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Acetazolamide for Sleep Apnea

Posted by writermd on May 13, 2002 at 06:48:09:

I just came across this abstract during a Medline search. Acetazolamide--brand name "Diamox"--is a diuretic (makes you pee) that also lowers the blood level of bicarbonate. A fall in bicarbonate level serves to make the blood slightly more acidic (i.e., a slight fall in blood pH) and this may serve as a respiratory stimulant. I assume that this seems to function in obstructive sleep apnea, even though the diamox probably functions to stimulate ventilation at the central level. Can't speak about this approach one way or the other, but it might be worth talking over with a sleep doc if other therapies are not working.

Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 1999 Apr;53(2):321-2

Clinical efficacy and indication of acetazolamide treatment on sleep apnea syndrome.

Inoue Y, Takata K, Sakamoto I, Hazama H, Kawahara R.

Department of Neuropsychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Tottori University, Yonago, Japan.

The efficacy and indication of acetazolamide treatment on patients with sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) were discussed from assessing the changes of polysomnographic findings with the treatment in 75 SAS patients. For the patients as a whole, respiratory disorder variables improved significantly during the treatment. However, the number of acetazolamide treatment responders who showed a decrease of apnea hypopnea index (AHI) to 50% or less of the pretreatment value numbered only 34 (45.3%). The lower values of body mass index and AHI in the responder group indicated that monotherapy with acetazolamide is the treatment choice only for mild SAS cases without obesity. However, combined treatment with acetazolamide and uvulopalatopharyngoplasty was thought to be beneficial for severe cases.
PMID: 10459724 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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