to 20 mg per night. Typically, doctors prescribe 10 mg per night at the start of treatment. The maximum dosage is 20 mg per night.
If you have questions about recommended Belsomra dosages, talk with your doctor. They’ll determine the dosage that’s right for you.
Are dosage adjustments required for older adults who take Belsomra?
Yes, a dosage adjustment by a healthcare professional may be necessary for older adults taking Belsomra for insomnia. If you’re age 65 years or older, you may have an increased risk of side effects from the drug.* These include drowsiness and falling.
Due to this risk, your doctor may prescribe a lower dosage to start treatment. They may also monitor you more closely for side effects while you’re taking Belsomra.
If you’d like more information about Belsomra dosage adjustments, talk with your doctor. You can also see the “Factors that can affect your dosage” section just below.
* To learn about possible side effects with Belsomra, you can refer to this article.
The Belsomra dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- the severity of the condition you’re taking Belsomra to treat
- your age
- your sex assigned at birth
- your body weight
Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Belsomra dosage. You can learn more about these conditions in this article.
Your doctor may lower your dosage of Belsomra if you’re female* and have obesity or if you’re age 65 years or older. These factors may increase the intensity of drowsiness from Belsomra.
If you have questions about Belsomra dosage adjustments, talk with your doctor.
* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “female” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.
Belsomra comes as an oral tablet that you’ll swallow.
You’ll take Belsomra at night within 30 minutes of going to bed. Be sure to take it at least 7 hours before you plan to wake up.
You can take Belsomra with or without food. However, it may take longer for the drug to start working if you take it soon after eating. For Belsomra to work as intended, try to avoid eating 30 minutes before taking the medication.
If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS
Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting Belsomra in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.
You should take a missed dose of Belsomra only if you have at least 7 hours before you plan to wake up. This is because of how Belsomra works. (For details on how the drug works, view this article.)
If you take the drug with fewer than 7 hours to sleep, you may have an increased risk of certain side effects. These include sleepiness and reduced alertness the next day. For more information about side effects of the drug, see this article.
Belsomra helps slow down the activity of your brain and nervous system to help you sleep. These effects may lead to Belsomra misuse in some people. For example, the risk is higher in people who have experienced misuse of drugs in the past.
If you have ever had drug misuse, tell your doctor before taking Belsomra. You should also talk with your doctor if you have concerns about misusing the medication. Your doctor can help determine whether Belsomra is right for you. They can also recommend other treatments that may be a better choice for you.
* A controlled substance is a drug the government regulates due to the risk of dependence or misuse. (With dependence, your body needs the drug to function as it typically does.)
If you take more Belsomra than your doctor prescribes, you may develop serious side effects. (To learn about side effects with Belsomra, view this article.)
It’s important that you do not take more Belsomra than your doctor advises.
Symptoms of an overdose
The most common overdose symptom of Belsomra is drowsiness.
If you take more than the recommended amount of Belsomra
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Belsomra. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Belsomra for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Belsomra without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Belsomra that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Belsomra. These additional articles might be helpful:
- More about Belsomra. For information about other aspects of Belsomra, refer to this article.
- Side effects. To learn about side effects with Belsomra, see this article. You can also look at the drug’s prescribing information.
- Details about insomnia. For details about insomnia, see our science of sleep hub.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.