When you’ve had a good night’s sleep, you feel ready to tackle the challenges of the new day. Unfortunately, getting enough sleep isn’t always easy—sometimes, you may spend the night tossing and turning even if you’re tired. In such situations, a sleep medication like Belsomra can help you recharge for the next day.
To achieve optimal results with this medication, you must use it as prescribed. This article will provide key information about Belsomra dosage, answering any questions you may have about the drug’s usage, effects, and potential reactions.
How Belsomra Works
Belsomra is a dual orexin receptor antagonist (DORA). DORAs—which also include Dayvigo and Quviviq—act on orexins, the brain chemicals in charge of keeping you awake. These medications prevent orexins from binding to their receptors, helping you fall and remain asleep throughout the night.
The following table summarizes general information about Belsomra:
Belsomra Dosage Information
Belsomra is available in tablet form in the following doses:
- 5 mg
- 10 mg
- 15 mg
- 20 mg
The typical Belsomra starting dose is 10 mg per day, whereas the maximum daily dose is 20 mg.
After assessing your medical history and current condition, your doctor will prescribe the lowest effective dose. The first few days will serve as a trial period to see how you react to Belsomra—if you’re tolerating the dose but not achieving the desired results, the doctor may increase it.
If you still feel sleep-deprived or your symptoms worsen within seven to ten days, another condition may be causing your sleeplessness. In that case, your doctor will likely propose additional evaluation.
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Belsomra Dosage Adjustment for Specific Populations
The clinical trials show that higher doses of Belsomra may slightly increase specific side effects, such as somnolence, which is a strong desire to fall asleep. Some groups have shown specific reactions to Belsomra, so they may require close monitoring during treatment or dosage adjustment. Check out the table below for details:
Clinical trials also indicate that suvorexant tends to leave the body faster in men than in women, but this doesn’t mean dosage adjustments are necessary for sleep-deprived women.
Patients over 65 generally experience the same side effects as non-elderly patients. However, they have an increased risk of falling and injury, so caution is advised during treatment.
Who Shouldn’t Take Belsomra?
Patients with the following conditions shouldn’t use Belsomra:
- Breathing problems
- Severe liver problems
- Depression and substance abuse
When Should You Take Belsomra?
You should take Belsomra 30 minutes before going to bed.
It’s important that you allocate at least seven hours of sleep and ensure full wakefulness before taking on complex tasks. Otherwise, Belsomra may make you feel drowsy the next day and affect your cognitive and motor function.
You should always use Belsomra according to the doctor’s instructions. Never adjust the dosage or discontinue treatment without consulting your doctor.
Source: Andrea Piacquadio
Can You Split Belsomra in Half?
Belsomra comes as a film-coated oral tablet. It’s not scored, which means it has no line across that’s meant to facilitate halving the tablet. This is a strong indication you shouldn’t split it, but if you have difficulty swallowing tablets, check with your doctor whether you can do so. You also shouldn’t crush or chew it.
What Should You Do if You Miss a Belsomra Dose?
You don’t have to take Belsomra strictly 30 minutes before going to bed, but you should allow yourself at least seven hours of sleep afterwards no matter when you take it. If you can’t, you should skip taking Belsomra that evening and take the next dose as usual.
If you often forget to take your medication, consider setting alarms and reminders to take your daily dose of Belsomra.
Can You Double Belsomra?
Never take more Belsomra than your doctor prescribed. If you’ve taken too much Belsomra, seek medical assistance from your doctor, America’s Poison Centers, or emergency services in case of severe symptoms.
How Often Can You Take Belsomra?
Your ideal Belsomra dose frequency will depend on the severity of your insomnia and several other factors. Based on your specific circumstances, your doctor may either suggest taking Belsomra only when needed or prescribe it for long-term use.
The clinical trials showed that Belsomra is safe for prolonged use—there was no evidence of increased adverse reactions or dependence in participants who took Belsomra for a year. You mustn’t take Belsomra more than once per day, though.
How Long Does Belsomra Take To Work?
Belsomra should start working in about 30 minutes after administration. If you take it with or right after a meal, the drug may need closer to an hour to kick in because food slows down absorption. You should start feeling the drug’s full effect around two hours after taking it.
Source: cottonbro studio
How Long Does Belsomra Stay in the System?
The time that it takes for the drug dose to leave your body is called its half-life. Belsomra’s half-life is 12 hours, but it may vary depending on factors such as your age, particular conditions, and other medications you take.
Generally, your body will take around four to five half-lives to eliminate the substance. In healthy subjects, Belsomra should leave the system within three days. However, as it doesn’t cause the “hangover effect” that other sleep medications often do, it wouldn’t affect you even if the half-life was prolonged for any reason.
Beyond Belsomra—Choosing the Right Sleep Solution
If you think Belsomra may be suitable for you, visit your primary care doctor, psychiatrist, or sleep medicine specialist. You should let them know about:
- Your current symptoms
- Ongoing or past medical conditions
- Medications or supplements you take
Based on this, they’ll evaluate your case and determine whether you should use Belsomra or consider an alternative, such as:
- Other DORAs (Dayvigo, Quviviq)
- Other insomnia medications (Ambien, Sonata)
- Benzodiazepines (lorazepam, Xanax)
- Antidepressants (trazodone, doxepin)
- Over-the-counter antihistamines (Benadryl, ZzzQuil)
- Natural remedies (melatonin, valerian)
While medications such as Belsomra may provide instant relief, relying solely on them isn’t a long-term solution. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) as the first line of treatment. Ideally, you should visit a sleep medicine specialist to get a personalized treatment plan consisting of both medication and therapy.
Recognizing how scarce sleep experts are and how difficult it is to connect with one, Kick offers a convenient and effective solution. You can get an online consultation and a personalized treatment plan from sleep specialists within a day.
Source: Miriam Alonso
Kick—Healthy Sleep, Healthy You
Designed by Stanford sleep doctor Alex Dimitriu, Kick’s comprehensive sleep program offers a convenient way to deal with sleeplessness.
All you need to do is complete a short questionnaire to inform our doctors about your current condition and medical history. Within 24 hours, our doctor will reach out with your custom treatment plan. They’ll prescribe two different sleep medications for trial so you can find your ideal solution more quickly. You can choose to have the medications delivered to your local pharmacy or your home.
Our fast-acting sleep medications allow you to get a good night’s rest quickly. You’ll be able to try the following medications:
- Gabapentin (nerve medication)
- Trazodone (antidepressant)
- Cyclobenzaprine (muscle relaxant)
- Hydroxyzine (antihistamine)
- Ramelteon (melatonin antagonist)
If you’re still not getting enough sleep after you start your program, let your sleep doctor know, and they’ll adjust the treatment until you get the desired effects. They’ll also check in regularly and provide CBT-I coaching to help you improve your sleep hygiene.
How To Get Kick’s Gentler Sleep Prescriptions
Here’s how Kick works:
- Navigate to the signup page and start the 15-minute sleep visit
- Fill out the brief questionnaire
- Provide the delivery address and payment details
After reviewing the information you provided, our doctor may decide that Kick isn’t the right solution for you. In that case, you won’t have to pay anything, as per our “Doctor Guarantee.”
Kick has successfully transformed the lives of many patients struggling with sleeplessness, as reflected in our Trustpilot reviews.
“I wish I would have known about this years ago, it’s been a game changer for me!”
No more bedtime procrastination—sign up for Kick and start waking up energized!
Featured image source: Ben Blennerhassett