What is the role of modafinil in the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB)?

Updated: Feb 13, 2020
  • Author: Vittorio Rinaldi, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Modafinil is a wake-promoting medication used in association with CPAP to treat patients with OSAS. It has an action similar to that of sympathomimetic agents (like amphetamine and methylphenidate), though its pharmacologic profile is not identical to that of sympathomimetic amines. The precise mechanism through which modafinil promotes wakefulness is unknown.

Headache and nervousness are the only adverse events reported. Because there is no benefit to using modafinil in patients with OSA who are not compliant with CPAP, it should not be administrated in such cases.

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