Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Drug Proves Helpful for Treating Long-Term Insomnia

22.10.2003


Researchers at Duke University Medical Center and elsewhere have completed the first large-scale study demonstrating sustained efficacy of a medication to treat insomnia for a period of six months.



Eszopiclone (trade name Estorra), was administered nightly to patients with chronic insomnia and led to significant improvement in patients’ ability to fall asleep and stay asleep and in the quality of their sleep without any evidence of a loss of effect over time, the researchers said. Prior to this study, the longest large-scale, placebo-controlled study of a sleep medication for insomnia lasted five weeks.

The data further demonstrate that improvements in sleep were associated with consistent improvements in the patients’ ratings of their capacity to function well during the day, said the researchers. Impairments in daytime function are one aspect of chronic insomnia, and the new study represents the first time any sleep medication has been shown to consistently improve all of the components that define insomnia, they said.


Insomnia is the perception of inadequate or poor-quality sleep that is accompanied by significant distress or impaired function. It is considered to be chronic if it occurs on most nights and lasts a month or more, according to the National Institute of Health.

"I believe that this study is a milestone for research into insomnia treatments," said Andrew Krystal, M.D., lead study author and associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Sleep Research Laboratory and Insomnia Clinic at Duke. "It greatly extends the period of time that a medication has been definitively shown to help people suffering from insomnia and it establishes that studies of longer-term drug treatment of insomnia are not only feasible but can be safely performed."

The research findings appear in the Nov. 1, 2003, issue of the journal Sleep.

The researchers randomized 788 patients aged 21 to 69 into a six-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of three-milligram nightly doses of eszopiclone to treat their insomnia. Participants were required to meet the standard criteria used to make the clinical diagnosis of primary insomnia and to report, on average, less than six-and-a-half hours of sleep per night, or that it took at least 30 minutes to fall asleep for at least one month prior to being screened for the study.

According to Krystal, the results provide the first step toward establishing an empirical base to guide the long-term treatment of chronic insomnia with medication. The findings suggest that eszopiclone has the potential to provide doctors with a treatment option that could be prescribed for patients who require longer-term treatment. The data demonstrate that eszopiclone is safe and could be helpful. By opening the door for future studies of longer-term treatments for insomnia, this study represents an important step in the evolution toward improving treatment options for patients with chronic insomnia, he added.

"The fact that eszopiclone improved not only the difficulties in sleep that patients experience but also their reports of problems they typically experience during their waking hours, suggests the need for a change in our perspective," Krystal said. "The idea that effective treatment should address the entire spectrum of difficulties experienced by patients with insomnia is really a new way of thinking for the field."

An estimated 2.5 percent of Americans take sleep medications for insomnia in any given year, the researchers report. Of these, about 23 percent take such medications on a nightly basis for four months or longer. However, clinical research studies have examined the use of such drugs for an average use of one week. The problem with this, the researchers say, is that long-term drug treatment is being carried out without the existence of research supporting that long-term use is safe or effective in adults.

Nearly 60 percent of American adults surveyed about their sleep habits say they experience sleep problems more than a few times each week, according to the National Sleep Foundation. In their 2003 "Sleep in America" poll, the group found that insomnia is the most common sleep problem and that only one in eight older adults say their problems have been diagnosed.

Of the many people who report sleep problems, 20 to 36 percent report that their problem lasted for more than one year. Thus, the researchers say, it is not surprising that so many people are using sleep medications for long periods of time.

Research funding was supported by Sepracor, Inc., the manufacturer of eszopiclone, a compound currently under review by the Food and Drug Administration.

Krystal has previously designed and conducted other studies for Sepracor and has served on an advisory board there.

Other authors on the study include James Walsh, Ph.D., of St. John’s/St. Luke’s Hospital and St. Louis University; Eugene Laska, Ph.D., of Nathan Klein Institute for Psychiatric Research and New York University School of Medicine; Judy Caron, Ph.D., of Sepracor, Inc. in Marlborough, Mass.; and David Amato, Ph.D., Thomas Wessel, Ph.D., and Thomas Roth, Ph.D., all of Henry Ford Sleep Disorders Center in Detroit, Mich.

Tracey Koepke | dukemed news
Further information:
http://dukemednews.org/news/article.php?id=7126

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>