If you have insomnia (trouble sleeping), your doctor may recommend Quviviq. It’s a prescription drug that’s taken at bedtime to help you fall asleep and achieve a full night’s sleep.
For this purpose, Quviviq is only used in adults.
Quviviq comes as a tablet that you swallow. It contains the active ingredient daridorexant. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.) This drug belongs to a newer group of insomnia medications called dual orexin receptor antagonists (DORAs). It’s not currently available as a generic drug.
Read on to learn more about how Quviviq compares with Ambien, side effects Quviviq can cause, and more.
Quviviq and Ambien are both used to treat insomnia (trouble sleeping). These prescription drugs have some similarities and some differences.
The active ingredient in Quviviq is daridorexant, while the active ingredient in Ambien is zolpidem. (An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.)
These medications belong to different drug groups and work in different ways. Quviviq is a kind of drug called a dual orexin receptor antagonist (DORA). It blocks brain signals that keep you awake. Ambien is a sedative-hypnotic. It increases brain signals that cause sleepiness. Both drugs can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
The drugs have some similar and some different side effects. For example, both drugs can cause sleepiness that lasts into the next day, especially if you don’t get a full night’s sleep. Complex sleep behaviors, such as sleepwalking, are also possible with both drugs. With Ambien, abnormal thinking and behavior changes have been reported. But these side effects haven’t been reported with Quviviq.
Both Quviviq and Ambien are controlled substances that have a risk of misuse and of dependence. These risks are higher with Ambien. Withdrawal symptoms* can occur if you suddenly stop taking Ambien, but this doesn’t appear to be a problem with Quviviq. To learn more about Quviviq misuse and dependence, see the “Can Quviviq be misused?” section below.
There are several other differences between these drugs. To find out more, talk with your doctor.
To learn how Quviviq compares with other drugs used to treat insomnia, see the “What are some frequently asked questions about Quviviq?” section below. You can also talk with your doctor about how Quviviq compares with alternative treatments.
* Withdrawal symptoms are side effects that can occur when you stop taking a drug that your body has become dependent on.
Like most drugs, Quviviq may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Quviviq may cause. These lists don’t include all possible side effects.
Keep in mind that side effects of a drug can depend on:
- your age
- other health conditions you have
- other medications you take
Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about the potential side effects of Quviviq. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.
Mild side effects
Here’s a list of some of the mild side effects that Quviviq can cause. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Quviviq’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects of Quviviq that have been reported include:
- nausea and vomiting
- fatigue (low energy)
- mild allergic reaction*
* An allergic reaction is possible after taking Quviviq. But this side effect wasn’t reported in studies of the drug. To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
Mild side effects of many drugs may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. But if they become bothersome, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Quviviq can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Quviviq, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects of Quviviq that have been reported include:
- sleepiness, reduced alertness, and slowed reaction times the day after taking Quviviq, which could make driving dangerous*
- sleep paralysis (being unable to move or talk for a few seconds or minutes as you’re falling asleep or waking up)
- hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t real) that occur as you’re falling asleep or waking up
- complex sleep behaviors (doing activities while asleep, such as sleepwalking, eating, driving, making phone calls, or having sex)
- severe allergic reaction†
* This side effect is more likely if you don’t get at least 7 hours of sleep after taking Quviviq. It’s also more likely if you take a dose higher than your doctor recommends.
† An allergic reaction is possible after taking Quviviq. But this side effect wasn’t reported in studies of the drug. To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
While allergic reaction wasn’t reported in studies of Quviviq, it can still happen.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include swelling under your skin, usually in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet. They can also include swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat, which can cause trouble breathing.
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Quviviq. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
Costs of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors. Factors affecting the price of this drug include what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use.
If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You may also be eligible for cost assistance from Quviviq’s drugmaker. For more information, visit the drugmaker’s website.
You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.
Quviviq is used to treat insomnia (trouble sleeping) in adults. It’s a sleep aid that’s prescribed for the following kinds of insomnia:
- Sleep onset insomnia (trouble falling asleep). With this kind of insomnia, it takes a long time for you to fall asleep.
