Belsomra's Dosage: What to Know

Medically Reviewed By Purva Singla, PharmD

Belsomra: Introduction

Belsomra is a brand-name prescription medication that contains the active drug suvorexant. It belongs to a class of drugs called orexin receptor antagonists. Belsomra is not available in a generic form.

This medication is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat insomnia in adults. Specifically, it treats insomnia caused by problems getting to sleep or staying asleep.

In this article, you’ll find information about Belsomra’s dosage and details on how to take the drug. For a comprehensive overview of Belsomra, view this article.

Finding a healthcare professional

If you’re interested in taking Belsomra, search here to find a doctor who might prescribe it.

This article describes typical recommended dosages for Belsomra. These dosages are provided by the drug’s manufacturer.

Always follow the dosage of Belsomra that your doctor prescribes.

Belsomra: Dosage

This section provides commonly recommended dosages for Belsomra. However, your doctor will prescribe the Belsomra dosage that’s right for you.

Belsomra’s form and strengths

Belsomra comes in an oral tablet that you swallow. It is available in the following strengths:

  • 5 milligrams (mg)
  • 10 mg
  • 15 mg
  • 20 mg

Typical recommended dosages

Usually, doctors will prescribe a low dosage of Belsomra at the start of treatment. Then, they’ll adjust the dosage over time if needed. Ultimately, your doctor will prescribe the smallest dosage of Belsomra that gives the desired effect.

Belsomra dosage for insomnia

The overview below shows Belsomra’s recommended dosage for insomnia in adults. Your doctor will prescribe the dosage of Belsomra that’s right for your condition.

  • Starting dosage: 10 mg, to be taken once at bedtime*
  • Maximum dosage: 20 mg, to be taken once at bedtime*

See the “Belsomra: How to take” section below for information on planning your bedtime dose.

* Take Belsomra 30 minutes before bedtime. Additionally, allow at least 7 hours for sleeping after taking Belsomra.

Length of treatment

Doctors typically will recommend Belsomra for short-term use only when you’re having insomnia. If Belsomra isn’t helping you sleep after taking it for 7 to 10 nights, talk with your doctor.

Some people have insomnia that’s chronic (long term), which may last for a month or longer. In this case, the doctor may check whether other factors or illnesses may be causing it.

To find out how often and how long you should take Belsomra, ask your doctor.

Belsomra: Common questions about dosage

The questions below are commonly asked about Belsomra’s dosage.

Does Belsomra have a different dosage for older people?

No, a specific dosage of Belsomra isn’t needed based on age. Clinical studies of Belsomra found no differences in safety or effectiveness among specific age groups. The groups included people younger and older than age 65 years.

However, Belsomra can cause drowsiness, which increases the risk of falls in older adults. This includes people ages 65 years and older. For people in this age group, doctors may prescribe a starting and maximum dosage lower than usual.

If you have questions or concerns about the dosage of Belsomra, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

How does the dosage for Dayvigo compare with the dosage of Belsomra?

The dosage of Dayvigo differs from the dosage of Belsomra. (Dayvigo [lemborexant] is also an orexin receptor antagonist for treating insomnia. It comes as an oral tablet in 5-milligram [mg] and 10-mg strengths.)

The recommended dosage of Dayvigo is 5 mg, to be taken once at bedtime. Doctors may increase Dayvigo’s dosage to 10 mg. You can read more in Dayvigo’s prescribing information or this article. You can also compare Belsomra’s dosage by reading the “Belsomra: Dosage” section above.

Dayvigo helps you get to sleep and stay asleep in the same way as Belsomra. Both drugs are similarly effective for insomnia. If you have questions about the dosage of either drug, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Is Belsomra considered safe to take?

Generally, Belsomra is considered safe to take. However, it can affect things such as driving, balance, and memory the day after taking a dose. It also can impair balance in older adults. (See the “Belsomra: How to take” section below for information on when to take Belsomra.)

To learn more about side effects with Belsomra, read the drug’s prescribing information. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have concerns about Belsomra’s safety.

How long does a dose of Belsomra last?

A dose of Belsomra generally lasts 7 hours. That said, consider when you need to be alert and active again. Then, allow at least 7 hours for sleeping when taking a dose of Belsomra.

