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Useful Sleep Apnea Articles

Effects of Vicodin in Patients with Sleep Apnea

Effects of Vicodin in Patients with Sleep ApneaVicodin is a narcotic medication that is commonly prescribed for moderate pain, but it may not mix with sleep apnea according to experts. Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a sleep disorder that is associated with cessation of breathing throughout the night. The breathing becomes obstructed by soft tissues in and around the throat, and the patient rouses briefly to reopen the airways. While this can happen so quickly that the person is unaware of it, the frequent wakings associated with sleep apnea combined with the reduced oxygen flow can put enormous stresses on the body and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, accidents and other major issues.

Taking a narcotic pain reliever such as Vicodin before you go to sleep can be extremely dangerous if you have OSA. The narcotic can relax your airways and slow or stop your breathing. It should also not be used in conjunction with sedatives, tranquilizers or other narcotics, and you should not drink before taking it.

Because symptoms of OSA can be easy to miss, it is important to be aware of them. Loud snoring, frequently waking to use the bathroom, waking with a sore throat or headache, depression, daytime sleepiness and irritability can all be symptoms and may indicate the need for further evaluation. You may be at a higher risk of developing OSA if you are obese or if you have a large tongue, bruxism or a retruded or recessed lower jaw. Talk to your doctor about these risk factors before taking Vicodin. Call us to learn more or to schedule a consultation.

 

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