In today’s fast-paced world, it’s not unusual to have trouble falling asleep. This is especially true if you happen to be active on social media, as becoming too attached to your phone can lead to bedtime procrastination.
When you’re having trouble falling asleep, it is beneficial to consult a medical professional. They can offer helpful tips on sleep hygiene and prescribe sleep medication, such as Belsomra, to finally get some rest. Belsomra can help you drift to sleep faster and remain asleep throughout the night. Still, it entails specific risks that you should be aware of.
Like many other drugs, Belsomra can interact with some foods and drinks. You should know what those are to avoid them and stay safe. This article explains the interaction between Belsomra and alcohol, as well as other common substances.
How Belsomra Works—A Brief Reminder
Belsomra is an insomnia medication, and suvorexant is its active substance. It belongs to the drug class called dual orexin receptor antagonists (DORAs). Medications from this class, which also include Quviviq and Dayvigo, help you sleep by blocking the actions of orexins, brain chemicals responsible for keeping you awake.
You should take Belsomra 30 minutes before bed, but only if you can afford at least seven hours of sleep. Belsomra may cause drowsiness and dizziness the next day, affecting your ability to perform tasks demanding focus. Other possible side effects can include headaches, abnormal dreams, coughing, and diarrhea.
Get familiar with the general info on Belsomra in the following table:
Should You Avoid Mixing Belsomra and Alcohol?
Belsomra and alcohol can interact, so you shouldn’t consume them at the same time. Both substances are central nervous system (CNS) depressants and slow down brain activity. If combined, they can enhance some side effects, causing:
- Excessive sleepiness and drowsiness
- Motor coordination issues and an increased risk of falling
- Unusual sleep behaviors
- Impaired ability to do tasks that require focus, like driving
This is especially true for patients older than 65 because they have a higher chance of developing side effects in the first place.
Doctors typically advise taking Belsomra only as needed. If you decide to have a drink, you should skip Belsomra that evening. If the doctor recommends taking Belsomra every night, avoid alcohol altogether. In any case, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider on this matter.
Although alcohol usually makes people sleepy, it can negatively affect the sleep cycle and quality of sleep, making insomnia more difficult to treat.
Source: Gregory Pappas
How Long After Belsomra Can You Drink Alcohol?
It’s unclear exactly how long you need to wait after taking Belsomra to drink alcohol safely. Ideally, that should be decided by the doctor, as they’re familiar with your case and can give specific pointers.
To be safe, we recommend putting off drinking alcohol until Belsomra is no longer present in your system. The half-life is the time the body needs to eliminate half the dose. Belsomra’s mean half-life is 12 hours, but this figure can change depending on factors such as age and medical conditions. Since it takes around four to five half-lives for the substance to leave the body, Belsomra should be out of the system within two to three days.
Can I Use Belsomra and Marijuana Together?
Marijuana or cannabis may also interact with Belsomra. Similarly to alcohol, cannabis can enhance the effects of Belsomra, including its side effects. When taken together, these substances can cause excessive sleepiness and dizziness, especially in older individuals. They may also impair judgment and motor coordination.
You should avoid combining these substances. If you must use cannabis for medicinal reasons, consult your healthcare provider about what to do.
Will CBD Oil Interact With Belsomra?
Although CBD is not intoxicating like THC-heavy marijuana, it may interact with Belsomra in a similar way. You shouldn’t take Belsomra and CBD products together, as they can intensify side effects such as drowsiness.
Does Belsomra Interact With Grapefruit?
It’s best to avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice when taking Belsomra. Grapefruit can increase the levels of suvorexant in blood, increasing the risk of side effects.
Besides drowsiness, motor impairment, and complex sleep behaviors, the side effects may include:
- Breathing difficulties
People with respiratory problems, such as asthma and sleep apnea, should be particularly careful not to combine grapefruit and Belsomra.
It’s unknown whether any other food can interact with Belsomra. Still, if you take Belsomra during or right after a meal, the effects may be delayed for about an hour.