For 8 hours after taking Belsomra, do not drive or do activities that require you to be alert. (See the previous question for more information. Also see the “Belsomra: How to take” section below for information on when to take Belsomra.)

If you’d like to know more about taking Belsomra, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Belsomra: Dosage considerations

Your doctor will consider several factors when prescribing the dosage for Belsomra. These factors include:

  • your age
  • the severity of your condition
  • other medications you’re taking

Your prescribed dosage also may vary based on other medical conditions you have.

Belsomra: How to take

Belsomra comes as a tablet that you’ll swallow. You can take Belsomra with or without food. However, if you take Belsomra soon after eating, it may take longer to start working.

Take Belsomra 30 minutes before bedtime. Additionally, be sure to allow at least 7 hours for sleeping after taking Belsomra. This will help keep you from feeling drowsy the next day.

You should swallow Belsomra tablets whole. Do not split, chew, or crush them in your mouth.

If you have difficulty swallowing tablets, view this article. It provides suggestions on how to take this form of medication. You also can talk with your doctor or pharmacist about taking your medication.

For 8 hours after taking Belsomra, do not drive or do activities that require you to be alert.


If you find it challenging to read the label on your prescription, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Certain pharmacies provide medication labels with large print or braille. They may also offer labels containing a scannable code that your smartphone can convert from text to speech. If your pharmacy doesn’t provide these choices, your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.

If it’s difficult for you to open medication bottles, ask your pharmacist if they can dispense Belsomra in an easy-open container. They also may recommend ways to help make it easier to open the bottles.

Belsomra: Missing a dose

If you miss a dose of Belsomra, determine how much time you have for sleeping.

  • If you still have 7 hours for sleeping: You can take the missed dose.
  • If you need to be awake and alert in less than 7 hours: Skip the missed dose.

View these medication reminder options to help avoid missing doses. You could also set an alarm or download a reminder app on your phone.

Belsomra: Misuse

This overview discusses misuse, addiction, dependence, and withdrawal concerning Belsomra.

Misuse and addiction

Misuse means taking a drug in a way other than how it’s prescribed. Addiction means continuing to take a drug even if it’s causing harmful outcomes.

Controlled substances are drugs that the government regulates. They have approved medical uses but carry a risk of misuse or addiction. These substances have five groups, which are called schedules. Each schedule is based on the potential for misuse or addiction.

Belsomra is a Schedule IV controlled substance, which carries a low risk of misuse or addiction. However, people who have had problems with alcohol or drug misuse may be more likely to misuse Belsomra. They also may be more likely to develop an addiction to it.

Dependence and withdrawal

With dependence, a person’s body needs a substance or drug to function as usual. Clinical studies of Belsomra didn’t show evidence of dependence.

The same studies showed no evidence of withdrawal when people stopped taking Belsomra. Withdrawal is uncomfortable symptoms that happen when you suddenly stop a drug. This is because your body isn’t used to functioning without it.

If you have any concerns about taking Belsomra, be sure to talk with your doctor.

Belsomra: Overdose

If you take more than the recommended dosage of Belsomra, serious effects can occur. Do not take more Belsomra than your doctor prescribes. 

Symptoms of overdose

An overdose of Belsomra could cause you to become very sleepy or sleep for too long.

What to do in case of overdose

Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much of this drug. Also, you can call the American Association of Poison Control Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. However, if your symptoms are severe, call 911 or a local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

Belsomra: What to discuss with your doctor

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist for additional information about Belsomra’s dosage. The dosages presented in this article are typical dosages that the drug’s manufacturer provides. Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Belsomra that’s right for you and your condition. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes for you.

As with any medications you’re taking, do not change your Belsomra dosage without a recommendation from your doctor.

In addition to discussing Belsomra with your doctor, you may find the following articles helpful in learning more.

  • Overview of Belsomra. For comprehensive details on Belsomra, see this article.
  • Drug comparisons. To learn how Belsomra compares with Dayvigo, read this article.
  • Information on side effects. If you’d like to know about possible side effects of Belsomra, view this article.
  • Details about insomnia. To learn more about insomnia, which Belsomra treats, see this article.

Disclaimer: Healthgrades has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

Medical Reviewer: Purva Singla, PharmD
Last Review Date: 2022 Dec 2
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