Part of the Milestones in Drug Therapy book series (MDT)


The role of the melatonin in relation with circadian rhythms and the sleep/wake cycle is well established. It is thought to play a role in controlling the sleep–wake cycle through physiological processes regulated in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. In normal subjects, the endogenous circadian period is a little over 24 h, but is entrained to the 24-h day through exposure to light. In the absence of light or light perception (totally blind), the synchronization is lost and the circadian rhythm follows the intrinsic non-24 h clock, resulting in a non-24 h sleep–wake disorder. Non-24 h sleep–wake disorder is characterized by a misalignment of the 24-h light/dark (LD) cycle and a non-entrained sleep/wake cycle propensity resulting in asymptomatic periods alternating with episodes of insomnia, excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), or a combination of both. Tasimelteon (VEC-162) is an orally bioavailable melatonin receptor agonist of the melatonin MT1 and MT2 receptors recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of non-24 h sleep–wake rhythm disorder.


Circadian System Primary Insomnia Moderate Hepatic Impairment Nighttime Sleep Blind Individual 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical CenterBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, College of MedicineThe University Sleep Disorders Center, King Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.National Plan for Science and TechnologyKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Division of Health and Behavior, Department of Population HealthClinical and Translational Research Institute, Center for Healthful Behavior Change, New York University Langone Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Somnogen Canada Inc.TorontoCanada

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