Efficacy and Safety of Daridorexant in Older and Younger Adults with Insomnia Disorder: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomised Placebo-Controlled Trial

Ingo Fietze, Claudio L.A. Bassetti, David W. Mayleben, Scott Pain, Dalma Seboek Kinter, William V. McCall

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Background and Objective: The dual orexin receptor antagonist daridorexant, studied in two phase III trials, dose-dependently improved objective and subjective sleep variables and daytime functioning in adults with insomnia. Because treatment of insomnia in older adults is challenging and has limited options, the purpose of the current analysis was to further analyse the phase III trial studying the higher doses of daridorexant, those that showed efficacy (daridorexant 50 mg, daridorexant 25 mg and placebo, nightly for 3 months), and compare the safety and efficacy of daridorexant in patients aged ≥ 65 (‘older adults’) to those aged < 65 years (‘younger adults’). Methods: Analyses by age (≥ 65 years, n = 364; < 65 years, n = 566) were performed on data from the randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled Trial 1 in adult patients with insomnia (NCT03545191). Efficacy endpoints included a change from baseline at month 1 and month 3 in polysomnography-measured wake after sleep onset (WASO) and latency to persistent sleep (LPS), self-reported total sleep time (sTST) and daytime functioning assessed using the validated Insomnia Daytime Symptoms and Impacts Questionnaire (IDSIQ). Safety endpoints included adverse events and the Visual Analog Scale for morning sleepiness. Results: At baseline, mean [standard deviation] WASO was numerically greater (110 [39] vs 92 [38] min) in older than younger adults, while LPS was comparable (~ 65 min). Mean baseline IDSIQ total and all domain scores were numerically lower (i.e. better) in older adults. Daridorexant caused similar reductions in WASO and LPS, and similar increases in sTST, from baseline, in both age groups; improvements were numerically greater with daridorexant 50 mg than 25 mg. At month 3, daridorexant 50 mg, compared with placebo, decreased WASO by a least-squares mean of 19.6 (95% confidence interval 9.7, 29.5) in older patients versus 17.4 min (10.7, 24.0) in younger patients and decreased LPS by a least-squares mean of 14.9 (7.5, 22.3) in older patients versus 9.7 min (3.7, 15.7) in younger patients. Daridorexant 50 mg increased sTST from baseline to month 3 by a least-squares mean of 59.9 (49.6, 70.3) in older patients versus 57.1 min (48.9, 65.3) in younger patients. Daridorexant 50 mg progressively improved IDSIQ total and domain scores from week 1 onwards similarly in both groups; daridorexant 25 mg improved IDSIQ scores, but only in younger adults. In both age groups, in comparison with placebo, the overall incidence of adverse events was comparable, and there were fewer falls on daridorexant. Daridorexant improved Visual Analog Scale morning sleepiness in both groups; daridorexant 50 mg increased the mean (standard deviation) Visual Analog Scale morning sleepiness score by 15.9 (20.7) in older adults and by 14.9 (18.7) in younger adults from baseline to month 3. In older adults, there was one case of sleep paralysis, and no cases of narcolepsy, cataplexy, or complex sleep behaviour. Conclusions: In older patients with insomnia, as in younger patients, the efficacy of daridorexant is maximal on night-time and daytime variables at the higher dose of 50 mg. Older patients particularly require this dose to improve daytime functioning. Older patients are not at an increased risk of adverse events or residual effects the next morning after night-time administration of daridorexant, even at 50 mg. The dose of daridorexant does not need to be decreased for older patients. Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03545191) [first posted: 4 June, 4 2018], https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03545191.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDrugs and Aging
Early online dateSep 13 2022
StatePublished - Sep 13 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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