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Effects of intranasal steroids on continuous positive airway pressure compliance among patients with obstructive sleep apnea

  • Sleep Breathing Physiology and Disorders • Original Article
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Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea can produce troublesome nasal symptoms, especially congestion, which may affect the continuity of using CPAP. Intranasal steroids are often prescribed to reduce these side effects, although few recent studies exist supporting the benefits of this treatment for CPAP-induced nasal side effects.


Eighty-three patients with OSA were enrolled in a prospective, randomized controlled study. All patients received CPAP treatment and were divided in two groups. The study group was prescribed fluticasone furoate nasal spray 55 μg, and the compliance to CPAP for patients in both groups was recorded by device memory card. Total nasal symptom score was assessed using a questionnaire by direct interview, with follow-up performed at 30 and 90 days after treatment.


Compliance to CPAP increased in both groups with significantly greater compliance in the intranasal steroid group compared to the control group without intranasal steroid (P value = 0.002, 0.001, and 0.020, respectively) after 90 days of treatment. No difference in nasal symptoms was found between the groups after 30 days of treatment. However, adding an intranasal steroid resulted in decreased rhinorrhea and congestion symptoms (P value < 0.001 and < 0.001) after 90 days of treatment.


The addition of an intranasal steroid decreased the frequency of nasal symptoms, especially rhinorrhea and congestion, among patients with OSA initiating CPAP therapy and increased compliance to CPAP after 90 days of treatment.

Trial registration

IRB approval ID: R179h

Clinical trial ID: TCTR20200715001

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Correspondence to Rutti Chumthong.

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The questionnaire and methodology used in this study were approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Institutional Review Board Royal Thai Army Medical Department, Thailand (R179h/60), and registered at (TCTR20200715001).

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Informed consent was obtained from all individuals in this study prior to participation.

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Segsarnviriya, C., Chumthong, R. & Mahakit, P. Effects of intranasal steroids on continuous positive airway pressure compliance among patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep Breath 25, 1293–1299 (2021).

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