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    Belsomra reviews?
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    Anon_11642 posted:
    Hi - I finally got 30 of Belsomra but have not tried the new sleeping pill yet - would appreciate if anyone here has tried it and what their comments are.

    Drug plans wont pay for it - they told me any new med is not on their formulary - but anyway the first 30 cost me $86 but next time well over $300. I am hoping it helps some - I dont understand why a new drug has no insurance coverage. How can anyone afford to pay over $300 for sleeping medication. Yes, I have tried Lunesta and Ambien generic - they help some but thought since this is a different type I would like to try it and will in a week. Have too much going on right now.

    Anyway, would appreciate anyone's thoughts on this new medicine. Thank you. Is it better than Lunesta or Ambien is the big question?
     
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    Anon_11642 responded:
    Hi - just wanted to report I did take the Belsomra last night at 10 mg. I did not like it. I slept 3 hours from 10 pm to 1 a.m. and that was it. I did not like the way I felt - just a very drugged feeling but not a good feeling to initiate sleep. Don't know if I will take it again. My older meds like Ambien and Lunesta work better.

    Hope someone else reports their experiences with this new sleep med.
     
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    An_261317 replied to Anon_11642's response:
    Hello,

    I tried Belsomra last night. Initially, I split a 20 mg tablet in half. After 1 1/4 hours of very little effect, I took the remaining 10 mg. In total I had maybe 1-2 hours of very shallow sleep. I was very disappointed as I had really high hopes for this new drug.

    I have chronic insomnia. It runs in our family. It effects my mother, brother and sister as well. I have been on either Ambien or Lunesta for 10 years. As Belsomra works on a different area of the brain, I was hoping to break the "Z" drug cycle. While I have not totally given up, I am not optimistic. I realize there is an insomnia rebound effect ( for a day or two) once stopping either of the mentioned Z drugs. Maybe the rebound insomnia offset the Belsomra effectiveness.

    Of course my insurance will not cover the drug. Cash price is $304. I am currently using the 10 day trial offer. I doubt I will have my prescription for 30 filled.

    I am anxious to hear other experiences with this drug. Please post.
     
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    Anon_11642 replied to An_261317's response:
    Hi - I am in the same trouble as you are - don't have a clue if I want to take it again - hated the way I felt the next day - felt drugged but not sleepy drugged. You know the difference. I do not know what I am going to do and hoping others will post here.

    I am 71 years old and have had trouble sleeping since in my 20s. I had some free nights without pills but son is going thru a divorce right now and living home and part time see his 6-year-old son and so there is more tension in my life.

    I am going to wait to see other reviews - so far I only read one good one - the other 2 or 3 are you and me and not good. Savvy Insomniac has a board where I read two reviews - one good and one just like you and me.

    Please keep me posted as I will check - we need to figure this thing out. I am on Lunesta and/or Ambien - last night took a 3 mg Lunesta with half of an Ambien which would have been 5 mg and got some sleep - after I take Ambien for consecutive days the side effects come back - like headache and dizziness. Keep in touch on this board please.

    Thank you for sharing.
     
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    ncdudley replied to Anon_11642's response:
    Hello again,

    I am in a similar state as you. Age 67. Suffering from chronic insomnia for 20 years. I never get sleepy. Exhausted ( most of the time) but most people go through what I call a "dimmer switch" sleep cycle. They are wide awake, and then progressively the dimmer switch darkens until the light is out Thus, they are sleeping. In my situation, my dimmer switch is either on or off. The only way to get it off is with meds.

    Thus said, I tried 30 mg of Belsomra the second night and results were bad. I got about 2-3 hours of fragile sleep. Awoke at 3:00 and that was it. Last night I went back to my Lunesta. I cut a 3mg in half. Take one upon retiring, one when
    I wake up about 2:00 and one again about 5:00. Total of 4.5mg. I was so exhausted last night I only need 1.5mg X 2 and got a good 8 hours.

    I would caution you on the mixing of Ambien and Lunesta. Ambien has a lot more side effects. Been there and done that. I was on Ambien for 7 years and thing got progressively worse. Been on Lunesta for 1 1/2 years now with fewer side effects. Also, now that Lunesta is generic the price is a lot more reasonable.

    I know Merck, the mfg of Belsomra, initially went to the FDA for OK to market 20, 30, and 40 mg of the drug. The FDA only allowed 5,10, 15 and 20. It may be that these lower doses than they originally wanted will not be efficacious.

