Saturday , January 29 2022

A new drug class could make safer sleeping pills



If your house flared in the middle of the night, you want to wake up to deal with this emergency, right?

The new prescription sleep pill study published this week Borders in Neurology BehaviorHalf of the study participants slept with a fire alarm as loud as someone pumped next to the bed. Researchers at Kagoshima University in Japan estimate that millions of people taking prescription sleeping pills, such as Ambien and Halcion, had a fire alarm. They suggest that, as an alternative, a new class of hypnotic medicines that act as a sleeping pill can be used, while allowing the brain to wake up in an emergency.

DORA Hypnotic Drug

The most popular type of sleeping pill, benzodiazepines, is very effective in getting the brain to sleep. Unfortunately, they act as a kind of blanket to suppress brain areas they don't need. This includes the area of ​​the brain that decides which external information, such as noises at night, to pay attention to.

Over the last decade, scientists have developed a new class of hypnotic drugs called double orexin receptor antagonists (DORAs). DORAs more selectively target brain sleep / awakening, making them a safer alternative to benzodiazepines, while leaving users with reduced hangover effects that this medicine can cause.

Wake-up call

When tested in laboratory mice, those given benzodiazepine triazolam were slower than those given in DORA-22 when they were shown with foxes that seriously threatened the mouse. Even better, when the danger had passed, the mice given DORA-22 were as fast as the mice given the sleeping tablet and significantly faster than the mice that were not given.

To show that DORA is a sleep aid, more people need to be tested. Since 2014, DORA, called surovexant, has obtained regulatory approval in Japan, the US and Australia. High costs and limited clinical testing by exaggeration have hampered its use, but new types of DORA currently being developed could one day offer better results at lower costs.

READ MORE: Millions of prescription sleeping pills could sleep with a fire alarm [EurekAlert]

More about sleep: Here's how to sleep too little literally transforms your brain

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