Impact of zaleplon on continuous positive airway pressure therapy compliance

John G. Park, Eric J. Olson, Timothy I. Morgenthaler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Study Objective: To determine whether pretreatment with zaleplon immediately before CPAP titration improves 1-month CPAP adherence in subjects newly diagnosed with OSA. Methods: Prospective, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of a single dose of zaleplon 10 mg or matching placebo at the start of CPAP titration during laboratory-based, split-night polysomnography (PSG). Baseline sleep symptoms were assessed with the Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire (FOSQ) and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). CPAP usage and change in symptom questionnaire responses were assessed at 1-month follow-up. Results: One hundred thirty-four newly diagnosed OSA patients undergoing their initial split-night PSG (49.8 ± 11.3 years old with an apnea-hypopnea index of 16.5 (7, 32) [median (interquartile range)] were randomized to zaleplon (n = 73) or placebo (n = 63). Complete follow-up data were available in 83 subjects (44 zaleplon group; 39 placebo group). CPAP was used for 6.5 (5, 7) h/day with zaleplon versus 6.5 (5, 8) h/day with placebo (p = 0.64). Improvements in FOSQ and ESS scores did not differ between the two groups. Conclusion: A single dose of zaleplon at the start of a split-night CPAP titration does not result in superior CPAP adherence or improvement in symptoms at 1-month compared to placebo. Our data show that zaleplon is safe and is associated with shorter sleep latency during CPAP titration, but it does not translate into improved short-term CPAP adherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-444
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 15 2013


  • Compliance
  • Continuous positive airway pressure
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Zaleplon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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