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Valium, Klonopin, Benzos and Sleep Apnea
#1
I am almost finished tapering off Klonopin/Valium after 34 years of legal use prescribed by doctors. The weaning process has taken me 5 months so far and has been the hardest thing I have ever done.

I was simply uniformed and I guess lazy......... Dont-know

See the below article on Sleep Apnea and Benzo use that I stumbled across today...........

1. Is it on track as to what the members here know?

2. When I am finished with the taper, I will never take another Benzo, it has caused many problems over the past 4 years.

PM me if you want URL's to Benzo information sites.

The article.......

Sleep Apnea and Valium Use

Patients with severe sleep apnea are often tempted to use Valium or other benzodiazepines because it allows them to sleep through the apnic episodes without waking to consciousness. Benzodiazepines are central nervous system depressants that can affect the control of ventilation during sleep. The tranquilizer allows the person to think they received four hours of uninterrupted sleep, and they may even feel more refreshed upon awakening from such sleep. But that is only an illusion.

During the drugged sleep, the patient exerts considerable unconscious physical effort in overcoming the obstruction, eventually finally gasping and falling back into a deeper sleep until the next attempt at breathing occurs. This effort comes at a huge physiological price due to the lack of oxygen in the system during the effort. While the patient wakes after the effects of the drug feeling like he got some sleep, he really has suffered quite a bit of long-term damage.

It is axiomatic among physicians that benzodiazepines should NOT be given to patients with obstructive sleep apnea because of the long-term damage the prolonged apnic episodes cause. Long-term use of benzodiazepines in patients with sleep apnea causes elevated blood pressure, which may lead to stroke, heart attack and even early death.
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#2
I agree with the article.

I'm glad you are slowly tapering off. Hang in there. When you are done, will they do another sleep test?

How are your pain levels?

A friend of mine has MS and some other conditions. Once a year or so, she detoxes from almost everything. She and her doctor then evaluate how the medications are or are not working. Normally there's no change but sometimes, they discover something needs adjusting.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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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#3
Sounds like a good way to wake up dead.

Glad you are shaking it, U2.
"Never quit! Never surrender!"

"With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable." - Thomas Foxwell Buxton

Cool
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#4
Hi u2canbuild,
I wish you much success in tapering off the benzos, hang in there.
trish6hundred
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#5
It is not suggested to use the drugs you mention in conjunction with sleep apnoea. There is considerable evidence that you really make things worse on several levels, and it is good that you are tapering off. Remember that you need to wean off these meds, so slowly slowly under the supervised dosage reduction schedule.

You will sleep better once you are free of these after a while, though it way take some time for the body to adjust to the new sleep matrix - it has learned to do things another way for a long time and you will need to "retrain your brain" so to speak. But give it some time. Since you have not described why you have been taking these meds, I cannot suggest alternatives, but I am sure your doc has already given you some alternatives.
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#6
(03-26-2013, 06:38 PM)u2canbuild Wrote: Patients with severe sleep apnea are often tempted to use Valium or other benzodiazepines because it allows them to sleep through the apnic episodes without waking to consciousness.

For ten years I took amitriptyline for chronic headaches, and I think it had that effect on me. When I stopped taking it almost two years ago because of side effects I started waking up every hour or two.

After a few months of this I finally got diagnosed with sleep apnea and have been on CPAP therapy ever since. Slowly the frequency of awakenings has decreased. I now wake up only two or three times a night and usually find it easy to fall back asleep.
Sleepster
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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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#7
To give some perspective on the use of any types of drugs when suffering form sleep apnoea, last night I had a considerably bad back and considered taking a combination of Sirdalud and Olfen Retard. The combination always induces a drugged sleep in addition to the healing it does on the affected muscles. I did not take it in the end, and about an hour into my sleep I began to choke due an overproduction of mucous and saliva combined - I woke while coughing heavily and gasping for breath, trying to clear the breathing tube. Had I taken the drugs, there is every possibility, based on past experience, that I would have had a far harder time awakening and clearing my throat, which took considerable effort and was only partly successful. Even a small delay in the waking process in this case, or in the self preservation trigger, could have proven dangerous, even fatal.

So, as we can see, drugs, particularly certain types, and sleep apnoea (or sleep at all) don't always mix well.
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#8
Good call, Doc.
Glad you made it ok!
We need you here. Wink
"With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable." - Thomas Foxwell Buxton

Cool
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#9
Thanks, Shastzi (must ask you about that handle some day). I prefer to err on the side of caution - and being in the pill biz, so to speak, I kindof am reluctant to use them if I can avoid them (although the Sirdalud/Olfen combo is a great combo - I just avoid using it unless absolutely necessary, meaning I am so crippled with pain that I can barely move or sleep - then it is a godsend and pure bliss).
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#10
Yes, but as a doc, you should know that the sooner you treat pain, the easier it is to conquer. Waiting until you are crippled up with it means you HAVE to use the big guns.

It is like waiting until you are exhausted and had a crash from falling asleep at the wheel before you check the CPAP data.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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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