Scroll to top

Can This Antidepressant Cure Sleep Apnea?

Dr Martin Abelar - October 19, 2022 - 0 comments

Meta: For those looking for a quick fix for sleep apnea, the drug reboxetine may someday be used to treat sleep apnea symptoms.

If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, chances are you’d do just about anything to make it go away. Between the increased risk for many illnesses including diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, not to mention the daytime exhaustion, cognitive impairment, and even depression, having sleep apnea is often just the tip of the iceberg.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just take a magic pill, and have your sleep apnea go away? Well, the technology isn’t there yet, but new research using an antidepressant called reboxetine may someday do just that.

Reboxetine is a drug used to treat depression. Recently, reboxetine was used in a study conducted by a research team in Australia to specifically treat sleep apnea.

What the research team found was quite surprising. It seems that reboxetine in fact is effective at treating some sleep apnea symptoms, but with some caveats.  For starters, the pill is not without its share of side effects. This may act as a deterrent to some seeking a sleep apnea solution.

Another caveat? Reboxetine studies have been thus far very small, and researchers will need to do much more research on the topic and expand the size of their study before reboxetine is able to be used specifically to treat sleep apnea. In fact, it could take the better part of a decade to get approval for using the antidepressant for sleep apnea.

But don’t despair. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are unhappy with your current course of CPAP treatment, there is another option besides CPAP that is available today, and has zero side effects. It’s a custom mandibular orthotic that positions the airway open manually, allowing you to breathe as you sleep.

Mandibular sleep devices are often deemed more effective than CPAP therapy, because they are more comfortable, and thus more likely to be used by the patient. They require no electricity, no tubes, machinery, or mask, and clean easily – just like you’d clean a retainer or dentures. Because they are cleaner, mandibular devices are less likely to cause respiratory illness than improperly cleaned CPAP machine tubing.

Dr. Abelar is happy to offer these orthotic sleep devices to his patients. If you are interested in learning more about a mandibular orthotic device from Dr. Abelar, please contact the office today for a consultation. 

Related posts