If you have excessive daytime sleepiness, your doctor may recommend treatment with Sunosi.
In certain cases, Sunosi shouldn’t be prescribed for people with obstructive sleep apnea. To learn more, see the “What is Sunosi prescribed for?” section below.
The active ingredient in Sunosi is solriamfetol. An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.
Sunosi comes as tablets that you swallow. It’s not available as a generic drug.
Keep reading to learn more about Sunosi, including the drug’s side effects, uses, how it compares with similar medications, and more.
Like most drugs, Sunosi may cause mild or serious side effects. The lists below describe some of the more common side effects that Sunosi 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 Sunosi. They can also suggest ways to help reduce side effects.
Mild side effects
Here’s a short list of some of the mild side effects that Sunosi can cause. To learn about other mild side effects of the drug, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or read Sunosi’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects of Sunosi that have been reported include:
- appetite loss
- trouble sleeping
- dry mouth
- feeling like your heart is pounding or racing
- sweating more than usual
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 Sunosi can occur, but they aren’t common. If you have serious side effects from Sunosi, call your doctor right away. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects of Sunosi that have been reported include:
* To learn more about this side effect, see the “Allergic reaction” section below.
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 Sunosi. But if you think you’re having a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency number.
If you’re prescribed Sunosi, you may wonder how it compares with similar medications, such as Adderall.
Both Sunosi and Adderall may be prescribed to ease excessive daytime sleepiness in people with narcolepsy. While Sunosi is prescribed only to adults for this purpose, Adderall may be prescribed to treat this condition in adults and some children.
The active ingredient in Sunosi is solriamfetol, and the active ingredients in Adderall are amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Active ingredients are what make drugs work.
To learn more about how Sunosi and Adderall compare, see this article. Your doctor can also tell you more about these drugs.
Find answers to some commonly asked questions about Sunosi.
Does Sunosi cause weight loss or weight gain?
Sunosi is not known to cause weight gain. The drug may cause weight loss, but this is not known for certain.
Though rare, weight loss was reported in some studies of Sunosi. But it’s not known for sure if the drug causes this side effect.
Appetite loss is a known side effect of Sunosi, and it can lead to weight loss.
If you’re concerned about your weight, talk with your doctor. They can recommend ways for you to maintain a weight that’s healthy for you.
Is Sunosi a stimulant?
No, Sunosi isn’t a stimulant.
Stimulants are medications that work by increasing levels of the hormones dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. For example, amphetamines, such as amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall) and methylphenidate (Ritalin, Ritalin LA), are kinds of stimulants.
Sunosi works in a different way to affect dopamine and norepinephrine in your brain, though its mechanism of action (how it works) is unclear.
For more information about how Sunosi compares with stimulants to treat your condition, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
What should I know about Sunosi vs. Nuvigil?
If you’re prescribed Sunosi, you may wonder how it compares with similar drugs, such as Nuvigil.
Both Sunosi and Nuvigil are prescribed to treat excessive daytime sleepiness related to narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea in adults. In addition, Nuvigil may be used to treat excessive daytime sleepiness related to shift work disorder.
The active ingredient in Sunosi is solriamfetol, and the active ingredient in Nuvigil is armodafinil. An active ingredient is what makes a drug work.
These drugs can cause similar side effects, including headache, nausea, and appetite loss. But they can cause some different side effects as well.
If you’d like to learn more about how Sunosi and Nuvigil compare, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Is Sunosi a controlled substance?
Yes, Sunosi is a controlled substance. This means the U.S. government has special regulations for how this drug is prescribed and taken. Sunosi is regulated this way because it has the potential to be misused. With misuse, a drug is used in a way other than how it’s prescribed.
To learn more, see the “Can Sunosi be misused?” section below. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist for more information about the risk of misuse with Sunosi.
Is Sunosi used for depression?
No, Sunosi isn’t used to treat depression.
People with narcolepsy are more likely to have depression. But it’s not certain why or whether the conditions are related.
Narcolepsy can affect your ability to function in work and social settings. This can lead to symptoms of depression, such as feeling sad or hopeless and trouble concentrating. Treating narcolepsy with medications such as Sunosi may ease these symptoms and help improve your mood.
If you have symptoms of depression, especially if you have narcolepsy, talk with your doctor. These conditions can have overlapping symptoms. Treating narcolepsy may help ease symptoms of depression. Your doctor can also discuss whether treatments for depression, such as antidepressants or talk therapy, may be right for you.
Sunosi and modafinil are similar medications. They’re both prescribed to treat excessive daytime sleepiness related to narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea in adults. In addition, modafinil may be used to treat excessive daytime sleepiness related to shift work disorder.
