Belsomra vs Lunesta – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Differences


It is the brand name of a drug called suvorexant that belongs to a class of medicines known as sedative-hypnotics. It causes sleep by preventing orexin A and orexin B (excitatory neuropeptides with nearly 50 percent sequence identity) from causing wakefulness by blocking their attachment to orexin receptors.

This medication is produced by Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. It was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration for medical use in the United States in 2014.


It is typically used to treat insomnia, a condition that is characterized by having problems staying asleep or falling asleep, and feeling unrested. A variety of factors can cause this condition, including:

  • depression;
  • stress from divorce, job change and problems, and kids;
  • physical or emotional issues;
  • illness;
  • being sedentary;
  • lack of sunshine (leads to vitamin D deficiency);
  • environmental pollutants, like – the air freshener in the bedroom or the laundry soap used to clean your sheets;
  • poor nutrition, especially due to caffeine intake;
  • changing time zones or work shifts;
  • medications, like – allergy, cold, depression, asthma, and hypertension;
  • environmental factors – noise, EMF, light, and temperature (too hot or too cold).


For an adult, the usual recommended dose is 10 mg orally once per day taken within 30 minutes before going to bed. The maximum dose per day is 20 mg (only if the 10 mg dose is not effective).

Side Effects And Precautions Of Suvorexant

Common side effects may include:

  • forgetfulness;
  • feeling “drugged” or light-headed;
  • strange dreams;
  • a weak feeling in your legs;
  • weakness;
  • dizziness;
  • daytime drowsiness.

Rare side effects may include:

  • suicidal thinking;
  • unusual behavior;
  • sleep paralysis;
  • hallucinations;
  • daytime impairment;
  • worsening of depression;
  • sleep driving;
  • physical collapse while remaining conscious.

To be sure that this medication is good for you, tell your healthcare professional about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have breathing problems;
  • have a history of suicidal thoughts;
  • have a history of depression;
  • have a history of a sudden onset of muscle weakness;
  • have a history of mental illness;
  • have liver problems;
  • have a history of drug abuse or addiction;
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, because there are no adequate studies in pregnant women;
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, since it may pass in breastmilk;
  • have a history of daytime sleepiness.

Because consuming alcoholic beverages can increase some of the side effects of this drug,  avoid alcohol while taking it. Also, since it can cause drowsiness, do not operate heavy machinery until you know exactly how this medication affects you.


It is the brand name of a drug called eszopiclone that causes relaxation to help you stay asleep and fall asleep. It belongs to the group of drugs called non-benzodiazepines and works by interacting with the GABA receptors – a class of receptors that respond to the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid.

It is produced by Sepracor (presently known as Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.), a Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical company. It was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration for medical use in the US in 2004.


It is used to treat insomnia, a condition characterized by:

  • nonrestorative sleep;
  • an early morning awakening with inability to resume sleep;
  • numerous nocturnal awakenings;
  • insufficient sleep (total sleep time of fewer than 6 hours);
  • difficulty falling asleep (sleep latency of more than half an hour).


The usual recommended dose of this medication is 1 milligram a day. If this dose is not sufficient, it can be raised to 2 mg or 3 mg per day. The total daily dose should not exceed 3 mg.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Eszopiclone

Common side effects may include:

  • headaches;
  • a “hangover” feeling;
  • dry mouth;
  • dizziness;
  • mild skin rash;
  • unpleasant taste in the mouth;
  • day-time drowsiness;
  • constipation;
  • loss of appetite;
  • stomach pain;
  • nausea;
  • a nervous feeling;
  • depression;
  • anxiety;
  • problems with concentration.

Rare side effects of eszopiclone may include:

  • hallucinations (hearing or seeing things);
  • thoughts of hurting yourself;
  • changes in behavior;
  • increased agitation or aggression.

To make sure this drug is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • a breathing disorder;
  • liver disease;
  • a history of drug addiction;
  • suicidal thoughts;
  • mental illness;
  • a history of depression.

It should not be taken with:

  • sodium oxybate, a type of medication used to treat muscle narcolepsy;
  • cold medications;
  • allergy medications;
  • narcotic pain relievers;
  • muscle relaxants;
  • antianxiety medications.

This medication has a high potential for abuse and addiction. An individual who is addicted to this medication may:

  • crave the drug;
  • continue taking this drug after the prescription has expired;
  • mix this medication with other drugs to increase its sedative effects;
  • use the medication to get high;
  • feel as if his quality of life will decrease if he stops taking the medication;
  • increase the dose without consulting his healthcare specialist;
  • isolate himself from family and friends.

Do not operate any type of machinery until you exactly know how this drug affects you. Also, because it can increase the risk of side effects, it is not recommended to drink alcoholic beverages while taking this medication.

Belsomra vs Lunesta – Differences      

Belsomra (active ingredient – suvorexant) is a sleep drug that helps regulate the sleep and wake cycle. It is typically used to treat certain sleep problems. This drug is part of the group of medications called sedative-hypnotics.

Lunesta (active ingredient – eszopiclone) is a hypnotic, non-benzodiazepine drug used to treat insomnia. It works by affecting the chemicals in the brain which are unbalanced. It is one of the most prescribed sleep medications for the short-term treatment of insomnia.

In conclusion, these sleep medications contain different ingredients, with Lunesta being the most used but it also has a higher potential to produce side effects and addiction. Both don’t treat the real cause of insomnia – an unhealthy lifestyle.

6 Remedies For Insomnia

#1 Magnolia Bark

It has a positive impact on improving the quality and duration of sleep as well as it can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

#2 Physical Exercise

Insomnia sufferers who exercised regularly for four months showed a considerable improvement in duration and quality of sleep, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

#3 Mindfulness Meditation

Meditation is considered an efficient and simple method for mental wellbeing since it helps you feel relaxed and get balanced. Furthermore, people who practiced mindfulness meditation slept better than people who don’t meditate, as per a study issued in JAMA.

#4 Therapy for Sleep Disorders

According to a study issued in The Lancet Psychiatry, digital cognitive behavioral therapy is linked with reductions in paranoia, insomnia, and hallucinations.

#5 Valerian 

According to many studies, valerian may help reduce the amount of time it takes an individual to fall asleep, plus, it helps to increase the quality and duration of sleep.

#6 Hops

Using hops as a supplement helps improve sleep quality. Additionally, hops work well with valerian extract for even better sleep quality.

Image credit – Shutterstock & Getty

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