    Another suggestion. About once a month or so, when I have had a few bad nights in a row, I take 1/2 of a mirtazapine tablet. This is a drug that in high doses is used for depression. It has high sedation properties. I take it very infrequently as I don't want to build tolerance. I will take maybe 1.5 mg of Lunesta with it.

    Hope this helps and stay in touch.
     
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    rolandc replied to ncdudley's response:
    I tried the free10day Belsomra 10mg trial pack and it did not work AT ALL!! I have chronic insomnia for 10 yrs and have been taking ambien which works fine but I wake up usually after 4 hours so, the first night I took 10mg and got no- zero, sleep at all. Second night tried 10mg again- no sleep I was wide awake 4 hrs still, after taking it. Day 3 I tried 20mg and NOTHING AT ALL. Extremely disappointed with this med and will never use it again. and I was so looking forward to it. Such a shame
     
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    mrsmacho23 responded:
    Hi! These posts worry me! I have such high hopes for belsomra! I have had chronic insomnia since I was a small child. It was miserable! I would lay in bed, wide alwake all night, praying and wishing we didnt have to go to sleep every night, that we could just start the next day now. Sometimes I would fall asleep around 4 or 5am and have to get up for school at 6:30am. Other nights I would just be awake the entire night. This continued as I grew up and I would be away for 2 to 3 days, then pass out for 20 or so minutes, normally somewhere random like on the couch or something. Then finally when I was 19 I was put on Ambien. I am now 30 years old and I am still on Ambien. I've tried many other sleeping meds but none do anything for me. The scary thing is that the Ambien doesnt work by itself for me anymore. I'm now taking 10mg ambien PLUS 8-10 pills of 25mg of over the counter sleeping meds, (200-250mg) EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. That just can NOT be ok to be taking! And even with all of that it still takes 3-5 hours after taking all of the pills for it to even kick in. It is 11:30pm here right now, I took my pills late today at 8:30pm because I got home late. Its ruining my life. If I want to go to bed at a resonable hour I have to take the pills no later than 7pm. I also have 2 sons so having to take the pills so early effects me greatly. Even with all of those drugs I am able to get up every night with the baby feed him, change him, and get him to sleep, totally aware of everything. I did the same with my 1st son who is now 4, but back then I wasnt using the over the counter with the ambien. I need HELP! I do not know what to do! But this is killing me! Please if anyone knows of what I can do or who I can contact, please let me know!! Thank you!!!
     
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    bluemigraineur replied to rolandc's response:
    Where did you get it? And, was it specially prepackaged as a 10 pill bottle or blister pack? I have a prescription and I have the 10 day free trail voucher/coupon, but no pharmacy I have contacted will give me 10 days worth because they say they can't break the package with this type of medication. I don't understand, as I've been on many different drugs and had various coverage that often differed in how many of a drug they were going to cover per month, and sometimes that required the pharmacy to split a box. I don't know if it's really just because it's new & expensive & they are worried it won't sell or what. But, they have all given me the same story. I'd really like to try it out before I get 30 days worth filled! Any helpful advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
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    ncdudley replied to bluemigraineur's response:
    I got mine at Wal Mart. Had the doc write 10 tablets of the 10mg strength. It was provided at no charge. That is a good thing because that is exactly what they were worth for me. Tried 10 mg initially. No effect whatsoever after two hours. Took another 10mg. In total, had less than an hour of very poor quality sleep that first night. The second night I tried 30mg. Marginally better results. Somewhere around 90 to 120 min total sleep.

    This drug may work for some but not for me or, it seems, the others with chronic insomnia
     