Sunosi and modafinil can cause similar side effects, including headache, nausea, and anxiety. But they may cause some different side effects as well. They also have different interactions with other medications. (For information about possible drug interactions with Sunosi, see the “What should be considered before taking Sunosi?” section below.)
To learn more about how Sunosi and Provigil (the brand-name version of modafinil) are alike and different, see this detailed comparison. Your doctor can also discuss which might be a better treatment option for you.
What is narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a condition that causes abnormal sleep. This can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness and “sleep attacks” (an overwhelming urge to fall asleep).
Symptoms of narcolepsy can include:
- significant daytime sleepiness
- cataplexy (sudden loss of muscle tone that’s temporary)
- sleep paralysis
- trouble falling or staying asleep
What is obstructive sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is caused by narrowing of the airways during sleep, which cuts off breathing. This causes poor sleep quality, leading to excessive daytime sleepiness.
Symptoms of OSA can include:
- loud snoring
- gasping, choking, or snorting during sleep
- morning headache
- waking repeatedly during the night
Note: Sunosi is not used to treat the airway obstruction that causes OSA. Before taking Sunosi, people with OSA should receive airway obstruction treatment for at least 1 month. An example of this kind of treatment is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Treatment for airway obstruction should continue while taking Sunosi.
How Sunosi works
Sunosi is a kind of drug called a dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. This means it blocks the hormones dopamine and norepinephrine from being stored in the brain. Sunosi’s mechanism of action (the way a drug works) for treating excessive daytime sleepiness isn’t fully understood. But it’s believed that it helps improve wakefulness and energy by increasing the levels of these hormones in the body.
Your doctor will recommend the dosage of Sunosi that’s right for you. Below are commonly prescribed dosages, but always take the dosage your doctor prescribes.
Sunosi comes as a tablet that you swallow.
Recommended Sunosi dosing
You’ll take Sunosi once per day. It’s recommended that you take it as soon as you wake up.
Questions about Sunosi’s dosage
Below are some common questions about Sunosi’s dosage.
- What if I miss a dose of Sunosi? If you miss a dose of Sunosi, just skip the missed dose. Taking Sunosi too late in your day could cause difficulty sleeping. Take your next dose the next day as usual. Do not take more than one dose of Sunosi to make up for a missed dose.
- Will I need to take Sunosi long term? If you and your doctor agree that Sunosi is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take the medication long term.
- How long does it take for Sunosi to work? Sunosi begins working as soon as you take a dose. In studies, people saw their symptoms easing within the first week of taking the drug.
Before you begin treatment with Sunosi, it’s important to discuss certain aspects of your health with your doctor. These include any medical conditions you have and any medications you take. This information helps them determine whether Sunosi is a good treatment option for you.
Taking a medication with certain vaccines, foods, and other things can affect how the medication works. These effects are called interactions.
Before taking Sunosi, 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 Sunosi.
For information about drug-condition interactions, see the “Warnings” section below.
Interactions with drugs or supplements
Sunosi can interact with several kinds of drugs. These include:
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors, such as phenelzine (Nardil) or selegiline (Emsam, Zelapar)
- certain decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)
- stimulants, such as amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall)
- certain drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome, such as pramipexole (Mirapex ER), ropinirole, and rotigotine (Neupro)
This list does not contain all kinds of drugs that may interact with Sunosi. Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you more about these interactions and any others that may occur with Sunosi.
Sunosi may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions. These are known as drug-condition interactions. Other factors may also affect whether Sunosi is a good treatment option for you.
Talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Sunosi. Factors to consider include those in the list below.
- Heart problems or high blood pressure. Treatment with Sunosi can cause an increase in blood pressure. If you already have high blood pressure or heart problems, taking Sunosi may worsen your condition. Tell your doctor if you have high blood pressure or heart problems. This can help them determine whether Sunosi is safe for you to take. If you do take Sunosi, your doctor will likely monitor your blood pressure or heart problems closely during treatment.
- Kidney problems. People with kidney problems have a higher risk of side effects from Sunosi, including those affecting mental health and blood pressure. This is because kidney problems can affect the body’s ability to get rid of Sunosi. This increases the level of Sunosi in the body, which can raise the risk of side effects. If you have kidney problems, let your doctor know. They may recommend that you take a lower dosage of Sunosi. Or they may suggest that you try a different treatment for your condition.
- Diabetes. Sunosi can cause increased blood pressure. People with diabetes have an increased risk of heart problems, so taking Sunosi may worsen this risk. If you have diabetes, your doctor can determine whether Sunosi is safe for you to take.
