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Obstructive sleep apnea: management considerations in psychiatric patients

Authors Heck T, Zolezzi M

Received 23 June 2015

Accepted for publication 24 August 2015

Published 15 October 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 2691—2698


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Xiang Mou

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Taryn Heck,1 Monica Zolezzi2

1Pharmacy Department, University of Alberta Hospital, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, AB, Canada; 2Clinical Pharmacy and Practice, College of Pharmacy, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

Abstract: Psychiatric disorders and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are often comorbid. However, there is limited information on the impact of psychotropic medications on OSA symptoms, on how to manage psychiatric pharmacotherapy in patients presenting with OSA, or on the effectiveness and challenges of OSA treatments in patients with comorbid mental illness. As such, the objective of this article is to provide an overview of some epidemiological aspects of OSA and treatment considerations in the management of OSA in individuals with comorbid psychiatric disorders. Predefined keywords were used to search for relevant literature in electronic databases. Data show that OSA is particularly prevalent in patients with psychiatric disorders. The medical care that patients with these comorbidities require can be challenging, as some of the psychiatric medications used by these patients may exacerbate OSA symptoms. As such, continuous positive airway pressure continues to be the first-line treatment, even in patients with psychiatric comorbidity. However, more controlled studies are required, particularly to determine continuous positive airway pressure compliance in patients with mental illness, the impact of treating OSA on psychiatric symptoms, and the impact of the use of psychotropic medications on OSA symptoms.

Keywords: obstructive sleep apnea, psychiatric disorders, comorbidity, psychotropic medications

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