Getting a good night’s sleep may feel like a luxury to some, and if you experience insomnia, you know how not getting enough sleep impacts multiple aspects of your life.
Don’t let your insomnia symptoms go untreated. Many different prescription sleep aids can help you get a good night’s rest, but the key is finding the right one for your specific symptoms.
In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at the similarities and differences between two medications that are commonly prescribed for the treatment of insomnia, Dayvigo and Lunesta. It’s important to understand how these medications compare before discussing how to treat insomnia symptoms with your healthcare provider.
Accessing mental health providers who can help you find the right insomnia medication should be easy. Klarity can help. Schedule an appointment, and we’ll connect you with a licensed medical provider who specializes in insomnia treatment in as little as 48 hours.
This article discusses suicide, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or is in crisis, contact the Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 800-273-8255.
|Drug Class||Sedative-hypnotic||Orexin receptor antagonist
|Brand / Generic Status||Brand name for eszopiclone||Brand name for lemborexant
|Form(s) of the Drug||• Immediate-release tablets||• Immediate-release tablets|
|Standard Dosage||Immediate-release tablets: |
|Typical Treatment Length||Short-term use only||Short or long-term use
|Conditions Treated||FDA-approved: |
|Cost||Brand name: |
• $7.53 to $86.61 for a 30-day supply
• $5.01 to $91.16 for a 30-day supply
|Brand-name (30-day supply):
• $300 (no insurance)
• $30 to $38 (with insurance)
• $27 (Medicare Part D)
• $48 (Medicaid)
Generic formula not available for Rx
|Side-Effects||Common side effects: |
• Day-time drowsiness
• Memory or concentration issues
• Nervous feeling
• Stomach pain
• Loss of appetite
• Dry mouth
• Unusual taste in your mouth
• Mild skin rash
Serious side effects:
• Severe depression
• Suicidal thoughts
• Memory loss.
|Common side effects:
• Daytime drowsiness
• Muscle weakness
• Unusual sluggishness
Serious side effects:
• Sleep paralysis
• Worsening depression
• Suicidal ideation
• Unusual sleep behaviors
|Warnings For Use||Contraindicated conditions: |
• History of substance abuse
• Pregnancy or breastfeeding
• Other sleep aids
• Opioid pain medications
• Antihistamine drugs
• Most cold and cough medicines
• Muscle relaxants
• Recreational drugs, including marijuana or • Kratom
• Liver disease
• Compromised respiratory function
• Central nervous system depressants
• Certain blood pressure medications
• Some antibiotics
• Antifungals or antimicrobial drugs
• St. John’s Wort
• Narcolepsy medications
• HIV antiviral medications
• Grapefruit juice
• Alcoholic beverages
What is Dayvigo?
Dayvigo is also known by its generic name, lemborexant, and is commonly prescribed for the treatment of insomnia. The medication is part of a class of drugs called orexin receptor antagonists, and as its name describes, it works by blocking the effects of orexin in the body.
Orexin is a neuropeptide that works to help regulate appetite, arousal, and wakefulness. Therefore, when the orexin receptors are blocked, these effects are suppressed, promoting a sleep state.
Dayvigo Forms and Doses
Dayvigo or lemborexant is available in tablet form in dosages of 5 mg and 10 mg. The recommended dose starts at 5 mg but may be increased to a maximum dose of 10 mg based on your healthcare provider’s advice. This medication is taken at night, immediately before going to bed.
Conditions Dayvigo Treats
Dayvigo is a prescription drug that is FDA-approved for treating classic insomnia symptoms in individuals over the age of 18. It’s often best for those who have trouble falling or staying asleep.
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder in the United States with classic symptoms, including delayed sleep onset and disrupted sleep maintenance. Delayed sleep onset describes the time it takes for someone to fall asleep, and sleep maintenance describes the ability to stay asleep.
Dayvigo works by blocking the receptors that are associated with wakefulness and arousal, which promotes a healthy sleep state and improves both sleep onset and maintenance. This medication is not only helpful in helping you fall asleep, but it also allows you to stay asleep.
Insomnia can dramatically impact your personal and professional life as well, as not getting adequate rest throughout the night can cause a number of secondary symptoms.
Common secondary symptoms of insomnia include:
- Fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness
- Inability to concentrate or focus
- Lack of motivation
- Increased irritability
- Increased appetite and cravings for junk food
- Depressed mood
- Changes in memory
Like most medications, the cost of a month’s supply of Dayvigo will greatly depend on your insurance coverage, dosage, and pharmacy. Since Dayvigo is a relatively newer drug, there are only a few coupon codes that cover the medication, and the savings are significantly less than what is typically expected when using a coupon code.
The retail price of a 30-day supply of Dayvigo is around $350 but can be reduced to around $300 with the use of select coupon codes, such as GoodRx. Dayvigo may or may not be covered by your insurance plan.
