Medical sedation and sleep apnea

Mithri R. Junna, Bernardo J. Selim, Timothy I. Morgenthaler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The effects of hypnosedatives and opioids on breathing control may share common pathophysiologic pathways with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), resulting in additive adverse consequences. Current understanding of the complex interaction of these medications across multiple systems is not only limited to muscle tone and anatomic considerations but also to dynamic ventilatory control and how they modulate the sleep state. This review article provides a systematic review of the most recent clinical and pharmacologic literature published regarding the effects of opioids and hypnosedatives on the clinical manifestation of OSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-58
Number of pages16
JournalSleep Medicine Clinics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Benzodiazepines
  • Hypnotics
  • Non-benzodiazepine GABA receptor agonists
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Opioids
  • Sedation
  • Sleep architecture
  • Sleep-disordered breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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