Psychomotor effects, pharmacokinetics and safety of the orexin receptor antagonist suvorexant administered in combination with alcohol in healthy subjects

Sleep aids have a storied and often rocky relationship with alcohol. Many are known to have adverse effects when taken with alcohol, and this relationship is important to study because people most commonly consume alcohol around bedtime. This study focuses on how the orexin receptor antagonist, suvorexant, interacts with alcohol.

The study showed that suvorexant when used with alcohol reduces reaction times and cognitive function. Suvorexant and alcohol have an adverse reaction and should not be used together. Basically, alcohol enhances the effects of suvorexant to unsafe levels. However, suvorexant is shown to be perfectly safe when taken as directed.

This study illustrates the need to consider how drugs interact with the things that we ingest besides prescription medications. Alcohol is known to cause adverse effects when used with certain prescription medications, and it is always a good point to remind patients to be careful about alcohol use whenever necessary.

Sun H, Yee KL, Gill S, et al. Psychomotor effects, pharmacokinetics and safety of the orexin receptor antagonist suvorexant administered in combination with alcohol in healthy subjects. J Psychopharmacol. 2015: 29(11): 1159-1169.

2 thoughts on “Psychomotor effects, pharmacokinetics and safety of the orexin receptor antagonist suvorexant administered in combination with alcohol in healthy subjects”

  1. Interesting perspective on the usage of alcohol along with medications. It is true that the common problem with medications, is not the medication itself, but how they are used. Personally, I believe a large amount of the problems associated with this drug are avoidable, in particular if individuals opted to have a drink with brunch rather than bedtime. It is probably best if alcohol is largely avoided with this medication. I wonder if this is a consideration of the drug manufacturers when developing a drug.

  2. I’m glad more awareness of alcohol in combination with medication is receiving further attention. Too often simple things such as avoiding alcohol can be the difference between an unexpected adverse reaction and a wonderful therapeutic aid. In addition, drug interactions are just as important as they can help eliminate drug therapy problems that the patient may not be aware of. As future pharmacists and professionals, patients will depend on us to ensure this remains the case. We may not be able to depend on the patient to adhere to their drug regimen, but we can do our best to ensure there were no mistakes made on our end.

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