- Sleep maintenance insomnia (trouble staying asleep). With this kind of insomnia, you wake in the night and having trouble falling back to sleep.
Your doctor may prescribe Quviviq if you have one or both of these sleep problems.
Quviviq belongs to a newer group of insomnia medications called dual orexin receptor antagonists (DORAs). Taking a DORA medication before going to bed reduces the brain signals that make you stay awake. This helps you fall asleep faster. It also helps you stay asleep throughout the night.
Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Quviviq.
How does Quviviq compare with Dayvigo and other alternatives?
Quviviq belongs to a newer group of insomnia treatments called dual orexin receptor antagonists (DORAs). Other drugs in this group include lemborexant (Dayvigo) and suvorexant (Belsomra). All these drugs are very similar. But Quviviq may start to work slightly faster than Dayvigo and Belsomra. It also works for a shorter time than these drugs, so it may be less likely to cause sleepiness the next day.
DORAs such as Quviviq work in a different way than other insomnia treatments. These include Z-drugs, such as zolpidem (Ambien), benzodiazepines such as temazepam (Restoril), and melatonin agonists such as ramelteon (Rozerem). DORAs reduce brain signals that keep you awake. Z-drugs and benzodiazepines work by increasing brain signals that cause sleepiness. Melatonin agonists help create a natural sleep-wake cycle.
These drugs have different pros and cons. To learn more about how Quviviq compares with Ambien, see the “What should I know about Quviviq vs. Ambien?” section above. For details about how Quviviq compares with other insomnia treatments, talk with your doctor.
Does Quviviq cause any long-term side effects?
No, Quviviq isn’t known to cause long-term side effects.
In studies, people took Quviviq for up to 12 months. No long-term side effects were reported in these studies. Taking the drug for long periods of time doesn’t appear to increase the risk of side effects.
If you have any concerns about long-term side effects while taking Quviviq, talk with your doctor.
Is Quviviq safe for older people to take?
Yes, Quviviq is generally safe for older people to take. But older people may have a higher risk of certain side effects.
In studies, people ages 65 years and older were more likely to have daytime sleepiness and fatigue (low energy) with Quviviq. These side effects could increase the risk of falls in older people. They could also make it unsafe for older people to drive while taking this drug.
If you’re age 65 years or older, your doctor may want to monitor you closely while you’re taking Quviviq.
There are several factors to consider before deciding whether Quviviq is right for you. For example, Quviviq may interact with other conditions you have and other medications you take. Be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history and other treatments before taking Quviviq.
Some things to consider are discussed below.
Taking a medication with certain vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the medication works. These effects are called interactions.
Before taking Quviviq, be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter kinds. Also describe any vitamins, herbs, or supplements you use. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you about any interactions these items may cause with Quviviq.
For information about drug-condition interactions, see the “Warnings” section below.
Interactions with drugs or supplements
Quviviq can interact with several kinds of drugs. These drugs include:
- other insomnia drugs, such as zolpidem (Ambien), eszopiclone (Lunesta), and zaleplon (Sonata)
- benzodiazepine drugs, such as diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), and lorazepam (Ativan)
- opioid pain relievers, such as hydrocodone (Hysingla ER), oxycodone (OxyContin), and tramadol (ConZip)
- certain antifungal drugs, such as ketoconazole, itraconazole (Sporanox), and fluconazole (Diflucan)
- certain antibiotic drugs, such as clarithromycin, ciprofloxacin (Cipro), rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane), and rifabutin (Mycobutin)
- certain HIV drugs, such as atazanavir (Reyataz), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir), and efavirenz (Sustiva)
- seizure drugs, such as phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek), carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol), and pregabalin (Lyrica)
- muscle relaxant drugs, such as cyclobenzaprine (Amrix) and baclofen (Fleqsuvy)
- certain antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, trazodone, and nefazodone
- the herbal supplement St. John’s wort
- herbs and supplements used for insomnia, such as valerian and melatonin
This list does not contain all of the kinds of drugs that may interact with Quviviq. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about these interactions and any others that may occur with Quviviq.