- High cholesterol. People with high cholesterol have a higher risk of heart problems. Because Sunosi can increase blood pressure, Sunosi may worsen this risk. Let your doctor know if you have high cholesterol. This can help them determine whether Sunosi is safe for you to take.
- Mental health conditions, including bipolar disorder. Sunosi can cause side effects related to mental health, including irritability, anxiety, and sleep problems. You may have a higher risk of mental health problems from Sunosi if you already have a mental health condition, such as bipolar disorder. In addition, taking Sunosi could worsen your condition. Tell your doctor about any mental health problems you have. This can help them determine whether Sunosi is a good treatment option for you.
- Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Sunosi or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe Sunosi. Ask them what other medications are better options for you.
Sunosi and alcohol
There’s no known interaction between drinking alcohol and taking Sunosi.
If you have questions about consuming alcohol while taking Sunosi, talk with your doctor.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
It’s not known whether it’s safe to take Sunosi during pregnancy.
If you and your doctor decide you’ll take Sunosi while pregnant, consider joining the Sunosi pregnancy registry. Pregnancy registries help collect information on the safety of using medications while pregnant. You can learn more about the Sunosi pregnancy registry by calling 877-283-6220 or visiting this website.
It’s not known whether Sunosi passes into breast milk. It’s also not known whether it causes side effects in a child who’s breastfed by someone taking the drug. If you’re breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed, talk with your doctor about safe feeding options for your child during Sunosi treatment.
Your doctor will explain how you should take Sunosi. They’ll also explain how much to take and how often. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Sunosi comes as a tablet that you swallow. It’s recommended that you take it as soon as you wake up.
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 Sunosi 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 Sunosi
Below are some common questions about taking Sunosi.
- Can Sunosi be chewed, crushed, or split? Sunosi tablets can be split in half. But the manufacturer hasn’t stated whether the tablets can be chewed or crushed. If you’re having trouble swallowing Sunosi tablets after splitting them in half, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also try these tips for swallowing pills.
- Should I take Sunosi with food? You can take Sunosi with or without food.
- Is there a best time of day to take Sunosi? You should take Sunosi first thing after waking up. Taking Sunosi too late in the day can cause difficulty sleeping.
Questions for your doctor
You may have questions about Sunosi 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 Sunosi 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.
Costs of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors. These factors 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 a savings card that can lower the price you pay for Sunosi.
To learn more about saving money on prescriptions, check out this article.
According to studies, Sunosi has a risk of misuse. Misuse means to use a drug in a way other than how it’s prescribed. This is different from dependence, in which the body needs a drug in order to function correctly. Sunosi isn’t known to cause dependence. The drug is also not known to cause withdrawal symptoms in people who stop the drug suddenly.
People who took more than the recommended doses of Sunosi reported feelings of relaxation. This suggests the drug may be misused by some in an attempt to feel “high.”
Due to this risk, it’s important to let your doctor know if you have a substance use disorder or have been treated for one in the past. They’ll discuss with you whether it’s safe for you to take Sunosi. If you do take Sunosi, they’ll monitor you more closely for any signs of Sunosi misuse.
Do not take more Sunosi than your doctor prescribes. Taking more than this may lead to serious side effects.
What to do in case you take too much Sunosi
Call your doctor if you think you’ve taken too much Sunosi. 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’re considering treatment with Sunosi, talk with your doctor. It’s a good idea to ask questions that help you weigh the risks and benefits of taking Sunosi. Here are a few examples to help get you started:
- Will Sunosi make me feel “high”?
- Could another drug, such as Wakix, treat my condition?
- Will I experience withdrawal if I stop taking Sunosi?
To find out more about the conditions Sunosi helps to treat, see these articles:
Is it safe for older adults to take Sunosi?Anonymous
It depends on certain factors. These include medical conditions you may have or medications you may take.
In studies, Sunosi was found to be equally safe and effective for treating excessive daytime sleepiness in adults ages 65 years and older as it is in younger adults. No differences in side effects, including frequency or severity, were noted.
But older adults may still have a higher risk of side effects with Sunosi. This is because our bodies depend on our kidneys to get rid of Sunosi, and kidney function declines as we age. Having kidney problems can increase the risk of side effects from Sunosi. It may even be unsafe to take Sunosi if kidney problems are severe enough.
Before prescribing Sunosi to you, your doctor will evaluate your overall health. This includes checking your kidney function, which is especially important if you’re older.
If you’re age 65 years or older, talk with your doctor about whether your kidneys are healthy enough for treatment with Sunosi.The Healthline Pharmacist TeamAnswers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.
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.