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The Most Important CPAP Prescription FAQs

Do you need a prescription for CPAP? Yes, because it’s the law! We follow all FDA regulations regarding our equipment to ensure you receive CPAP supplies that are safe and effective for proper treatment. You will need a CPAP prescription for a PAP machine or heated humidifier. Other CPAP supplies such as cushions, pillows, tubing, filters, and water chambers do not require a prescription.

Why Do I Need A CPAP Prescription?

Under the federal law and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) medical devices are placed in three classes, class l, ll, or lll, based on their risks and the regulatory controls needed to provide reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness.

  • Class I - Have a mild risk for users.
  • Class II - Have a moderate risk for users.
  • Class III - Have a high risk for users.

CPAPs are considered to be a Class ll Medical Device because: 

prescription for CPAP
  • You need prescription that includes pressure settings based on your apnea/hypopnea index (AHI) and lowest oxygen saturation (Sao2), after taking a sleep test. Otherwise, inadequate CPAP settings could be harmful to your health.
  • Correct pressure settings can only be determined by a qualified physician based on your sleep study. Prescriptions provide accurate pressure settings based on your individual needs.
  • If you’re suffering from central or mixed sleep apnea instead of only obstructive sleep apnea will need to be treated with a slightly different PAP machine. A sleep doctor’s recommendation or prescription ensures that will get the correct device.

Can I Get A CPAP Without Prescription?

If you see a used CPAP online or hear that your friend has one in storage, don’t use it. USED CPAP machines have a variety of risks.

  • The plastic and materials break down over time, leading to cracks and air leaks, causing your CPAP therapy to be less effective.
  • CPAP machines collect germs, viruses, skin cells, bacteria, and more. So you may be breathing in all of those pathogens from the previous user.
  • If you need a BiPAP and end up with a CPAP you won’t receive proper treatment.
  • You don’t know how often a recycled CPAP machine was used or if it works correctly. CPAP machines need to be replaced every five years!

How To Get A CPAP Prescription

To get a CPAP prescription you will need to visit your doctor to discuss your sleep symptoms. Then based on symptoms and side effects, you may need a home sleep study or to visit a sleep lab.

Sleep study for CPAP prescription

Lab Sleep Study

At home sleep tests can be ordered online. Once your sleep test arrives you will wear the device for one night and then return it, so a qualified sleep physician can review your results and contact your doctor. This is the cheaper testing option.

If you visit the sleep lab you will fall asleep while connected to various machines that provide more in-depth information about what’s causing your sleep disorder. They can monitor for things such as leg movement and brain wave activity, while home tests are limited to oxygen, heart rate, and torso movement.

Who Can Write A CPAP Prescription?

A variety of professionals can write a CPAP prescription including your: 

  • Medical Doctor
  • Doctor of Osteopathy
  • Psychiatrist
  • Physicians Assistant
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Dentist
  • Naturopathic Physician

How Do I Buy My CPAP Online?

  • To buy CPAP equipment online you find a trusted supplier like CPAP Supplies that offers top quality CPAP machines and supplies from industry-leading manufacturers.
  • Then while making your purchase, make sure they have your prescription information to verify it.
  • And last but not least, follow the check out process.

How Do I Get My CPAP Prescription online?

There are a variety of ways to give us your CPAP prescription: 

Uploading your CPAP prescription
  • Email us a photo of your prescription to Either take a photo of it to send directly or add it as an attachment. This can be performed on your smartphone. Please include, “Prescription for” as your subject line.
  • Fax your prescription to 877-881-1291.
  • Upload an image of your prescription directly to our site.
  • Call us for help at 866-298-6482. We can request your prescription for you.
  • Download our prescription form and email or fax it in with your doctor’s signature included.
  • What Information Should Be On My CPAP Prescription?

Your CPAP prescription needs to include:

  • Patient’s name
  • Physician’s contact information
  • Physician’s signature
  • Diagnoses
  • Duration
  • Type of machine (CPAP, BiPAP, etc.)
  • Pressure setting (fixed or auto range)
  • Indicate if humidification is included
  • Mask system

How Long Is My Prescription Valid?

If your CPAP prescription mentions a “Life time Need” or says “99 months”, it’s valid for as long as you need therapy. If your prescription shows an expiration date, it is valid until the date shown. If it contains a certain amount of refills, these items can be dispensed per the number of times listed. We are happy to review your prescription to determine when it can be used.

What If I Have More CPAP Prescription Questions?

Our knowledgeable CPAP Supplies representative will be happy to help! Send us an email at, live chat with us, or call us at 866-298-6482. You’ll be sleeping better with your new CPAP in no time!