Insomnia - Adult Expert Forum
Is this a result of Sleep Apnea?
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Questions in the Sleep & Insomnia Forum are being answered by Dr. Gregg D. Jacobs.

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Is this a result of Sleep Apnea?

Hi.  I am worried about my husband.  He is 41 years old.  He has been taking 1.5mg Xanax everyday since he was 24.  He also takes Ambien as needed.  And, he has been drinking daily since he was 18.  He now drinks about a 12 pack of 12oz beers every night.  
In November, my husband started passing out during the evening time.  He has passed out about 10-15 times since November.  He will cough and gasp for air and then pass out.  While he is passed out, he doesn't breathe.  His eyelids stay open and his eyes roll back into his head.  The white in his eyes turns blood red. His body shakes and flops like he is having a seizure.  
I am wondering if this passing out is due to the medication and beer or something else?  Is this some symptom of the medication?  
A couple of years ago, my husband was diagnosed with sleep apnea.  He is convinced that the passing out is somehow related to the sleep apnea.  Could this be the root of the problem?
I'm just trying to find some expert help... I'm so worried!  
Thanks for your time!
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This can be a serious side effect of a dangerous combination of alcohol and xanax that can be affecting/slowing respiration, neurological activity, and other brain activity. If he is having apneas when he passes out, he is depriving his brain of oxygen that is already compromised by too much alcohol and xanax.  Alcohol and xanax in this amount and combination can be deadly. He needs help and needs  to discuss this with his doctor right away.

Dr. Jacobs
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