You should avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking Quviviq. Grapefruit can stop your body from breaking down Quviviq, so the drug builds up in your body. This can increase your risk of side effects.
Quviviq can sometimes cause harmful effects in people who have certain conditions. This is known as a drug-condition interaction. Other factors may also affect whether Quviviq is a good treatment option for you.
Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Quviviq. Factors to consider include those described below.
Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Quviviq or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Quviviq. Ask them what other medications are better options for you.
Narcolepsy. People with narcolepsy have problems with the brain signals that keep them awake during the day. Quviviq blocks brain signals that keep people awake, so it could worsen narcolepsy. If you have narcolepsy,your doctor will likely not prescribe Quviviq. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
Liver problems. Quviviq is broken down by the liver. In people with liver problems, Quviviq could build up in the body and increase the risk of side effects. Due to this risk, your doctor will likely not prescribe Quviviq if you have severe liver problems. Ask your doctor what other medications are better options for you.
If you have moderate liver problems, your doctor may prescribe a Quviviq dosage that’s lower than usual.
Cataplexy. Drugs similar to Quviviq can sometimes cause mild cataplexy. This side effect wasn’t reported in studies of Quviviq, but it could happen. If you have cataplexy, Quviviq could worsen your symptoms. Talk with your doctor about whether Quviviq is right for you.
Breathing problems. Quviviq could worsen breathing problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It isn’t known whether Quviviq is safe for people with severe COPD or OSA. And it’s not known whether the drug is safe for people with moderate OSA who use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. If you have breathing problems, talk with your doctor about whether Quviviq is right for you.
Depression or suicidal thoughts. Insomnia medications can sometimes worsen depression and suicidal thoughts. This side effect wasn’t reported in studies of Quviviq, but it could happen. If you have a mental health condition such as depression, talk with your doctor about whether Quviviq is right for you. If you take Quviviq and experience worsening depression or suicidal thoughts, talk with your doctor right away.
Help is out there
If you or someone you know is in crisis and considering suicide or self-harm, please seek support:
- Call the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988.
- Text HOME to the Crisis Textline at 741741.
- Not in the United States? Find a helpline in your country with Befrienders Worldwide.
- Call 911 or your local emergency services number if you feel safe to do so.
If you’re calling on behalf of someone else, stay with them until help arrives. You may remove weapons or substances that can cause harm if you can do so safely.
If you are not in the same household, stay on the phone with them until help arrives.
Quviviq and alcohol
You should not drink alcohol while taking Quviviq. Drinking alcohol during Quviviq treatment can increase your risk of the following serious side effects:
- excessive sleepiness
- sleepiness, reduced alertness, and slowed reaction times the day after taking Quviviq, which could make driving dangerous
If you’re concerned about avoiding alcohol while you’re taking Quviviq, talk with your doctor.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
It isn’t known whether Quviviq is safe to take during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking Quviviq.
If you decide to take Quviviq while pregnant, you’re encouraged to sign up for the Quviviq Pregnancy Exposure Registry. This registry collects health information about people who take Quviviq during pregnancy and their babies. To find out more, talk with your doctor or call 833-400-9611.
It’s not known whether Quviviq can pass into breast milk. If you’re breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, talk with your doctor about the best way to feed your child if you take Quviviq. If you do breastfeed while taking Quviviq, talk with your doctor right away if your child becomes sleepier than usual.
Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Quviviq that’s right for you. Below are commonly used dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.
Form and strengths
Quviviq comes as a tablet that you swallow. It’s available in two strengths: 25 milligrams (mg) and 50 mg.
You’ll usually take Quviviq 25 mg or 50 mg once every night within 30 minutes before going to bed.
Only take your dose of Quviviq if you expect to be able to stay in bed for at least 7 hours. Getting less sleep than this after taking Quviviq can increase your risk of sleepiness, reduced alertness, and slowed reaction times the following day.
Questions about Quviviq’s dosing
Below are some common questions about Quviviq’s dosing.
