WEDNESDAY, April 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Sulthiame (STM) appears to be safe and effective for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a study recently published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Jan Hedner, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and colleagues assessed the safety and tolerability of the carbonic anhydrase inhibitor STM in OSA. The analysis included patients with moderate/severe OSA not tolerating positive airway pressure treatment randomly assigned to STM (400 mg, 34 patients; or 200 mg, 12 patients) or placebo (22 patients) for four weeks.

The researchers found that intermittent paresthesia was reported by 79 percent of patients receiving 400 mg STM, 67 percent receiving 200 mg STM, and 18 percent receiving placebo. Dyspnea was only seen with 400 mg STM (18 percent). Withdrawing due to an adverse event occurred in six patients in the high-dose group, but there were no serious adverse events reported. STM was associated with significant reductions in the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) in the 400-mg group (55.3 to 33.1 events/hour) and in the 200-mg group (61.2 to 40.7 events/hour). Forty percent in the 400-mg group, 25 percent in the 200-mg group, and 5 percent in the placebo group had an AHI reduction of ≥50 percent. There was improvement noted in mean overnight oxygen saturation of 1.1 percent after 400 mg and 200 mg, respectively.

“STM reduced OSA by more than 20 events/hour, one of the strongest reductions reported in a drug trial in OSA,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to Desitin GmbH, which manufactures sulthiame and funded the study.

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