Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


Eight male subjects with sleep apnea syndrome were given placebo and protriptyline in a double-blind crossover design to evaluate the effects of protriptyline on respiration during sleep. Treatment with protriptyline produced significantly better oxygenation and significantly fewer arousals during sleep, but sleep staging was unchanged. The decreased number of respiratory events approached significance and was much greater in six of eight subjects. A rapid eye movement sleep-suppression explanation of the improvement in oxygenation is not supported. Alternative explanations of these findings are discussed.