Monday, February 25, 2008

Rozerem and sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a common disorder that disrupts quality sleep...and therefore function during the daytime. A group of researchers decided to try ramelteon (Rozerem), a sleep enhancer, on 26 patients with sleep apnea to see what it would do. They compared the results to what they observed in the same individuals when they were not on this medication.

In the words of the researchers, "Ramelteon had no effect on the number of central, obstructive, or mixed apnea episodes. No significant differences were observed in SaO(2) for the entire night between ramelteon and placebo (95.1 vs 94.7%; P = 0.070). Ramelteon did not meaningfully affect sleep when evaluated by polysomnography and post-sleep questionnaire. Compared with placebo, ramelteon had no significant effect on next-day residual effects."

Yet, these same researchers concluded that the medication was "well tolerated".

Isn't the obvious question here, why would you take a medication that has absolutely no effect on the problem you have...just because it is well tolerated? I tolerate a lot of medications...but they're not going to help any issues I might have. Is it just me, or aren't we supposed to be taking medications that directly address the problems we're working to heal?

Something's wrong with this picture.

Kryger M, Wang-Weigand S, Roth T. Safety of ramelteon in individuals with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep Breath. 2007 Sep;11(3):159-64.

No comments: