Patients with obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome can experience residual daytime sleepiness despite regular use of nasal continuous positive airway pressure therapy. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group study assessed the efficacy and safety of modafinil for the treatment of residual daytime sleepiness in such patients.
Patients received modafinil (n = 77) (200 mg/d, Week 1; 400 mg/d, Weeks 2 to 4) or matching placebo (n = 80) once daily for 4 wk. Modafinil significantly improved daytime sleepiness, with significantly greater mean changes from baseline in Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores at Weeks 1 and 4 (p < 0.001) and in multiple sleep latency times (MSLT) at Week 4 (p < 0.05). The percentage of patients with normalized daytime sleepiness (Epworth score < 10) was significantly higher with modafinil (51%) than with placebo (27%) (p < 0.01), but not for MSLT (> 10 min; 29% versus 25%). Headache (modafinil, 23%; placebo, 11%; p = 0.044) and nervousness (modafinil, 12%; placebo, 3%; p = 0.024) were the most common adverse events.
During modafinil or placebo treatment, the mean duration of nCPAP use was 6.2 h/night, with no significant change from baseline observed between groups. Modafinil may be a useful adjunct treatment for the management of residual daytime sleepiness in patients with obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome who are regular users of nasal continuous positive airway pressure therapy.