ATS 2009, SAN DIEGONew research suggests that patients newly diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who use a short-course of the sleep aid, eszopiclone, when beginning continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, are more adherent with therapy in six months.
The findings will be presented at the American Thoracic Society's International Conference in San Diego on May 17.
OSA is a common disorder that leads to multiple adverse effects on health and quality of life. CPAP is recommended as the first-line therapy for most patients with OSA, and has been shown to improve sleep quality, reduce daytime sleepiness and enhance quality of life. Despite its many benefits, however, compliance to CPAP is notoriously poor.
"We know that non-benzodiazepine sedative hypnotics promote sleep onset and continuity. Additionally, they can be safely used in patients with OSA, especially those already using CPAP," said Anita Shah, D.O., author of the study. "To date, the only consistently reliable predictor of long-term use has been compliance with CPAP at treatment initiation. Studies suggest that long-term adherence patterns may be established very early in the course of therapy."
To test whether eszopiclone would improve early CPAP adherence, the researchers conducted a prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving patients newly diagnosed with OSA who were beginning CPAP therapy. A total of 154 patients were recruited into the study and were randomized to receive either eszopiclone or placebo for their first 14 days of CPAP therapy. CPAP adherence was measured weekly for 24 weeks. The study period began the first day of CPAP therapy.
At the conclusion of the study, researchers found significant differences between the eszopiclone group and the placebo group. On average, patients who received eszopiclone used their CPAP devices more nights per week, and for an hour longer per night. Although the sedative hypnoti
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American Thoracic Society