- What if I miss a dose of Quviviq? If you miss a dose of Quviviq before going to bed, only take the missed dose if you’re able to stay in bed for at least the next 7 hours. If you need to get up within 7 hours, skip the missed dose.
- Will I need to take Quviviq long term? Quviviq is meant to be used as long-term treatment. If it works for you and doesn’t cause troublesome side effects, you may take it long term.
- How long does Quviviq take to work? Quviviq usually starts working to help you sleep within 30 minutes. But if you take it with food or just after eating, it can take about an extra hour to start working.
Your doctor will explain how you should take Quviviq. They’ll also explain how much to take and how often. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
You should take Quviviq within 30 minutes of going to bed. But only take it if you expect to stay in bed for at least 7 hours after taking it. Getting less sleep than this after taking Quviviq can increase your risk of sleepiness, reduced alertness, and slowed reaction times the following day.
Accessible medication containers and labels
If it’s hard for you to read the label on your prescription, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Certain pharmacies may provide medication labels that:
- have large print
- use braille
- contain a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text into audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend a pharmacy that offers these options if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
Also, if you’re having trouble opening your medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to put Quviviq in an easy-open container. Your pharmacist may also recommend tools to help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.
Questions about taking Quviviq
Below are some common questions about taking Quviviq.
- Can Quviviq be chewed, crushed, or split? Quviviq is meant to be swallowed whole. The drugmaker hasn’t provided information on whether Quviviq can be chewed, crushed, or split. If you have trouble swallowing Quviviq, try these tips. Your doctor or pharmacist can also suggest ways to make taking this drug easier.
- Should I take Quviviq with food? No, it’s best to take Quviviq without food. If you take it with food or just after eating, it can take about an hour longer than usual to start working.
- Is there a best time of day to take Quviviq? Yes, there is. You should only take Quviviq within 30 minutes before going to bed. And you should only take it if you expect to stay in bed for at least 7 hours after taking it.
Questions for your doctor
You may have questions about Quviviq and your treatment plan. It’s important to discuss all your concerns with your doctor.
Here are a few tips that might help guide your discussion:
- Before your appointment, write down questions such as:
- How will Quviviq affect my body, mood, or lifestyle?
- Bring someone with you to your appointment if doing so will help you feel more comfortable.
- If you don’t understand something related to your condition or treatment, ask your doctor to explain it to you.
Remember, your doctor and other healthcare professionals are available to help you. And they want you to get the best care possible. So don’t be afraid to ask questions or offer feedback on your treatment.
It’s not likely. Quviviq is a controlled substance. Controlled substances are drugs regulated by the United States government because they may result in dependence or misuse. With Quviviq, these risks are low.
Misuse refers to taking a drug in way or for a use that’s not prescribed. An example is taking a drug prescribed to someone else. Dependence refers to the need to keep taking a drug to function, either physically or mentally.
In studies, there were no reports of Quviviq misuse or dependence. But if you’ve ever misused or developed mental dependence on drugs or alcohol, you may be at risk of Quviviq misuse and dependence. In this case, talk with your doctor about whether Quviviq is right for you.
Do not take more Quviviq than your doctor prescribes. Taking more than this can lead to serious side effects.
Symptoms of overdose
Symptoms caused by an overdose can include:
- muscle weakness
- sleep paralysis (being unable to move or talk for a few seconds or minutes as you’re falling asleep or waking up)
- reduced alertness
- fatigue (low energy)
What to do in case you take too much Quviviq
Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much Quviviq. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number. Or go to the nearest emergency room.
If you have questions about taking Quviviq, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. Questions you may want to ask include:
- If I have anxiety that’s causing my insomnia, is Quviviq a good option for me?
- Will Quviviq make me sleep unnaturally deeply? For example, will I still hear a fire alarm?
- Does Quviviq cure insomnia?
- Does Quviviq cause sexual side effects?
To learn more about Quviviq, see this article:
To learn more about other treatment options for insomnia, you may find these articles helpful:
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Disclaimer: Healthline 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.