Medication effects on sleep and breathing

Gilbert Seda*, Sheila Tsai, Teofilo Lee-Chiong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Sleep respiration is regulated by circadian, endocrine, mechanical and chemical factors, and characterized by diminished ventilatory drive and changes in Pao2 and Paco2 thresholds. Hypoxemia and hypercapnia are more pronounced during rapid eye movement. Breathing is influenced by sleep stage and airway muscle tone. Patient factors include medical comorbidities and body habitus. Medications partially improve obstructive sleep apnea and stabilize periodic breathing at altitude. Potential adverse consequences of medications include precipitation or worsening of disorders. Risk factors for adverse medication effects include aging, medical disorders, and use of multiple medications that affect respiration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-569
Number of pages13
JournalClinics in Chest Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Antipsychotics
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Central sleep apnea
  • Estrogen
  • Hypnotics
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Progesterone
  • Testosterone


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