Effect of sodium oxybate on disrupted nighttime sleep in patients with narcolepsy

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Journal of sleep research


This post hoc analysis evaluated the dose-related effects of sodium oxybate on sleep continuity and nocturnal sleep quality in patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy. Polysomnography data, including shifts to Stage N1/Wake, were from a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of sodium oxybate. Patients were ≥16 years old with a diagnosis of narcolepsy including symptoms of cataplexy and excessive daytime sleepiness. Treatment was for 8 weeks with placebo or sodium oxybate 4.5, 6 or 9 g administered as two equally divided nightly doses. Relative to baseline, significant dose-dependent reductions in the number of shifts per hour from Stages N2/3/rapid eye movement and Stages N2/3 to Stage N1/Wake were observed at week 8 with sodium oxybate (P < 0.05); sodium oxybate 6- and 9-g doses also resulted in similar reductions in shifts per hour of rapid eye movement to Stage N1/Wake (both P < 0.05). Across all shift categories, the shift reductions with sodium oxybate 9 g were significantly greater than those observed with placebo (P < 0.05). Improvements from baseline in reported sleep quality were significantly greater with sodium oxybate 4.5 and 9 g at week 8 (P < 0.05). Correlations between change from baseline in number of shifts per hour to Stage N1/Wake and cataplexy frequency, patient-reported nocturnal sleep quality, and excessive daytime sleepiness assessed using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale were numerically highest for the sodium oxybate 9-g dose across all sleep stage shift categories. In these patients with narcolepsy, sodium oxybate showed improvements in the sleep continuity and nocturnal sleep quality that are characteristic of disrupted nighttime sleep (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT00049803).

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Cataplexy; Female; Humans; Male; Polysomnography; Sleep; Sleep, REM; Sodium Oxybate

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