Sleep Apnea / Disorders Expert Forum
Sleep Problems
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Sleep Problems

I was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea two years ago and was given a machine to use when sleeping. After one month, I quit using the machine as the mask caused severe soreness to my nose. I switched to "pillows", but they irritated my nostrils.
Stubbornly, I quite using the machine all together.
My question is this. I have been diagnosed as having depression issue and my doctor recently (less than two weeks ago) put me on Mirtazapine and instructed me to take it about 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed for the night.
The past 3 nights, I have woken up several times while taking a deep "gasp" for air. I realize not wearing the mask is a cause of this, but could the combination of not wearing my mask with the Mirtazapine make the situation worse?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Interestingly, Mirtazapine was found in one study to lower the apnea severity by 50%. The thinking is that it suppresses REM sleep, when you're dreaming. It's also the stage when your muscles are most relaxed. If you have less REM sleep, then you'll stop breathing less often if you have sleep apnea. But a side effect is that you're depriving yourself of REM sleep.

In your situation, it seems you may have the opposite effect. Either way, it sounds like taking your medication aggravated your sleep apnea. You should talk to your sleep doctor for other sleep apnea treatment options. It's also likely that sleep apnea is either causing or aggravating your depression.
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