The University of Western Australia’s Centre for Sleep Science is investigating whether a combination of the synthetic THC dronabinol, and carbonic anhydrase inhibitor acetazolamide, reduces the severity of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).
OSA is a common condition characterised by repeated partial or complete collapse of the upper airway during sleep. Symptoms include snoring, waking feeling unrefreshed and excessive daytime sleepiness.
It is linked to poor health outcomes including cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension and diabetes/insulin resistance, as well as decreased cognitive function and quality of life.
UWA cited evidence that dronabinol and acetazolamide on their own can reduce the severity of OSA and the trial will test whether a combination of the two provides an even greater benefit.
To be eligible, participants aged 21 to 65 must have moderate to severe OSA but otherwise be in generally good health, and not using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device or mandibular advancement splint.
They will not be allowed to drive during the nine-week trial in case the medication affects their ability to do so.