Obstructive sleep apnoea poses a significant health hazard that is associated with leading causes of mortality and morbidity. Nasal continuous positive airway pressure is the primary treatment modality, with surgical treatments as alternatives. Oral appliances and pharmacological therapy remain adjunctive modalities. Non-specific treatments include weight loss, postural therapy and behavioural measures. Pharmacotherapy goals include the reduction of risk factors for sleep apnoea; correction of underlying predisposing metabolic diseases, such as hypothyroidism or acromegaly; treatment of associated symptoms, including excessive daytime sleepiness; and prevention of apnoeas/hypopnoeas. This paper reviews data supporting the treatment of sleep apnoea with various pharmacological agents, including intranasal corticosteroids, decongestant sprays, nicotine therapy, opiate antagonists, methylxanthine derivatives, oestrogen and progesterone, testosterone, thyroid hormone, growth hormone therapy for acromegaly, beta-blockers, alpha-adrenergic agonists, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, glutamate antagonists, acetazolamide, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, physostigmine, modafinil and TNF-alpha antagonists, in addition to supplemental oxygen, and carbon dioxide inhalation. Some of these drugs have received very little testing and are the subject of few research articles.
View details for DOI 10.1517/146565220.127.116.11
View details for Web of Science ID 000234420300002
View details for PubMedID 16370918