Medication Options for Sleep Apnea and Daytime Sleepiness
Last updated: Nov 17, 2008
Obstructive sleep apnea is not generally treated with medication; in fact, sleeping pills and other sedatives can worsen the condition. But if a patient suffers from excessive daytime sleepiness even while using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night, there are medication options that can promote wakefulness.
These drugs, known as modafinil (Provigil) and armodafinil (Nuvigil), are available by prescription only, are not meant to be a substitute for other sleep apnea treatments, and should only be taken in addition to nightly CPAP therapy.