Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the most common method of treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The drawback to CPAP treatment is that some people may not use the machines optimally. Researchers at the Naval Medical Center hypothesized that administration of hypnotic medication to new CPAP users would facilitate compliance. The study involved 72 male OSA patients referred for CPAP treatment were randomized to also receive an oral hypnotic agent (zolpidem), placebo pill, or neither (standard care) for the first 14 days of CPAP treatment. CPAP usage was recorded by an internal data chip. Patient symptoms were assessed with the Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS) and functional outcomes of sleep questionnaire (FOSQ). They found out that those men who were given sleeping aids did not show greater CPAP usage. However, all groups showed significant symptom improvement on both the ESS and FOSQ.
Bradshaw DA et al. Chest. 2006 Nov; 130(5):1369-76