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.