Compare Belsomra vs. doxepin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Belsomra (suvorexant)

Prescription only

doxepin

Prescription only
Helps you sleep.

Belsomra (suvorexant) helps you fall asleep, but is only avaliable as a brand name so can be expensive.

Treats depression and anxiety.

doxepin can treat depression and anxiety, but it's not a first choice medication because of its many side effects.

Upsides
  • May be helpful if other sleep aids don't work.
  • Works quickly, especially on an empty stomach.
  • Might be a good option for the elderly.
  • doxepin has been consistently shown to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • doxepin has been used to treat depression for over forty years.
Downsides
  • Not usually used for long-term treatment since it can be habit-forming.
  • Belsomra (suvorexant) is likely expensive since it's only available as a brand name, but coupon savings program could be available.
  • Not recommended if you do not plan to sleep for at least 7 hours.
  • Belsomra (suvorexant) may cause sleep paralysis.
  • doxepin can make you very sleepy. Try taking it at bedtime if you need to be alert during the day.
  • You shouldn't drink alcohol with doxepin. It can worsen side effects like drowsiness.
  • You have to take it daily, especially if you are feeling better, for the medicine to do its job.
  • It can have more side effects than other antidepressants, like weight gain and increased appetite, decreased libido, and sleepiness.
  • It's not unusual for people to try different antidepressants until they find one that works for them.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
8possible side effects
  • Headache
    7%
  • Sleepiness
    7%
  • Dizziness
    3%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
  • Dry mouth
    2%
  • Cold and flu
    2%
  • Abnormal dreams
    2%
  • Cough
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The doxepin FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Changes in thoughts
    • Uncontrolled psychiatric conditions
    • Alcohol
    • Other medicines that make you sleepy or dizzy
  • Hangover effect
    • Alcohol
    • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
    • Less than 7 hours of sleep after taking Belsomra (suvorexant)
  • Dependence and withdrawal
    • Continuous use for 2 weeks or more
  • Depression
    • Risk increases with dose
    • Past history of depression
  • Difficulty breathing
    • Sleep apnea
    • COPD
  • Sleep paralysis
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Suicidal thoughts or behavior
    • Age 24 years or under
  • Unmasking of bipolar disorder
    • Bipolar disorder
  • Serotonin syndrome
    • Taking MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors)
  • Heart problems
    • History of heart disease
    • Adults over 65
    • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Sleepiness
    • Adults 65 years or older
    • Taking other medicines that cause drowsiness (antihistamines, sleep medications, narcotic pain medications)
    • Alcohol
  • Dizziness and falls
    • Age 65 years or older
See more detailed risks and warnings