New Pill, An Eye Opener - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/11/02

New Pill, An Eye Opener

A new drug may work better than a strong cup of coffee at getting you awake for the day after a restless night. The research continues at Baylor College of Medicine, but so far their findings show that Pro-Vigil can be an eye opener for patients with Sleep Apnea who despite treatments like air flow machines or surgery are still drowsy during the day.

Pro-Vigil is a new drug that works on the area of the brain responsible for whether you're asleep or awake, increasing alertness and decreasing the need for sleep. Study patients who took Pro-Vigil said they felt more awake during the day compared to those who got a placebo. "Most of the people we saw that had residual sleepiness even though they were well treated, improved significantly and got a lot closer to having normal wakefulness than they did before," says Dr. Max Hirshkowitz a sleep researcher at the Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Hirshkowitz says it's important to note that apnea patients who take Pro-Vigil will still need to receive other therapies, such as the C-Pap breathing device or surgery to help them get the sleep they need at night.

Meanwhile, Pro Vigil is currently approved by the FDA to treat daytime sleepiness in patients with Narcolepsy, another sleep disorder. Now the Baylor team says it may also help the millions who suffer from obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Pro-Vigil has its share of side effects. The most common are that it can trigger headaches, nervousness, runny nose, nausea, anxiety, and dizziness. The study is published in the American Journal of Critical Care Medicine.

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