Monday, January 11, 2010

On the Horizon: The First Sleep Apnea Drug Treatment?


Vivus Inc.'s anti-obesity drug Qnexa was shown to reduce sleep apnea by 69 percent in a mid-stage trial.

Some participants were given Qnexa while others took a placebo. The patients receiving Qnexa saw increased weight loss, reduced blood pressure and a better oxygen concentration.

Because obesity is a major factor in developing sleep apnea, the researchers suspected that weight-loss treatment might help treat the sleep disorder.

The Phase II study included 45 sleep apnea patients at a single location. Before Vivus appeals for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - approval, a larger trial will need to confirm the results.

This research is certainly promising for more than 18 million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea. But treating sleep apnea with a drug may have negative side effects.

Topamax (topiramate) is one component of Qnexa. It has been shown to cause tingling in the hands and feet and cognitive side effects. Pregnant women cannot use topiramate because of birth defect risks.

Qnexa may become a treatment option in the future. But for now, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends CPAP for the first line of treatment. CPAP uses a machine to blow air through a face mask, keeping air passages open during sleep.

Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is also indicated for mild to moderate OSA patients if they prefer it to CPAP, cannot tolerate CPAP, or are unable to use positional therapy or weight loss to control their apnea. Oral appliances (OAs) are recommended for severe OSA patients if they cannot tolerate CPAP.

Read more about Qnexa at the Wall Street Journal.

1 comment:

  1. Treatment for Sleep Apnea you can also trying to sleeping on your stomach or side despite of your back, as this minor position adjustment can help you for Treatment for Sleep Apnea and keep your airways open. These little lifestyle changes can help with the more mild cases.

    ReplyDelete

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