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    retiredengineer1952 replied to mrsmacho23's response:
    I am having good results with Belsomra. It is not perfect and Ambien does work better but Ambien cannot be taken every day over long periods without causing tolerance to develop (will Belsomra be better in this regard — no one knows yet).
    My insomnia is not as severe as what is indicated in the other posts here. I am age 62 and have had sleep problems for 10 years. Specifically, I can get to sleep OK but wake at 3:00 and cannot get back to sleep. Recently I have been taking Ambien (2.5 mg) or valium (3-5 mg) at 3:00 and either will allow me to fall asleep for the remainder of the night. Two years ago I was taking Ambien every night and over the course of 3 years had raised the daily amount to 10 mg and was needing more to make it through the night. I went to a sleep neurologist at a "Sleep Clinic" and was weaned off Ambien. This was accomplished by working with a psychologist who specializes in insomnia and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). I found that CBT helps at the margin but did not solve my problem. I had a supply of valium so I began taking that for insomnia. I also would take a prescription antihistamine which would usually make me drowsy enough that I could get through the night. My current PCP feels that Ambien is probably safer than valium (much lower 'half-life'). I have been skipping 2 nights per week from all drugs; these nights I get 4-5 hours of sleep and feel sleep deprived the next day. This regime obviously lowers my quality of life. I have been aware that Merck had a new insomnia drug coming to market and have been following the progress (FDA trial results, etc). As soon as it was available, I got the 10 tablet trial. I will pay the high price but may alternate it with Ambien.
    I cannot tell from the posts if people really understand how the various insomnia medications work. It may be worth mentioning that Belsomra is the first new insomnia medication to come to market in 20 years. Unlike the Ambien class of drugs (non-benzodiazepines), Belsomra attempts to solve the problem by blocking the "wake pathway" (whereas Ambien works primarily on the "sleep pathway". Do some research if this makes no sense. Suffice it to say that Belsomra makes it difficult to wake up during the night but is only partially effective at helping one fall asleep. It probably works for me because my primary issue is that after I'm awake at 3:00 my mind cracks up and I wake up quickly and cannot get back to sleep; with Belsomra I don't get totally awake and can fall back to sleep.
    I feel I have exhausted the gamut of medical science in trying to solve my insomnia. My observations and suggestions would be:
    ? - Don't expect a PCP to have much experience with or knowledge about insomnia. They basically address the problem by dispensing the above mentioned drugs.
    ? - Sufferers need to see a neurologist that specializes in insomnia treatment. These seem to only be established in larger urban cities. It is worth traveling if necessary to have a thorough evaluation by such a physician.
    ? - Continued on next Post....
     
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    retiredengineer1952 replied to retiredengineer1952's response:
    Continuation from above post:

    ? - Do your own research. The best book I've found is "The Harvard Medical School Guide to A Good Night's Sleep" by Lawrence Epstein (Harvard neurologist). He covers the subject from causes to treatment in a very complete fashion.
    ? - Keep trying and hopefully all of us can get at least some quality of life back!
     
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    ocelot_bob replied to retiredengineer1952's response:
    I've been taking Belsomra with good results, all things considered. I believe it has to be taken on a steady basis, expensive though it is, and in turn will convince the brain stem to shut off during the night. This will likely re-establish the circadian rhythm back to normal....it may take months of steady use.

    Think of the brain stem (locus coeruleus and others) as a light bulb--on during the day and off at night. In my opinion, insomnia is perpetrated by dysregulation of the brain stem; that is, on all the time.
     
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    An_261730 replied to ocelot_bob's response:
    My doctor called my insurance company and said it was medically necessary so they covered the cost for me. I think most insurance will cover Belsomra cost if your doctor calls them. I have been taking 150mg of Seroquel for years for insomnia. I tried 20mg of Belsomra and 25mg of Seroquel and I slept for 7 hours. Feeling a lot less drugged than the years I have been on Seroquel.
    It may be that the body will get used to taking Belsomra and you have to ween yourself off other drugs in order for it to work.
    I hope to eventually stop Seroquel altogether.
     
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    smiler12 responded:
    I took 20mg 2 days in a row and no sleep. The 2nd night I felt physically relaxed is all. Their marketing scheme was one of its kind based on the sleep wake cycle. It has flunked for me. What sleep?? Ambien worked better just a light sleep. Very disappointed based on it's marketing with chronic insomnia and as pharmacist said not good sleep meds on the market.
     
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    lunatoones replied to mrsmacho23's response:
    Hi there, I'm so sorry you're suffering- I completely understand. Though I am younger than you (I assume)..I have had trouble sleeping for the last 12 or so years of my life. Perhaps instead of taking Ambien WITH an over-the-counter.. try alternating or at least every couple of days take an OTC or maybe even lunesta or perhaps an anti-anxiety of some sort. This reduces your tolerance to ambien and allows it to work more effectively when you do take it. I have found that sometimes taking a couple of benadryl every so often in place of the ambien can help.


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    take meds at some time, don't eat after 7
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