If you have a lot on your mind, chances are you’ll stay up for hours no matter when you go to bed. Worrying alone is not good for your health, but not sleeping on top of that can further exacerbate the problem, forming a cycle of sleeplessness and anxiety.
While natural remedies can help, prescription sleep medications, such as Quviviq and Belsomra, can sometimes be a faster and more effective solution. When used the right way, these drugs can get you the rest you need to be your most productive self.
To learn about the similarities and differences of these medications, check out this Quviviq vs. Belsomra comparison.
Quviviq vs. Belsomra—The Basics
Quviviq and Belsomra are relatively new sleep medications belonging to a class of drugs called dual orexin receptor antagonists(DORAs), which also includes Dayvigo. DORAs block the actions of orexins, brain chemicals that keep you awake. By preventing orexins from binding to specific receptors, DORAs reduce wakefulness, helping you fall and remain asleep throughout the night. Quviviq’s active ingredient is daridorexant, whereas Belsomra’s is suvorexant.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Belsomra in 2014 and Quviviq in 2022. In the clinical studies preceding approval, patients who took Belsomra and Quviviq experienced statistically significant improvements compared to those who took the placebo.
Learn key facts about Quviviq and Belsomra in the following table:
Quviviq vs. Belsomra—Dosage and Administration
Quviviq is available in two doses—25 mg and 50 mg. The maximum recommended daily dose is 50 mg.
Belsomra has four dosages:
- 5 mg
- 10 mg
- 15 mg
- 20 mg
The typical Belsomra dose is 10 mg per day, with the maximum being 20 mg.
You should take Quviviq and Belsomra at least 30 minutes before going to bed. Make sure you can sleep for at least seven hours before having to get up, as they can cause drowsiness the next day and impact your ability to perform high-focus tasks. Quviviq and Belsomra should take effect within half an hour, but if you ingest them with food, the onset may be delayed up to an hour.
Source: cottonbro studio
Doctors typically prescribe Belsomra for short-term treatment, while Quviviq is intended for long-term use. In clinical studies of Quviviq and Belsomra, long-term use didn’t result in withdrawal symptoms after discontinuation. Although Quviviq and Belsomra have a low risk of dependence, those with a history of substance abuse should still be careful not to develop psychological dependence.
Quviviq vs. Belsomra—Potential Side Effects
Quviviq and Belsomra can entail similar side effects. According to clinical studies, the three most commonly reported adverse reactions to these drugs are:
Less-frequent side effects may include:
- Gastrointestinal issues such as nausea (Quviviq) and diarrhea (Belsomra)
- Sleep paralysis and hallucinations (Quviviq)
- Abnormal dreams (Belsomra)
- Upper respiratory tract infection and cough (Belsomra)
If you experience any side effects, get in touch with your doctor so they can adjust the dosage and help you mitigate the consequences.
Allergic reactions to Quviviq and Belsomra are rare but possible. If you notice swelling around the face or have difficulty breathing, seek medical assistance immediately.
Source: Polina Kovaleva
Quviviq vs. Belsomra—Who Should and Shouldn’t Use It
Quviviq and Belsomra can help individuals over 18 years old with:
- Sleep onset insomnia—Inability to fall asleep for a long time
- Sleep maintenance insomnia—Waking up during the night and inability to go back to sleep
Both drugs are generally safe for patients over 65, but some potential side effects, like drowsiness, may lead to a higher risk of falling and injury in older patients. Because of that, elderly users are typically prescribed lower doses.
It’s not yet known whether Belsomra and Quviviq are safe to take for pregnant and breastfeeding women. These medications fall under the Category C pregnancy warning, so the risks can’t be ruled out.
Individuals with certain medical conditions may experience enhanced or additional adverse reactions to Quviviq and Belsomra. Such patients may be advised to take a lower dose or avoid taking these drugs altogether. The following table lists and explains the most common drug-condition interactions:
Patients with any symptoms or conditions, including the ones not on this list, should be transparent so the doctor can decide whether Quviviq and Belsomra are viable options.
Source: Miriam Alonso
- Antifungals such as itraconazole and ketoconazole
- Anti-seizure medications such as carbamazepine and phenytoin
- HIV medications such as indinavir
- Pain or cough relievers such as hydrocodone and codeine
- Sleep and anxiety medications such as lorazepam and zolpidem
- Muscle relaxants such as carisoprodol and cyclobenzaprine
- Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine and cetirizine
Other substances that can impact how the user reacts to Quviviq and Belsomra include:
- St. John’s wort
- Valerian root
If you take these or any other medications or supplements, let your doctor know before starting Quviviq or Belsomra. Don’t modify the prescribed treatments without consulting a medical professional.
Quviviq vs. Belsomra—Final Thoughts
Belsomra and Quviviq share many similarities, including the mechanism of action, administration, side effects, and contraindications. In general, one is not more effective than the other.
If you believe Quviviq or Belsomra may be a suitable option for you, consult your healthcare provider. They’ll assess your case, considering the severity of your insomnia and underlying conditions, and suggest the optimal solution. They’ll likely ask you to take the medications for seven to ten days to see how you react, then determine the next best steps.
Keep in mind that sleep medicines, such as Quviviq and Belsomra, are not a replacement for healthy sleeping habits. Drugs can help you fall asleep faster, but to make a profound and sustainable change, you should combine medications with psychotherapy and effective sleep hygiene practices.
A sleep specialist can suggest the best medications and CBT-I (cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia) methods for overcoming sleep issues. Still, finding sleep experts is challenging. Less than 1% of healthcare providers specialize in sleep, so getting an appointment with a sleep doctor can take months in some cases.
The good news is that you can connect with one today with the help of Kick, the first online performance clinic. Designed by a Stanford sleep doctor, Kick’s sleep program is personalized to your sleep problem, current health status, and medical history.
Source: Kampus Production
Better Sleep, Better Performance With Kick
To regain control over your sleeping habits, turn to Kick’s customized sleep treatment plans. Connect with a sleep medicine specialist within a day and get prescription medication delivered to your door or local pharmacy. Our sleep solutions have and continue to transform lives, which is most evident by our stellar Trustpilot reviews.
To start your Kick journey, all you need to do is:
- Go to this page to start your 15-minute sleep visit
- Enter the required information
- Fill out an intake form to help us understand your condition and medical history
- Provide the delivery address and payment details
Our specialist will get back to you via text within 24 hours. If they decide our program is not the best solution for you, you’ll be advised to contact your primary care physician. We also won’t charge you for the consultation in that case, as per our “Doctor Guarantee.”
About Kick’s Sleep Program
Kick’s sleep doctor will prescribe you two different medications. You should try them for one week each and monitor your progress, then report it to the doctor, who will guide you throughout your entire sleep improvement journey. Your sleep doctor will check in regularly and provide CBT-I coaching to help you overcome sleeplessness.
Kick offers the widest selection of medications in the industry, consisting of less common medications, such as:
They’re fast-acting drugs, allowing you to go through the trial process effortlessly and get your best night’s sleep in no time.
Featured image: cottonbro studio