Antidepressant May Someday Treat Sleep Apnea

Antidepressant May Someday Treat Sleep Apnea

For the millions of people prescribed CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy for their obstructive sleep apnea, many no doubt wish there were an easier way to get treatment. Between the CPAP machine recall that is still unresolved to the fact that even those CPAP machines that weren’t recalled can be awkward and uncomfortable, CPAP is just simply not ideal. In case you aren’t familiar with CPAP machines are machines which fit over the nose and mouth via a mask while you sleep. Because they are often considered uncomfortable, many patients who are prescribed CPAP therapy simply do not use it.But now, a new study has found that a pair of antidepressants called reboxetine and oxybutynin may be able to treat obstructive sleep apnea. The Australian study was published in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, and found that this one-two punch of reboxetine (an antidepressant) and oxybutynin (an overactive bladder medication) is an effective means to treat sleep apnea, however researchers wanted to see if just reboxetine alone would treat sleep apnea.They monitored 16 people in the reboxetine study. According to researcher Dr. Thomas Altree, the reboxetine alone was able to lessen the severity of sleep apnea symptoms and reduce the number of sleep apnea episodes per hour. It also increased oxygen levels. Patients with placebos did not experience these effects, and some who tried reboxetine with oxybutynin saw no improvements from the oxybutynin.Though the study is promising, it was done on a very small scale and will need to be performed on a much larger sample size before the drug can even be considered for off-brand use such as treating sleep apnea.Thankfully, if you have been prescribed CPAP therapy and simply aren’t a fan, there are alternative options. Dr. Peterson offers one such solution, a mandibular orthotic device that is custom fitted to your individual mouth, and works to prop the airway open while you sleep, with no awkward mask or uncomfortable forced air.To learn more about the mandibular sleep devices available from Dr. Peterson, please schedule a consultation today. He will be happy to help you get the solution you desire for your sleep apnea.

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