The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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1441
Tasimelteon (Hetlioz) for Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder
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The FDA has approved the melatonin receptor agonist tasimelteon (Hetlioz – Vanda) for treatment of non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder (non-24), which is common in totally blind persons. Tasimelteon is the first drug approved for this indication and the second melatonin receptor agonist approved for use in the US; ramelteon (Rozerem) was approved earlier for treatment of insomnia.1 Melatonin itself has not been approved by the FDA for any indication; it is available in the US as a dietary supplement and is promoted as a sleep aid.2

NON-24 — The intrinsic period of circadian rhythms is typically slightly longer than 24 hours. In sighted persons, the light-dark cycle is the main signal that resets the circadian timing system every 24 hours. In totally blind persons, the absence of light permits the circadian cycle to run longer than ... more      

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