Here is a quick mnemonic/memory aid “SLEEP ZONE“ to remember about the Drugs Causing Obstructive Sleep Apnea
S – Sedatives: Medications like benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam) can relax throat muscles and contribute to OSA.
L – Lead: Heavy metals like lead can lead to OSA by affecting the central nervous system.
E – Ethanol: Excessive alcohol consumption, especially in the evening, can lead to OSA as it relaxes the upper airway muscles.
E – Estrogens: Hormone replacement therapy (estrogens) may increase the risk of OSA in postmenopausal women.
P – Phenytoin: This antiepileptic drug can contribute to OSA by affecting muscle tone.
Z – Zolpidem: A common sleep aid, zolpidem, can relax the throat muscles and worsen OSA.
O – Opioids: Medications like morphine and codeine can depress the respiratory drive and contribute to OSA.
N – Nitrates: Nitroglycerin and other nitrates can cause OSA due to their muscle-relaxing effects.
E – Epinephrine: Excessive use of epinephrine-containing nasal decongestants can lead to OSA by constricting blood vessels and reducing airflow.
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