SSRIs and Sleep Apnea
Lexapro is the latest and most effective member of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) group of drugs used for their anti-depressant effects.
Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by intermittent pauses in breathing pauses during sleep. The number of such pauses can range from a few to hundreds during the period of sleep. Sleep apnea’s main symptom is loud snoring followed by a gasping or snorting sound when the person resumes breathing. Sleep adversely affects the quality of sleep and the person is more vulnerable to fatigue during the following day.
Depression linked to sleep apnea: Studies reveal that people with depression are 500% more likely to have breathing-related sleep disorders compared with people who don’t have depression. Sleep disorders can lead to hypertension, depressive disorders, stroke or cognitive deterioration as well as social and professional conflicts. It is therefore important to have sleep disorders treated. However, it remains a mystery to medical science how sleep disorders and depression are linked. It remains unclear whether depression causes sleep apnea or vice versa.
Correlation between Lexapro and sleep apnea: The correlation is interesting. Sleep apnea can give rise to depressive disorders. But, depression itself, or use or abuse of SSRI antidepressants such as Lexapro, can cause side-effects that include sleeping disorders. Lexapro also leads to weight gain in some patients, and weight gain is common among people with sleep apnea.
Nevertheless, it has been seen that Lexapro is effective in the treatment of sleep apnea if the doctor’s prescription and advice is meticulously followed. Self-medication with Lexapro can aggravate sleep apnea.