Effects of Temazepam in Patients With Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disease


The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of temazepam during sleep and in daytime on dyspnea, gas exchange and sleep quality in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The study hypothesis is that temazepam does not produce any adverse respiratory effects during sleep in patients with COPD. In contrast, it may result in an beneficiary effect because it positively affects the sleep quality and sleep structure which may result in more alertness and less daytime sleepiness and less dyspnea during the day.

Full Title of Study: “Effects of Temazepam on Dyspnea, Gas Exchange and Sleep Quality in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Treatment
    • Masking: Double

Detailed Description

Rationale: More than 50% of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have sleep complaints characterised by longer latency to falling asleep, more frequent arousals and awakenings, generalised insomnia and/or excessive daytime sleepiness. Sleep disturbance seems to be more severe with advancing disease and substantially reduces patients' quality of life. The sleep complaints are due to dyspnea, chronic cough, sputum production, hypoxaemia and hypercapnia during the night. One of the available therapies for these patients is the prescription of hypnotics (like benzodiazepines). However, it is thought that in patients with COPD sleep medication may produce adverse respiratory effects due to suppression of the cerebral respiratory drive. In our practice, we never encounter any adverse respiratory effect of an hypnotic in patients with COPD. There have been several trials in COPD patients studying these potentially adverse effects. The results of these studies are inconsistent, relative older hypnotics are used and there are several methodological limitations. Furthermore, in none of these studies transcutaneous PCO2 or PO2 was monitored. Temazepam is nowadays the sedative of first choice in the medical treatment of sleep complaints. Aim: primary: studying the effects of temazepam on the respiratory function during daytime and at night in patients with severe COPD. Secondary: studying the effects of temazepam on the sleep quality and sleep structure and on the objective and subjective sleepiness during daytime and at night in patients with COPD. Study design: double blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over randomised clinical trial. Treatment: 10 mg temazepam or placebo during seven consecutive nights. Endpoints: Primary: difference in PtcCO2, PtcO2 and oxygen saturation during sleep after 1 week temazepam compared to placebo. Secondary: Respiratory Disturbance Index, Desaturation Index and Hypercapnic Ventilatory Response, percentage REM/nREM-sleep and total effective sleep time, Multiple Sleep Latency Test and the Epworth Sleeping Score.


  • Drug: Temazepam

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • transcutaneous PCO2
  • transcutaneous PO2
  • Oxygen saturation

Secondary Measures

  • Respiratory Disturbance Index
  • Desaturation Index
  • MSLT
  • arterial PO2
  • arterial PCO2
  • Hypercapnic Ventilatory Response
  • total sleeping time
  • sleep latency
  • percentage REM- and nREM-sleep of total sleep time
  • number of arousals
  • number of apneas during sleep
  • number of hypopneas during sleep
  • Epworth Sleeping Score
  • Dyspnea Visual Analog Score

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • diagnosis of COPD, GOLD 3 or 4 – having subjective sleeping problems – longer latency to falling asleep – frequent arousals – excessive daytime sleepiness – clinical stable health for minimally 6 weeks Exclusion Criteria:
  • usage of some sort of medication that influences sleep in any kind of way (like benzodiazepines, barbiturates, opiates, amfetamines) which can not be discontinued during the study period – alcohol abuse – hospitalisation 6 weeks or shorter before enrollment in the study – hyperreactivity / allergy to benzodiazepines – history of benzodiazepine-dependence – myasthenia gravis – obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) – severe liver failure – age under 18 years – participation in another study less than 6 weeks before enrollment – COPD exacerbation less than 6 weeks before enrollment – usage of oxygen supplementation at home
  • Gender Eligibility: All

    Minimum Age: 18 Years

    Maximum Age: N/A

    Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: No

    Investigator Details

    • Lead Sponsor
      • Rijnstate Hospital
    • Overall Official(s)
      • Gerben Stege, MD, Principal Investigator, Rijnstate Hospital
      • Peter J de Bruijn, MD, Study Director, Rijnstate Hospital
      • Richard PN Dekhuijzen, Prof. PhD MD, Study Director, UMC St. Radboud
      • Frank JJ van den Elshout, PhD MD, Study Director, Rijnstate Hospital
      • Yvonne F Heijdra, PhD MD, Study Director, UMC St. Radboud
      • Marjo JT van de Ven, PhD MD, Study Director, Rijnstate Hospital
      • Petra JE Vos, PhD MD, Study Chair, Rijnstate Hospital

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