Study objectives: This double-blind study evaluated the efficacy and safety of modafinil for treating excessive daytime sleepiness in Japanese patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS).
Methods: Patients with residual excessive sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale [ESS] ≥ 11) on optimal nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) therapy (apnea-hypopnea index ≤ 10) were randomized to either 200 mg modafinil (n = 52) or placebo (n = 62) once daily for 4 weeks. Outcomes included baseline-week 4 changes in ESS total score, sleep latency on maintenance of wakefulness test (SL-MWT), nocturnal polysomnography, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and safety.
Results: All 114 randomized patients completed the study. Mean change in ESS total score (-6.6 vs -2.4, p < 0.001) and SL-MWT (+2.8 vs -0.4 minutes, p = 0.009) were significantly greater with modafinil than with placebo. ESS total score decreased from > 11 to < 11 at the final assessment in 69.2% of modafinil-treated patients and 30.6% of placebo-treated patients (p < 0.001). Corresponding rates at week 1 were 57.7% and 33.9% (p = 0.014). Changes in nocturnal polysomnography, PSQI, and apnea-hypopnea index from baseline to the final assessment were similar in both groups. Adverse drug reactions occurred in 36.5% and 22.6% of patients in the modafinil and placebo groups, respectively (p = 0.146).
Conclusions: Once-daily modafinil was effective and well tolerated for managing residual daytime sleepiness in Japanese OSAS patients with residual excessive daytime sleepiness on optimal nCPAP therapy.
Keywords: Epworth Sleepiness Scale; Randomized clinical trial; daytime sleepiness; maintenance of wakefulness test; modafinil; nasal continuous positive airway pressure; obstructive sleep apnea; safety.