Synthetic Marijuana May Be Effective to Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms
As is the case for a multitude of emerging medications and treatments, new methods can be met with a lot of criticism from professionals in the medical field. However, there is sometimes a lot of skepticism that is based upon how extensive these clinical tests really are when looking into new treatments, as well as if the proposed treatment option has already been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). Nonetheless, pharmaceutical companies continue to explore the wide variety of potential options for patients suffering from chronic health conditions, and this is exactly the case for a recent method proposing to help alleviate the symptoms experienced by patients with sleep apnea. This treatment method that is currently being proposed include the usage of a certain strand of synthetic marijuana, which is controversial topic in the political world. At this time, there is no treatment option cleared by the Food and Drug Administration for sleep apnea patients officially, as many patients are usually put on a CPAP machine upon their diagnosis. Because of this, patients and doctors are looking towards the next best proposition to alleviate the difficult symptoms that sleep apnea patients often experience. The goal to reduce or even cure the symptoms of this sleeping disorder prove to be a highly relevant one, as more than 20 million Americans are living with the condition today.
If the series of clinical trials for the use of this synthetic marijuana as a sleep apnea treatment proves to be successful, the method could very well replace the old approaches. The most common of these original attempts at reducing the symptoms of sleep apnea include the use of what is known as a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP device). This machine works when patients place a mask over their face while they sleep. Often, the various iterations are awkward and uncomfortable, resulting in patients stopping their usage of the continuous positive airway pressure device all together. A new and innovative way to reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea can very well change how patients treat their condition at home.
The specific medication that is being proposed as a treatment option for sleep apnea patients is called Dronabinol (it's commercial name is Marinol). The drug is based upon the central ingredient in cannabis known as the cannabinoid tetrahydrochloride, or THC. Right now, the Food and Drug Administration does not recognize cannabis as having any distinct health benefits, however the Dronabinol has been approved as a synthetic form. Dronabinol is currently used to increase patient’s appetites as well as alleviate some of the side effects of chemotherapy. Physicians and other medical professionals hope to see some promise for the new form of treatment for sleep apnea, as there are currently no real solutions to the sleep condition. The current approach includes a series of medications, one for the daytime (barbiturates) and another for the nighttime (sedatives). Using these approaches however does bring its own inherent risk.