Dayvigo Side Effects
There are a few serious side effects associated with the use of Dayvigo, including:
- Worsening depression or suicidal ideation
- Complex sleep behaviors, such as sleepwalking or other activity you do not remember
- Sleep paralysis
- Unusual dreams or nightmares
- Daytime drowsiness
- Muscle weakness
If you experience any serious adverse effects, such as complex sleep behaviors, worsening depression or suicidal ideation, it is important to contact your healthcare provider and immediately discontinue the medication.
Dayvigo Drug Warnings
Dayvigo is associated with a few serious adverse effects and should be carefully monitored when starting the medication. In addition to the warnings listed below, those with liver or pulmonary issues should not be started on Dayvigo, as well as in the elderly population over the age of 65.
Complex Sleep Behaviors
Complex sleep behaviors include any activity where the individual is not fully awake, such as sleepwalking or even sleep driving. This type of behavior can be dangerous for not only the person partaking in the activities but for those surrounding the person as well.
Therefore, if you begin to experience any complex sleep behaviors while taking Dayvigo, it is important to immediately discontinue the medication.
Dayvigo is a Schedule IV controlled substance that is not suitable for long-term use because it carries a risk for dependency and habit formation. Prolonged use of Dayvigo may lead to reliance on the medication to achieve normal sleep patterns. It is crucial to follow the prescribed dosage and duration as directed by your healthcare provider.
Abrupt discontinuation of Dayvigo can result in withdrawal symptoms, including rebound insomnia, anxiety, and agitation. If you experience any concerning symptoms or feel dependent on Dayvigo, consult your healthcare provider for guidance on tapering off the medication and exploring alternative treatment options.
When discontinuing the medication, the dose should be slowly titrated down on a weekly basis until off of the medication. Abruptly discontinuing the medication can cause withdrawal symptoms that include the inability to fall or stay asleep and increased irritability or agitation.
As always, it is important to disclose all of your current medications with your healthcare provider, including all over-the-counter medications and supplements.
Drugs to avoid when taking Dayvigo include:
- Central nervous system depressants, including alcohol and benzodiazepines
- Other sleep aids
- Specific antibiotic and antifungal medications
- Certain hypertension medications
- Opioid medications, including Methadone
- Certain antidepressants, such as Wellbutrin
- Narcolepsy medications
- St. John’s Wort
- Grapefruit juice
What is Lunesta?
Lunesta is also known by its generic name, eszopiclone, and is FDA-approved to treat traditional insomnia symptoms, including the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. It is a unique medication, as it modulates the actions at the GABA receptors without actually binding.
GABA receptors are considered to be inhibitor receptors that, when activated, slow down the chemical signaling within the brain, resulting in sedation and allowing the brain to transition to a sleep state.
Lunesta is considered to be a schedule-IV controlled substance due to its potential for abuse and dependence. This is likely due to its action at the GABA receptors, which are activated when using highly addictive substances like alcohol and benzodiazepines.
Lunesta Forms and Doses
Lunesta is available in its generic and name-brand forms in tablets only in the following doses:
- 1 mg
- 2 mg
- 3 mg
The initial starting dose is 1 mg and can be increased on a weekly basis, with a maximum dose of 3 mg per day, depending on your healthcare provider’s recommendation. This medication is not intended for long-term, continuous use due to its potential for abuse and dependency. When coming off the medication from daily high doses, you will need to be slowly titrated off the dose.
Conditions Lunesta Treats
Lunesta is only FDA-approved to treat traditional symptoms of insomnia. These symptoms include trouble falling and staying asleep.
Insomnia is a very common sleep disorder among adults in the United States, with almost 1 in 3 adults experiencing symptoms of insomnia at any given time. As described above, the traditional symptoms of insomnia include sleep onset, or the time it takes to fall asleep, and sleep maintenance, which describes the ability to stay asleep.
The secondary symptoms of insomnia mentioned above can begin to affect your daily life, and this can pose serious issues for some people. Therefore, it is important to address your insomnia symptoms and seek out treatment if you find that your sleep habits are beginning to impact your everyday life.
There are a number of factors that will affect the price of your Lunesta prescription, such as insurance coverage, dosage, use of coupons, and which pharmacy you use. Coupon codes are available at large pharmacies and significantly lower the cost of prescriptions for those with and without insurance.
Lunesta’s retail price is around $586 for a 30-day supply, but this is dramatically lowered with the use of coupon codes to around $7.
Lunesta Side Effects
The majority of side effects associated with Lunesta are mild in nature, but there are a few serious adverse effects that are mentioned under the drug warnings section. It is important to contact your healthcare provider if you begin to experience any severe side effects, such as complex sleep behaviors or worsening anxiety or depression.
Some of the common side effects associated with Lunesta include:
- Dry mouth
- Daytime drowsiness
- Increased anxiety or depression
- Nausea or diarrhea
- Abnormal dreams or nightmares
- Skin rash
Lunesta Drug Warnings
Lunesta is associated with a few serious adverse effects, and therefore, when initially starting on Lunesta, you should be closely monitored for any of the following.
