Expanding Knowledge, Treatment Options on Excessive Daytime Sleepiness: Paula K. Schweitzer, PhD

The director of research at St. Luke’s Sleep Medicine and Research Center discussed the current treatment landscape for excessive daytime sleepiness and how solriamfetol plays a role.

"Patients and clinicians sometimes don’t differentiate between feeling fatigued and having no energy versus actual sleepiness where they can’t stay awake. That may be an important distinction in determining both cause of the complaint, as well as how to treat the complaint.”

An open-label extension trial (NCT02348632) led by Paula K. Schweitzer, PhD, recently found that solriamfetol (Sunosi; Jazz Pharmaceuticals), a drug FDA-approved for the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), is safe and efficacious in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), regardless of adherence to primary OSA therapy. Currently, the only other drugs approved for the treatment of EDS in patients with OSA are modafinil (Provigil; Teva) and armodafinil (Nuvigil; Teva), with a number of investigational agents and modalities still in the pipeline.

Solriamfetol, a dual-acting dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, has yet to be observed in comparator studies with other approved or non-approved treatment options, which, according to Schweitzer, can make tailoring treatment regimens even more difficult. Schweitzer, director of research, St. Luke’s Sleep Medicine and Research Center, claims that the overall knowledge of EDS and OSA needs improvement in order to expand the treatment toolbox and provide personalized and individualized care for patients.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Schweitzer discussed Solriamfetol’s advantages as an EDS treatment, the EDS treatment landscape, and which future research endeavors peak her interest going forward.