Orexin-blocking pill speeds sleep onset | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


Orexin-blocking pill speeds sleep onset

10:59am, February 13, 2007

A new compound that inhibits the activity of alertness-promoting brain peptides called orexins shows promise as a sleeping pill, according to tests in people and animals.

Men who took the drug fell asleep more quickly than did men who took a placebo, neurobiologist François Jenck of Actelion Pharmaceuticals in Allschwil, Switzerland, and his collaborators report in the February Nature Medicine.

Larger doses of the drug act faster and seem to have a stronger effect than do smaller doses, the researchers found. They previously observed similar effects in both dogs and rats.

The duration of drug-induced somnolence also depends on dose. The highest dose used in people caused drowsiness that lasted about 10 hours, the researchers report.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content