Complex Sleep Behaviors
Complex sleep behaviors are any behaviors that occur when the individual is not fully awake or conscious. This can include sleepwalking or even sleep-driving. These behaviors can be extremely dangerous for the person involved and those surrounding them.
If you begin to experience any complex sleep behaviors, it is important to immediately discontinue Lunesta and contact your healthcare provider.
Lunesta is a Schedule IV controlled substance due to its potential for abuse and dependence. This medication is intended for short-term use and should not be taken consistently for long periods of time. In fact, it’s recommended to use Lunesta for the shortest duration necessary to improve sleep.
Abrupt discontinuation of Lunesta may lead to withdrawal symptoms, such as rebound insomnia, anxiety, and mood changes. Be sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions about dosage and duration of use. If you have concerns about dependency or experience difficulties when discontinuing Lunesta, consult your healthcare provider for assistance in tapering off the medication and considering alternative treatments.
In addition, this medication should not be prescribed to anyone with a current or past history of substance misuse or serious psychiatric disorders. Studies have shown that long-term use of Lunesta can be associated with behavioral changes and psychological changes, such as bizarre behavior, hallucinations, or depersonalization.
With prolonged use of the medication, it is important that the medication is slowly titrated down on a weekly basis to avoid withdrawal symptoms. For those who are on a relatively high dose for a prolonged period of time, it may also be suggested that CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy may be useful when discontinuing the medication.
If you are unhappy with your current medication or are thinking of discontinuing Lunesta, it is important to discuss this with your healthcare provider so that you can safely taper off and avoid withdrawal syndrome.
Similar to Dayvigo, there are a number of medications to avoid when taking Lunesta. As always, it is important to discuss all current medications with your healthcare provider, including all over-the-counter medications and supplements.
Some common drug interactions with Lunesta include:
- Central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines
- Other sleep aids
- Opioid pain medications
- Antihistamine drugs
- Most cold and cough medicines
- Muscle relaxants
- Recreational drugs, including marijuana or Kratom
Which Insomnia Medication Should I Take?
Both Dayvigo and Lunesta are potent sleep aid medications that are very effective but also associated with some serious adverse effects, as mentioned above. In order to find the right insomnia medication for you, contact your healthcare provider and discuss your current symptoms.
Start Insomnia Treatment in 48 Hours With Healthcare Providers on Klarity
Living with insomnia is physically draining, and you deserve a good night’s rest. If you are unhappy with your current medication regimen or have not formally addressed your insomnia symptoms, let Klarity help.
At Klarity, we connect you to licensed healthcare providers in your state who are experienced in treating insomnia. During your first appointment, your healthcare provider will discuss your symptoms to give an accurate diagnosis and then work with you to develop the individualized treatment plan that works best for you.
Skip the hassles of a trip to the local psych clinic, including traffic, taking time off of work, long wait times, and expensive copays. Get started today and meet with an experienced healthcare provider who will get you one step closer to restorative rest.
Dayvigo and Lunesta Frequently Asked Questions
When discussing different treatment options for insomnia, things can get confusing. We went over a lot of information, and it’s common to have additional questions. Below we have answered some of the most common questions asked:
Are Dayvigo and Lunesta the same class of drug?
No, Dayvigo and Lunesta belong to two separate classes of drugs:
Dayvigo is an orexin receptor antagonist, which blocks the effects of the neuropeptide orexin, which promotes arousal and wakefulness.
Lunesta is considered to be a sedative-hypnotic drug that acts by modulating GABA receptors that are responsible for slowing activity in the brain.
What’s better for Insomnia? Dayvigo or Lunesta?
Both Dayvigo and Lunesta are considered to be very effective in treating traditional insomnia symptoms. When comparing the two medications, they are relatively equal with regard to effectiveness.
Can Dayvigo cause depression? Can Lunesta?
Both Dayvigo and Lunesta have the potential to cause new or worsening depression. This is important to keep in mind if you have underlying or undiagnosed depression and should disclose this to your prescribing healthcare provider before starting a medication to treat your insomnia.
Can I drive on Dayvigo or Lunesta?
No, it is dangerous to drive after taking either Dayvigo or Lunesta due to their sedating effects. If you develop complex sleep behaviors, including sleep-driving, discontinue the medication immediately and contact your healthcare provider.
Can I drink alcohol when taking Dayvigo or Lunesta?
No, all central nervous system depressants, including alcohol, should be strictly avoided while taking either Dayvigo or Lunesta. Drinking alcohol while on either medication can result in serious negative effects.
Does it matter what time of day I take Dayvigo or Lunesta?
Yes, it is important to take either Dayvigo or Lunesta immediately before going to bed, as they are highly sedative medications.
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