Effect of sodium oxybate, modafinil, and their combination on disrupted nighttime sleep in narcolepsy

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Sleep medicine


OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of three narcolepsy treatment modalities on sleep stage shifts associated with disrupted nighttime sleep (DNS) using data from a clinical trial.

METHODS: Polysomnograms were reviewed from 155 patients (who had these data available at baseline and 8 weeks) of the 278 patients who were randomized to placebo, 9-g sodium oxybate (SXB)/nightly, 200-600 mg/d modafinil, or SXB + modafinil. Major outcomes of these post hoc analyses, analyzed using analysis of covariance, were change from baseline in number of shifts from Stages N2/3/rapid eye movement (REM) to Stage N1/Wake, and from Stage N1/Wake to REM. Sleep quality was evaluated using the sleep-quality question from the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.

RESULTS: SXB alone or in combination with modafinil significantly decreased the number of shifts from Stage N2/3/REM to Stage N1/Wake (p < 0.01); least-squares mean change in number of shifts from baseline was -0.6, -16.5, 1.8, and -13.7 in the placebo, SXB, modafinil and SXB + modafinil groups, respectively. A similar pattern was observed for changes in shifts from REM to Stage N1/Wake and from Stage N1/Wake to REM. Relative to placebo, sleep quality significantly improved with SXB and SXB + modafinil (p ≤ 0.05) but not with modafinil alone.

CONCLUSION: These results show that SXB with and without modafinil significantly consolidated sleep and improved patient-reported sleep quality relative to placebo. In contrast, no such effects were observed with modafinil alone, suggesting a specific effect of SXB on DNS in addition to its effect on daytime sleepiness. CLINICALTRIALS.


Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Benzhydryl Compounds; Drug Therapy, Combination; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Modafinil; Narcolepsy; Polysomnography; Sleep Stages; Sodium Oxybate; Treatment Outcome

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