Reversal of central sleep apnea following discontinuation of opioids

J Clin Sleep Med. 2012 Oct 15;8(5):579-80. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.2164.


This case report including polysomnography shows reversal of central sleep apnea after opioid withdrawal. A patient using opioids for pain was diagnosed with central sleep apnea (CSA), but was not compliant with therapy. Five years later he underwent detoxification. Subsequent polysomnography showed no sleep disordered breathing. This is the first report of correction of CSA following opioid withdrawal confirmed by polysomnogram.

Keywords: Central sleep apnea; narcotics; opiates.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects*
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep Apnea, Central / chemically induced*
  • Sleep Apnea, Central / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Central / physiopathology


  • Analgesics, Opioid