Suvorexant for the Treatment of Insomnia in Adolescents

J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2017 Nov;27(9):792-795. doi: 10.1089/cap.2016.0206. Epub 2017 May 18.


Objectives: Suvorexant is the first dual orexin receptor antagonist for treating insomnia. This study aimed to evaluate the tolerability, efficacy, and safety of suvorexant on insomnia in adolescents.

Methods: Thirty patients (8 male and 22 female; mean standard deviation age: 15.7 ± 2.4 years; range: 10-20) with insomnia were administered suvorexant. Clinical background, persistence rate, the Clinical Global Impression (CGI), and the Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS) were compared between patients who continued and discontinued suvorexant treatment.

Results: Seventeen patients (56.7%) successfully continued taking suvorexant. Among the 13 patients who did not continue treatment, 5 patients were lost to follow-up. Of the remaining eight who did not continue treatment, four decided to discontinue of their own accord, two decided to discontinue due to lack of effectiveness, and two decided to discontinue due to adverse reaction, namely abnormal dreams. Among patients who completed the study, CGI significantly decreased from 3.6 ± 0.8 to 3.1 ± 0.9 (p = 0.014). The score of sleep quality in AIS was significantly higher among the patients who discontinued suvorexant than those who continued suvorexant (p = 0.02).

Conclusion: Our results indicate that suvorexant could be considered a treatment option for adolescents.

Keywords: adolescent insomnia; nightmare; orexin antagonist; suvorexant.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Azepines / adverse effects
  • Azepines / therapeutic use*
  • Dreams
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Orexin Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triazoles / adverse effects
  • Triazoles / therapeutic use*


  • Azepines
  • Orexin Receptor Antagonists
  • Triazoles
  • suvorexant