Recent studies have assessed the efficacy of using hypnotic agents for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) endotypes. Advancements and current knowledge about the use of hypnotics in OSA therapy were reviewed in an article published in Sleep Medicine Reviews.
The non-anatomical endotypes which contribute to symptoms of OSA among 70% of patients include unstable respiratory control, low pharyngeal dilator muscle responsiveness, and/or low arousal threshold. The first-line therapy for OSA, continuous positive airway pressure, has low adherence and as such, recent studies have focused on novel therapeutics targeting endotypes.
Results from recent studies have determined that long-standing beliefs about hypnotics may not be in fact true. For instance, there has been no evidence to suggest pharyngeal muscle activity is impaired during sleep, nor do hypnotics exacerbate OSA severity or next-day perceived sleepiness.