A new nightly pill that claims to stop snoring is entering clinical trials in the United States, the New York Post reports.
The newspaper reports that a 2018 study out of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that a nightly tablet that combined two non-sleep related drugs helped reduce snoring frequency in 20 volunteers by 74%. The number of average breathing interruptions went down from 28.5 per hour to 7.5.
Now, the therapy will enter a clinical trial sponsored by Apnimed, a company formed in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Sleep scientists involved in the study have combined atomoxetine, an ADHD drug, and oxybutynin, which is typically used to treat urinary incontinence to help snorers.
According to the New York Post, 22 million people snore so severely that they can be deprived of sufficient oxygen levels, which is a condition known as sleep apnea. SleepApnea.org says that those most likely to have the condition are over the age of 40, overweight, or regularly drink large amounts of alcohol.
Researchers noted that the new drug increased patients’ blood oxygen levels. But the drug does have possible side effects. Oxybutynin can cause abdominal discomfort and constipation, while atomoxetine can cause mood swings and suicidal thoughts, according to MedlinePlus.gov.
According to the newspaper, snoring takes place as facial muscles relax during sleep, which creates a narrow opening for air to pass through for breathing. The snoring sounds comes from the mouth’s soft tissues vibrating as air forces its way in.
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