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CPAP and Sleep Aids
#1
I am very curious about the use of sleep aids in conjunction with CPAP. My apnea went undiagnosed for 10 years before my first CPAP. I was given ever-increasing amounts, combinations, and rotating doses of prescription medication in an effort to "cure" my problem. The list of drugs is lengthy. After getting a CPAP 4 years ago, my dosages decreased but I still need them because I am addicted, the CPAP is not set correctly, and I didn't know I needed followup professional care. (Yes, I was still prescribed massive quantities of benzodiazapines by a physician but he never asked about the CPAP!) I am now trying to wean myself off of the benzos after so many years and it is difficult. I am also trying to find good holistic professional care.

I would like to know about the use of sleep aids by other members:
Prescription meds and high or low dosages?
Non-prescription, OTC meds?
Importance of bed-time rituals, diets, caffeine intake, etc.?

...and most importantly (for me):
Is anyone able to completely stop taking prescription meds after getting their CPAP dialed in???

I am using trial/error to raise my CPAP pressure to the correct level and want to know if I am stuck taking sleep aids forever. Success stories would be helpful. Thanks!
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#2
to me, sleep aids and cpap is a dangerous combination at best, prescribed or not. when you add in the mix of using a non-data capable cpap and adjusting your own pressure by pure guesswork, it becomes a deadly game of russian roulette. if you continue on this course, make sure your will is up to date. you need to be discussing this with your doctor, and not be asking strangers in a forum.
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#3
Sleep apnea is a condition where your airways collapse while asleep can not be treated by a cocktail of drugs and only make apnea worse .
When was last sleep study done may be its time for a new one.
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#4
(04-17-2012, 02:37 PM)greatunclebill Wrote: to me, sleep aids and cpap is a dangerous combination at best, prescribed or not. when you add in the mix of using a non-data capable cpap and adjusting your own pressure by pure guesswork, it becomes a deadly game of russian roulette. if you continue on this course, make sure your will is up to date. you need to be discussing this with your doctor, and not be asking strangers in a forum.

greatunclebbill nailed it right on the head. This is the best advice anyone can give you.
This post is a natural product. The slight variations in spelling and 
grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way 
are to be considered flaws or defects.
 
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#5
(04-17-2012, 02:37 PM)greatunclebill Wrote: you need to be discussing this with your doctor, and not be asking strangers in a forum.
I did just that when started cpap therapy but the doc wasn't much help but strangers on this forum did help me pull through and if it weren't for them probably my apnea would not be treated and the S9 sat in closet collecting dust. Also after a while they are not strangers anymore just fellow hoseheads who dealt with the same issues and walked in the same shoes.
I-love-Apnea-Board
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#6
Despite the "professional advice" I have had for the last decade or so, treating myself with guidance from sites like this one in the last few months has yielded considerably better benefits. In view of the misinformation and misery I have endured, I will henceforth have a lot less faith in my doctors until I can find new ones. It sounds like many here are leading the happy, rested life I seek and I do respect their opinions but they are ultimately not my doctor. I just cannot wait. A forum full of strangers is preferable.

As for another sleep study, "Maybe in six months...." I was told. As for my will, ...check.
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#7
(04-17-2012, 05:24 PM)zonk Wrote:
(04-17-2012, 02:37 PM)greatunclebill Wrote: you need to be discussing this with your doctor, and not be asking strangers in a forum.
I did just that when started cpap therapy but the doc wasn't much help but strangers on this forum did help me pull through and if it weren't for them probably my apnea would not be treated and the S9 sat in closet collecting dust. Also after a while they are not strangers anymore just fellow hoseheads who dealt with the same issues and walked in the same shoes.
I-love-Apnea-Board

so you were on the same specific drug(s) he is on? i didn't hear any drug names, just a class of drugs. i also heard drug addiction which no one here is qualified to deal with. you mentioned an s-9 from which you could make educated guesses. i could be wrong but i don't think he can get the same kind of data on his machine. if he's unhappy with his doctor he needs to get a new doctor that is qualified to deal with the situation.
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#8
Hey there greatunclebill
I was referring to my experience (yours can vary) with the doc and strangers as the so-called strangers helped me while the professional doctor which suppose to know whats going on did nothing of the sort.
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#9
It is too, too easy to become "addicted" to a medication and not be "addicted" like folks are to heroin. The body quickly becomes used to the drug, high or not. It is why a lot of medication has be to tapered off instead of stopped cold turkey. It's to give the body time to adjust.

That said, I want to clarify what you said in the first post.

You were NOT diagnosed with sleep apnea when the docs started giving you sleeping medication, right?

Then when you WERE finally diagnosed correctly, they didn't help you stop them, but just told you to take less, right?

Now you've been using it a while but were never told you needed to revisit the sleep doc, right?

Okay then, if the above is true, then you have several choices.
Stop using the pills. If you take 1 a day, then in a week, take 1/2 a day. In a week, take 1/4 a day. Then 1/4 every other day. Etc Etc Whatever works for you but you have to stop. Like the others have said, sleeping pills and sleep apnea do not mix.

Gather up all your meds into a bag and take them to your doc. Write down all of your diagnoses and what you do to treat them. This includes CPAP. Take all of this to your doctor. Doesn't matter if it is the sleep doc. Your GP would do just as good. Go over each medication. EACH one. Discuss the pros and cons and if any of them contradict each other. Be honest and open. You can also take your meds to your pharmacy. It is a good idea to get your meds all from the same place anyway. If you do get all your meds from the same place, they should already know if any of them interact with each other.

Only YOU can take control of your situation. We can advise and fuss but we can't do it for you. I'm sorry you were misdiagnosed all those years and that the idiot docs didn't help you afterwards. But it is time you got control and held yourself, and them, accountable.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.




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#10
(04-17-2012, 06:10 PM)zonk Wrote: Hey there greatunclebill
I was referring to my experience (yours can vary) with the doc and strangers as the so-called strangers helped me while the professional doctor which suppose to know whats going on did nothing of the sort.

absolutely agree about strangers in normal situations. we can be friends and give moral support but the advice and treatment part is best left to the doctor of his choice that can see him and know his medical history.

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