A new drug for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome showed promising results in the first human trial. The study was conducted by specialists from Flinders University, and its results were published in the journal Chest.
Scientists have tested a drug that affects the receptors located on the surface of the upper airways. The drug activates airway muscles and prevents them from constricting or sticking together in their sleep. Twelve people took part in the study, who used the drug in the form of a spray or nasal drops, and some participants were injected with an endoscope.
Apnea is a serious sleep disorder that is accompanied by brief respiratory stoppages. The most common type of sleep apnea, obstructive, occurs when the soft tissues of the upper airways are closed. Approximately one billion people worldwide suffer from this condition and there is no approved medication to treat it today.
The drug may be an alternative for people with apnea who cannot sleep with a CPAP machine. Although these devices are effective, about half of patients tolerate them. Dental mouth guards and upper airway surgery are not always effective, so new treatments are needed.