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Do I Need A Prescription For CPAP?


If you suspect you have sleep apnea, you may be wondering whether you can just buy a CPAP machine without a prescription. The short answer is no. You will need to get a sleep study done, after which a prescription will be issued, before providers are permitted to sell and issue a CPAP machine to you.

Sleep Studies

You will need to obtain a prescription from a medical professional before you can get a CPAP machine. There are several reasons for this:

  • A CPAP machine must be used on a certain pressure setting. Only medical professionals can determine this setting based on your oxygen saturation level and apnea-hypopnea index (AHI).
  • If you are intending to get a CPAP machine covered by insurance, providers will need to see a valid prescription before they will cover you.
  • There are different types of sleep apnea such as obstructive sleep apnea and mixed sleep apnea. Depending on which one you suffer from, you may need a different kind of machine and setting.

During a sleep study, your heart rate, breathing and blood oxygen levels will be taken. How many times you wake up in the night as well as how many times you stop breathing will also be observed.


Below is a list of medical professionals who are licensed to write prescriptions for CPAP machines:

  • Medical doctors and Doctors of Osteopathy
  • Physician assistant
  • Naturopathic physicians
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Psychiatrist (MD only)
  • Dentist

Your prescription must contain the following information for it to be valid:

  • Your full name
  • Physician’s name, contact details and signature
  • Diagnosis – the specific kind of sleep apnea you suffer from
  • Duration of prescription – most prescriptions are lifetime, however in some cases they may come with an expiration date or a specific number of refills. If your prescription has an expiration date, you will need to get another sleep study conducted after it expires in order to get a new machine and/or parts.
  • Type of machine
  • Pressure setting the machine should be set at
  • Whether a humidifier is included
  • Preference of mask
  • Recommended timeframe for replacing masks and other parts

Obtaining Your CPAP Machine with A Prescription

After you have obtained your prescription and decided on a provider to get your CPAP machine from, you can contact your physician and ask them to send the prescription to the provider. Alternatively, you can provide your physician’s contact information to the provider and have them get in touch. Once the prescription has been verified on both sides, you are good to go.

Get CPAP Machines from Patient Solutions

Do you or a loved one suffer from suspected sleep apnea? If so, the first thing to do is to get a sleep study conducted to obtain a prescription for a CPAP machine. After that, come to us at Patient Solutions to purchase your CPAP machine. If you have any questions about our products or would like some recommendations, please feel free to contact us.