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Terrible sleep apnea, klonopin helps
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Terrible sleep apnea, klonopin helps

I have terrible sleep apnea that causes headaches, exhaustion, brain fog, flu symptoms for 3 years now.  the only thing that helps is klonopin a benzadiazepene.  the doc told me that it could regulate my breathing and central apneas- my O2 went down to 70% on a sleep lab study with central.  

is there any cure for me?  I'm on a cpap machine and have asthma, FEV1 70% and would have UPPP surgery but couldn't get surgery done
Avatar_dr_m_tn
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

I am sorry to hear that you have such a multitude of symptoms going on. I am not sure from your description whether you have central sleep apnea (CSA) or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or perhaps both. UPPP surgery is generally useful for OSA. CPAP is useful for both OSA and CSA.
For CSA it is hypothesized that if sleep continuity can be preserved, sleep disordered

breathing could be improved. There is some evidence that clonazepam helps when there is CSA present along with periodic leg movements (which you have described).

Other treatments for CSA include respiratory stimulants such as acetozolamide (Diamox) and nasal O2.

I would recommend you establish care with a sleep specialist because you appear to have multiple comorbids other than the sleep apnea. They all need to be taken into account before making any medication or intervention recommendations.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck

10 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
I also wake up with chest pains and might have enlarged left ventricle on ecg.  I take all my asthma meds but it doesn't stop my wheezing
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Avatar_m_tn
I seem to have sleep apnea, or maybe it could be seizures that are disrupting my sleep?  I don't have seizures during the day but when I'm falling asleep my body twitches
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Avatar_m_tn
I know that cpap is the standard treatment but I can't sleep the whole night and keep tearing the mask off in my sleep.  
it has destroyed my life
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm not sure how the klonopin helps, is it because I have the plmd, leg twitches before I fall asleep?  I guess it somehow regulates my breathing- I have a neurenteric cyst of 1.3 cm that is eroding my clivus
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Avatar_m_tn
does anyone know how klonopin helps central sleep apnea?  doesn't it stop electrical activity somehow and depress the central nervous system?
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Avatar_m_tn
I've been unable to get this evil hospital to give me UPPP surgery and my life has been destroyed by headaches, terrible fog, and inability to think
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Avatar_m_tn
thanks very much!  I've found clonazapem helps my centrals/PLMD.  on sleepyhead software my data cards shows unspecified apneas and hypopneas.  I suddenly started to have central apnea symptoms and asthma after being in indonesia for a year, 3 years ago and have a neurenteric cyst eroding my clivus.  
sometimes I have twitching during the day for a few seconds but nothing on a 20 minute EEG
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Avatar_m_tn
I tried theophylline which is toxic and sometimes at 400mg it gave me uncomfortable heart racing
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Avatar_m_tn
I wonder what is the mechanism that klonopin helps centrals.  does it cause memory/thinking damage long term?
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