Quviviq (daridorexant) is a brand-name oral tablet prescribed for insomnia in adults. As with other drugs, Quviviq can cause side effects. These include headache and fatigue.
Quviviq can cause certain side effects, some of which are more common than others. These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
These are just a few of the more common side effects reported by people who took Quviviq in clinical trials:
Mild side effects can occur with Quviviq. This list doesn’t include all possible mild side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Quviviq’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects that have been reported with Quviviq include:
- sleepiness the day after taking Quviviq
- decreased mental alertness
- mild allergic reaction*
These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks side effects of the medication. If you develop a side effect while taking Quviviq and want to tell the FDA about it, visit MedWatch.
* An allergic reaction is possible after taking Quviviq. However, this side effect wasn’t reported in clinical trials. To learn more, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.
Quviviq may cause serious side effects. The list below may not include all possible serious side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Quviviq’s prescribing information.
If you develop serious side effects while taking Quviviq, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects that have been reported and their symptoms include:
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior. Symptoms can include:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness. Symptoms can include:
- impairment when driving or operating heavy machinery
- inability to think clearly
- difficulty concentrating or focusing on important tasks
- Complex sleep behaviors. This can include doing the following while not fully awake:
- cooking and eating food
- making phone calls
- having sex
- Sleep paralysis.*
- Severe allergic reaction.†
* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect specifics” below.
† An allergic reaction is possible after taking Quviviq. However, this side effect wasn’t reported in clinical trials. To learn more, see the “Side effect specifics” section below.
Quviviq may cause several side effects. Here are some frequently asked questions about the drug’s side effects and their answers.
Are side effects of Quviviq similar to those seen with Ambien?
Yes, some of the side effects of Quviviq are similar to those seen with Ambien (zolpidem). These include:
- excessive daytime sleepiness, including the day after taking the medication
- complex sleep behaviors
Other side effects have been reported with Ambien that have not been reported with Quviviq. These include:
- aggression and agitation
- withdrawal symptoms when suddenly stopping Ambien or taking it at a lower dosage
- severe allergic reaction*
If you have questions about which medication is best for you, talk with your doctor. For more information about Ambien’s side effects, see this article.
* An allergic reaction is also possible after taking Quviviq. However, it wasn’t reported in clinical trials of the drug.
Is Quviviq safe for older adults?
It may be. In Quviviq’s clinical trials, adults ages 65 years and older reported an increased risk of fatigue and decreased alertness. Older adults may have a higher risk of falling because of these side effects.
If you’re age 65 years or older and have concerns about these side effects, talk with your doctor. They can discuss your risk of experiencing specific side effects. If necessary, they can also suggest a different treatment option for your insomnia.
Learn more about some of the side effects that Quviviq may cause. To find out how often side effects occurred in clinical trials, see the prescribing information for Quviviq.
Symptoms can include:
- seeing shapes, colors, or images that are vivid but not real
- hearing sounds that aren’t real, such as a phone ringing or people talking
- feeling as if you’re floating or as if there’s another person in the room with you
What you can do
If you experience vivid or frightening hallucinations when falling asleep or waking up, talk with your doctor. If these hallucinations are frequent or bothersome, your doctor may recommend a different treatment option for your insomnia.
Sleep paralysis has been reported in clinical trials of Quviviq. However, this side effect was rare. Sleep paralysis typically occurs when you’re falling asleep or waking up. You may be aware of your surroundings but unable to move or talk.
What you can do
If you experience frequent or bothersome sleep paralysis while taking Quviviq, let your doctor know. There are no known treatments for sleep paralysis. However, your doctor may suggest changes to your sleep hygiene or a different treatment option for you instead of Quviviq.
Symptoms can be mild or serious and can include:
- skin rash
- swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
- swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe
What you can do
For mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. They may recommend ways to ease your symptoms and determine whether you should keep taking Quviviq. However, if your symptoms are serious and you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
If you know someone at immediate risk of self-harm, suicide, or hurting another person:
- Ask the tough question: “Are you considering suicide?”
- Listen to the person without judgment.
- Call 911 or the local emergency number, or text TALK to 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.
- Stay with the person until professional help arrives.
- Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988.
Be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Quviviq. This drug may not be the right treatment for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. These are considered drug-condition or drug-factor interactions. The conditions and factors to consider include:
Liver problems. If you have a liver problem, tell your doctor before they prescribe Quviviq. This drug is broken down by the liver. If you have a liver problem, your body may not break Quviviq down as well as expected. In turn, this may increase your risk of side effects from the drug. Your doctor may recommend a lower dosage of Quviviq or a different treatment option for your insomnia.
Breathing or lung conditions. If you have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or another breathing problem, taking Quviviq may make your condition worse. Clinical trials of Quviviq did not include people with breathing problems, such as OSA or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). For this reason, it’s unknown how Quviviq may affect these conditions. If you have breathing problems, ask your doctor whether Quviviq is safe for you to take.
Mental health conditions, such as depression. If you’ve ever had depression or another mental health condition, tell your doctor before they prescribe this drug. Quviviq may cause new or worsening suicidal thoughts and behavior. Your doctor may monitor your symptoms more closely if they prescribe Quviviq. Or they may suggest a different treatment option for your insomnia.
Cataplexy. Quviviq is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. People taking other CNS depressants with Quviviq have reported symptoms of cataplexy. These include sudden weakness and loss of muscle control. If you already have cataplexy, taking Quviviq may worsen it. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment for your insomnia.
Narcolepsy. If you have narcolepsy, doctors typically won’t prescribe Quviviq for your condition. That’s because Quviviq is a CNS depressant, which can worsen narcolepsy. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment for your insomnia.
Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Quviviq or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Quviviq. Ask your doctor about other options for your insomnia.
Pregnancy or breastfeeding. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor before taking Quviviq. This drug may not be safe for you to take. If you and your doctor agree that Quviviq is safe, they may recommend that you sign up for the drug’s pregnancy registry. This registry monitors outcomes for people who take the drug during pregnancy. You or your doctor can access it by calling 833-400-9611.
Alcohol consumption. If you drink alcohol, Quviviq may not be safe for you to take. Alcohol and Quviviq are both CNS depressants. As such, drinking alcohol with Quviviq can worsen certain side effects, such as sleepiness and dizziness. If you have questions about alcohol consumption during treatment with Quviviq, talk with your doctor.
As with other medications, Quviviq can cause side effects. Most are mild and will go away after a few days or weeks. However, some may be serious. If you’d like to learn more about Quviviq, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about side effects from taking the drug.
Besides talking with your doctor, you can do some research on your own. These articles might help:
- More information about Quviviq. For details about other aspects of Quviviq, refer to this article.
- Cost. If you’d like to learn about Quviviq and cost, see this article.
- Dosage. For information about the dosage of Quviviq, view this article.
- A look at 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.