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Sleep apnea and oxycodone pain killer
Hi there.
Im a new guy here obviously with a quick quetion. I found out i have sleep apnea around a year or so ago, and have been using a CPAP machine since then.
I had hernia surgery Wednesday. The doctor gave me Oxycodone/Percocel for the pain. I dont know how or why i looked it up, bu i found several people online speaking of the danger of using such medicine and having sleep apnea, that Oxycodone can slow your breathing and combined with sleep apnea can cause a deadly effect. Needless to say this has me a bit concerned. Also i did seem to feel slightly short of breath earlier today. Now i dont know-that could just be me overreacting or being overly concerned to something i read and causing me t have silly thoughts. The doctors know i have sleep apnea, certaiinly if thier was a real connection they wouldnt have prescribed this pain killer would have they?
Basically all i really want to know is if anyone has ever heard any actual facts as to there being a danger with using such pain killers and having sleep apnea?
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No need to worry.
Oxy is a narcotic and as you are only on it for a few nights anyhow you are ok.

IF you were on that or a similar narcotic full time, and IF your Central Apneas were way to high, not just for a few nights but continuously, then yes, you would have to go onto a different type of machine

But for a few nights there is no need to worry EVEN IF your central apneas go through the roof those few nights which i would tend to doubt they will do....
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I am not a doctor but I hope that your doc that prescribed the oxy knows about your OSA.

I can only speak for myself and what I have seen and I wouldn't take it even without OSA. A few years back, I had dental surgery and was given Percocet and I took one and it knocked me out and I never took another one. I have to admit that it was nice to sleep like that but I don't like not being in control and getting knocked out like that so that was all it took for me not to take it again.

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Those narcotics are known to (tend to) increase events.

My normal (much) < 1.0 went to 2.5 or as high as 6 with hydrocodone for my post-op Total Hip Replacement (2 weeks ago.)

About the only time I was taking the hydrocodone was at bedtime but with my APAP and the drugs I slept beautifully despite some rise in AHI and occasional reaching the border line "apnea" threshold even.


My advice would be to discuss it with your doc, and if he says it's safe take what you NEED for the pain.

Without the model can't tell if you machine has full data -- do you monitor your AHI and other numbers daily?

For me it was a modest but acceptable increase in AHI, but definitely USE YOUR EQUIPMENT.

It's probably obvious but one can never be sure what other people know: Almost all docs have a 24 hour service that will find the doc, an alternate, the PA, or nurse -- if in doubt CALL IMMEDIATELY and ask for advice.

It's their job to get you GOOD INFORMATION, not only for you health but to allay your concerns if they are not necessary.

Sweet Dreams,

Sleep study AHI: 49 RDI: 60 -- APAP 10-11 w/AHI: 1.5 avg for 7-days (up due likely to hip replacement recovery)

"We can all breathe together or we will all suffocate alone."
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I am in Pain MNGT, and have been for the last 3yrs or so.

I am not a DR of any kind, that said, yes my pain meds do not play well with my OSA. But the short time, and (fairly) mild meds you've been offered I wouldn't stress too much. There are always exceptions (going both ways) - but any fairly certain the doc would still give them to you knowing you are on a CPAP.
*I* am not a DOCTOR or any type of Health Care Professional.  My thoughts/suggestions/ideas are strictly only my opinions.

"Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you. Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your Soul, the other for your Freedom."
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What model is your CPAP machine? It should say "REMstar something" near the display.

If you have a good machine, you can check your own AHI numbers and see if it affects you.

If you have the right model, download the SleepyHead software mentioned at the top of the page, and it will let you see your own data.
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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(09-04-2014, 09:43 PM)zizzlezude Wrote: The doctors know i have sleep apnea, certaiinly if thier was a real connection they wouldnt have prescribed this pain killer would have they?

I wouldn't be too worried, but ask the doctor anyway.

It's often a fatal mistake to assume the doctor is paying attention. Or knows his job about interactions between medical conditions. Or looked at the charts. Or that he got all the information.

This is true not only for CPAP but for all your medical conditions and treatments. We need to look out for all these conditions ourselves. Modern assembly line medicine often misses things like this.

I'm penicillin allergic, and it's on all my charts. One of my doctors prescribed me penicillin despite it being on his charts and the #$*@#&( forms they make you fill in every time you go see the doctor.

There are some web sites that will cross check all your meds to see if there are interactions. It's a good idea to check.
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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The only thing that concerned me was somehow i ran across some random post on a different website, i believe Yahoo Answers. Somebody claiming that their cousin died from a combination of using Oxy and sleep apnea. After finding the post again i notice it did not even go into detail if the person was using a CPAP machine or anything-its very well possible the person had no clue what they were talking about. It just had me a little bit concerned is all.
I dont really know all the details of my CPAP machine-or differences in various units. It says Philips-systemone remstar auto a-flex on the unit. Thats really about all i know. I must admit many of the things everyone is saying here are quite foreign to me such as AHI and Data. I guess i need to study up on all of this. I do use my CPAP regularly though and have for the past year-its actually gotten to where i really cant sleep without it anymore. I just always put it on at night and took it for granted.
I seem to have a good tolerance for the pain medicine they gave me, it doesnt knock me out or anything. Just makes me slightly drowsy. Im pretty certain now i will be ok taking it.
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Something to keep in mind is yes, you have sleep apnea, but you have TREATED, sleep apnea. As in you are being treated for it.

Then there's the pain thing. That pain you are in is going to disturb your sleep worse than the pain medication will. Take a look at the pill. Is there's a mark on it indicating the pill can be broken in half? If you are unsure, call your pharmacy and ask them if it can be. If it can, break the pill in half and only take half a dose when you go to sleep. If you wake up during the night and it is time for another, take the other half.

Pain is easier to control if you control it regularly. Waiting until it is screaming at you makes it harder to control.

But chances are, the pain medication they gave you is mild and for short term use. You should be fine.

Oh, and one more thing: Yahoo answers are about as reliable as getting hernia surgery from your car mechanic.
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Hi zizzlezude,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
If you are concerned, you might talk to your doc about it.
Best of luck to you as you continue your CPAP therapy.
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