No More Unsexy CPAP Machines? – New Drug May Cure Sleep Apnea 

There’s good news for the thirty-nine million Americans who suffer from sleep apnea; relief may be on the way. Thirty-three million Americans manage sleep apnea by using CPAP machines. Still, a new drug may solve the problem for those suffering from the problem and put an end to needing to use one of those practical but unsexy CPAP machines. 

Unsexy CPAP machines are a lifesaver for the 33 million Americans who use them for sleep apnea, but a new drug could be the cure many have been waiting for.

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According to the NY Post,

A new drug could put an end to cumbersome CPAP machines, which are thought to be used by some 33 million Americans to manage their sleep apnea. Roughly 39 million Americans, including President Biden, currently suffer from sleep apnea. The most common form of the disorder is obstructive sleep apnea. In OSA patients, the upper airway partly or entirely closes during sleep, blocking airflow to the lungs and repeatedly causing breathing to start and stop.

In addition to risks like death, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and possibly cognitive decline and dementia, OSA contributes to a severe decline in sleep quality.

The breathing condition is grossly underdiagnosed, with the Cleveland Clinic reporting that 85% to 90% of people with sleep apnea don’t know that they have it.

As per The Post, symptoms of OSA include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness.

  • Observed episodes of stopped breathing during sleep.

  • Waking during the night and gasping or choking.

  • Awakening in the morning with a dry mouth or sore throat.

  • Morning headaches.

  • Trouble focusing during the day.

  • Mood changes, such as depression or being easily upset.

  • High blood pressure.

  • Decreased interest in sex.

However, because CPAPs are cumbersome and expensive, many sleep apnea patients don’t use them. Many don’t want to wear them. 

Although no drug is currently approved for treating sleep apnea, researchers at Apnimed, a Massachusetts-based company, have developed a drug called AD109.

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The NY Post reports that,

The experimental drug is a combination of aroxybutynin, which is used to treat symptoms of an overactive bladder, and atomoxetine, which is used to treat ADHD. Both drugs are designed to help people sleep and, in tandem, can reportedly keep a person’s airway from collapsing during the night. A third trial of the drug is currently underway.

Lifestyle changes have been shown to improve the condition of those who suffer from OSA. For example, weight loss, reducing alcohol intake, and quitting smoking have been shown to help. Additionally, researchers from Flinders University in Australia found that those who changed to a plant-based diet were nearly twenty percent less likely to develop the condition than those who continued to eat meat. For those who would never consider these choices, keep your eye out for the new OSA drug and ask your doctor about it. 

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