Temazepam at high altitude reduces periodic breathing without impairing next-day performance: a randomized cross-over double-blind study

Oxford Centre for Respiratory Medicine, Churchill Hospital, Headington, Oxford, UK.
Journal of Sleep Research (Impact Factor: 2.95). 01/2007; 15(4):445-54. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.2006.00558.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of the study was to examine the efficacy and safety of temazepam on nocturnal oxygenation and next-day performance at altitude. A double-blind, randomized, cross-over trial was performed in Thirty-three healthy volunteers. Volunteers took 10 mg of temazepam and placebo in random order on two successive nights soon after arrival at 5000 m, following a 17-day trek from 410 m. Overnight SaO(2) and body movements, and next-day reaction time, maintenance of wakefulness and cognition were assessed. Compared with placebo, temazepam resulted in a reduction in periodic breathing from a median (range) of 16 (0-81.3)% of the night to 9.4 (0-79.6)% (P = 0.016, Wilcoxon's signed-rank test), associated with a small but significant decrease in mean nocturnal SaO(2) from 78 (65-84)% to 76 (64-83)% (P = 0.013). There was no change in sleep latency (P = 0.40) or restlessness (P = 0.30). Temazepam had no adverse effect on next-day reaction time [241 (201-380) ms postplacebo and 242 (204-386) ms post-temazepam], maintenance of wakefulness (seven trekkers failed to maintain 40 min of wakefulness postplacebo, and four post-temazepam), cognition or acute mountain sickness. At high altitude temazepam reduces periodic breathing during sleep without an adverse effect on next-day reaction time, maintenance of wakefulness or cognition. The 2% reduction in mean SaO(2) post-temazepam is likely to be predominantly because of acclimatization, as by chance more trekkers took temazepam on the first night (19 versus 14). We conclude that at high altitude temazepam is effective in reducing periodic breathing, and is safe to use, without any adverse effect upon next-day performance.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: : Many sports incorporate training at altitude as a key component of their athlete training plan. Furthermore, many sports are required to compete at high altitude venues. Exercise at high altitude provides unique challenges to the athlete and to the sport medicine clinician working with these athletes. These challenges include altitude illness, alterations in training intensity and performance, nutritional and hydration difficulties, and challenges related to the austerity of the environment. Furthermore, many of the strategies that are typically utilized by visitors to altitude may have implications from an anti-doping point of view.This position statement was commissioned and approved by the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine. The purpose of this statement was to provide an evidence-based, best practices summary to assist clinicians with the preparation and management of athletes and individuals travelling to altitude for both competition and training.
    Clinical journal of sport medicine: official journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine 03/2014; 24(2):120-7. DOI:10.1097/JSM.0000000000000024 · 2.01 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The effect of common sedatives on upper airway physiology and breathing during sleep in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been minimally studied. Conceptually, certain sedatives may worsen OSA in some patients. However, sleep and breathing could improve with certain sedatives in patients with OSA with a low respiratory arousal threshold. This study aimed to test the hypothesis that trazodone increases the respiratory arousal threshold in patients with OSA and a low arousal threshold. Secondary aims were to examine the effects of trazodone on upper airway dilator muscle activity, upper airway collapsibility, and breathing during sleep.
    Sleep 01/2014; 37(4):811-819. DOI:10.5665/sleep.3596 · 5.06 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Divergent approaches to treatment of hypocapnic central sleep apnea syndromes reflect the difficulties in taming a hyperactive respiratory chemoreflex. As both sleep fragmentation and a narrow CO2 reserve or increased loop gain drive the disease, sedatives (to induce longer periods of stable non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and reduce the destabilizing effects of arousals in NREM sleep) and CO2-based stabilization approaches are logical. Adaptive ventilation reduces mean hyperventilation yet can induce ventilator-patient dyssynchrony, while enhanced expiratory rebreathing space (EERS, dead space during positive pressure therapy) and CO2 manipulation directly stabilize respiratory control by moving CO2 above the apnea threshold. Carbonic anhydrase inhibition can provide further adjunctive benefits. Provent and Winx may be less likely to trigger central apneas or periodic breathing in those with a narrow CO2 reserve. An oral appliance can meaningfully reduce positive pressure requirements and thus enable treatment of complex apnea. Novel pharmacological approaches may target mediators of carotid body glomus cell excitation, such as the balance between gas neurotransmitters. In complex apnea patients, single mode therapy is not always successful, and multi-modality therapy might need to be considered. Phenotyping of sleep apnea beyond conventional scoring approaches is the key to optimal management.
    Sleep Medicine Clinics 03/2014; 9(1):87-104. DOI:10.1016/j.jsmc.2013.10.008

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Sep 8, 2014