ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A new and reportedly improved sleeping pill is awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Experts say this new pill, called Suvorexant, could become an important product for those with sleep issues.

“What it is doing, Suvorexant, is blocking a neuropeptide or neurochemical called orexin,” Dr. Carol Ash, director of sleep medicine at Meridian Health, said. “Orexin is specifically found in a region of the brain called the hypopharanx which is responsible for wakefulness. So unlike other sleeping medications that have a blanket approach, they affect many regions of the brain, this is very specific. That blanket approach will impair memory and cognition and that’s the problem with the others.”

Dr. Ash said it is hoped the FDA will approve the drug by the end of this summer.

“It’s no different than pain medications,” she said. “If I give you a pain medication, it might work for the pain but you have to get to the root cause of the problem.”


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