Source: David Mao
Does Caffeine Interfere With Belsomra’s Effects?
Caffeine is a stimulant and can reduce the effectiveness of Belsomra. When taking Belsomra, it’s advisable to avoid consuming food and drinks that contain caffeine late in the day, such as:
- Tea, especially black and green tea
- Energy drinks
- Soft drinks (such as classic Coca-Cola and Mountain Dew)
- Sports drinks
Other Belsomra Interactions To Consider
Belsomra may interact with specific medications and supplements:
This list is not comprehensive. If you’re interested in trying Belsomra, you should inform your doctor of all medications, supplements, vitamins, and herbs you take or plan on taking.
Is It Safe To Take Someone Else’s Belsomra?
Belsomra is a prescription medication. To get Belsomra, you must visit a medical professional who’ll decide whether you fulfill the necessary criteria for the treatment. The doctor will consider various factors, such as your medical history, current health status, and lifestyle, to conclude if Belsomra is right for you. They’ll also monitor your progress, adjust your dosage if needed, and help you manage any side effects.
Belsomra is a Schedule IV controlled substance. If used incorrectly, it may lead to dependence and abuse. The clinical trials didn’t show any reports of dependence or withdrawal symptoms in participants after prolonged use and discontinuation of Belsomra. Still, it is possible to develop psychological dependence, feeling like falling asleep is impossible without the drug.
Source: Claudia Mañas
If you’re having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep during the night, visit your primary care doctor or a sleep medicine specialist. Make sure they know about any health issues you’ve had and substances you use so they can determine if you’re a suitable candidate for Belsomra. Certain conditions can lead to adverse effects if the patient takes Belsomra, specifically:
- Breathing problems
- Liver problems
- Mental health conditions such as depression and substance abuse
Sleep medications like Belsomra are most effective in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). Drugs may help you go to sleep quicker, but CBT-I allows you to make meaningful changes to your sleep routine and adopt healthy sleeping habits.
To get an all-encompassing and personalized sleep treatment plan, you should see a sleep expert. That may not be easy, considering only 1% of doctors are trained in sleep medicine, but you can turn to telemedicine solutions such as Kick. With Kick, you can get effective, customized sleep treatment online without long waiting times and complicated procedures.
Kick—Instant Relief for Occasional Sleeplessness
Don’t let sleep troubles prevent you from being the best version of yourself. Sign up for Kick’s sleep program, designed by a Stanford sleep doctor, and start your mornings energized.
Kick is an online performance medicine clinic that allows you to connect with a sleep medicine specialist within a day. After the short 15-minute sleep visit, the sleep doctor will:
- Assess your current condition and health history
- Create a sleep treatment plan tailored to you
- Prescribe several trial medications
- Fine-tune your treatment based on your feedback to ensure continuous improvement
- Provide CBT-I coaching to help you maintain healthy sleep
- Check in on your progress regularly
Initially, our doctor will prescribe two medications, which you can choose to have delivered to your home or the local pharmacy. Kick offers the broadest selection of sleep medications in the industry, including:
All medications are fast-acting, allowing you to see results quickly. With the doctor’s supervision and ongoing rotation, you will find the best solution for your sleep problems in no time.
Source: Toa Heftiba
Celebrate Your Mornings With Kick
You can try Kick risk-free as per our “Doctor Guarantee”. If our doctor determines Kick’s sleep program is not the right choice for you, they’ll direct you to your primary care physician. More importantly, you won’t be charged for the consultation.
To get started with Kick, you should follow these four steps:
- Navigate to the sign-up page to begin your sleep visit
- Enter the required information to help us get to know you, your condition, and your medical history
- Provide your shipping address and payment information
Kick has helped change many lives for the better, as evidenced in the outstanding Trustpilot reviews. If you want yours changed, too, sign up for Kick’s expert-designed sleep program.
Featured image source: Terricks Noah