Medication Options for Sleep Apnea and Daytime Sleepiness


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.

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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.
Last Updated: November 17, 2008

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