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Trazodone increases arousal threshold in obstructive sleep apnoea.
European Respiratory Journal
A low arousal threshold is believed to predispose to breathing instability during sleep. The present authors hypothesised that trazodone, a nonmyorelaxant sleep-promoting agent, would increase the effort-related arousal threshold in obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) patients. In total, nine OSA patients, mean+/-sd age 49+/-9 yrs, apnoea/hypopnoea index 52+/-32 events.h(-1), were studied on 2 nights, one with trazodone at 100 mg and one with a placebo, in a double blind randomised fashion. While receiving continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), repeated arousals were induced: 1) by increasing inspired CO(2) and 2) by stepwise decreases in CPAP level. Respiratory effort was measured with an oesophageal balloon. End-tidal CO(2 )tension (P(ET,CO(2))) was monitored with a nasal catheter. During trazodone nights, compared with placebo nights, the arousals occurred at a higher P(ET,CO(2)) level (mean+/-sd 7.30+/-0.57 versus 6.62+/-0.64 kPa (54.9+/-4.3 versus 49.8+/-4.8 mmHg), respectively). When arousals were triggered by increasing inspired CO(2) level, the maximal oesophageal pressure swing was greater (19.4+/-4.0 versus 13.1+/-4.9 cm H(2)O) and the oesophageal pressure nadir before the arousals was lower (-5.1+/-4.7 versus -0.38+/-4.2 cm H(2)O) with trazodone. When arousals were induced by stepwise CPAP drops, the maximal oesophageal pressure swings before the arousals did not differ. Trazodone at 100 mg increased the effort-related arousal threshold in response to hypercapnia in obstructive sleep apnoea patients and allowed them to tolerate higher CO(2) levels.
Adult, Arousal/drug effects, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Polysomnography, Sleep Apnea, Obstructive/physiopathology, Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/drug therapy, Trazodone/therapeutic use
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