FDA approves Hetlioz for sleep-wake disorder in blind individuals
The approved Hetlioz (tasimelteon), a melatonin receptor agonist, to treat non-24- hour sleep-wake disorder (non-24) in totally blind individuals. Non-24 is a chronic circadian rhythm (body clock) disorder in the blind that causes problems with the timing of sleep. This is the first FDA approval of a treatment for the disorder.
Non-24 occurs in persons who are completely blind. Light does not enter their eyes and they cannot synchronize their body clock to the 24-hour light-dark cycle. Those with the disorder may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, and may wake up groggy or feeling as if they need more rest. People with non-24 may find their sleep patterns reversed—needing to sleep during the day and to be awake at night.