Effects of acetazolamide on the sleep apnea syndrome and its therapeutic mechanism

Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1995 Mar;49(1):59-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.1995.tb01858.x.


Twenty male patients with sleep apnea syndrome were treated with acetazolamide (AZM), a carbonic anhydrase inhibitor. In 14 of the patient a significant decrease was found in the number of apnea, apnea index and % apnea time (percentage of time spent with apnea to the total sleep time) with improvement in sleep structure, clinical symptoms, such as insomnia, daytime excessive sleepiness and snoring. A significant decrease was also observed in arterial blood pH and HCO-3 in the 14 improved patients. On the other hand, no improvement occurred in the parameters of sleep apnea and sleep with AZM in the remaining six patients. Moreover, metabolic acidosis and an improvement in arterial blood gases did not occur with AZM in the six patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetazolamide / administration & dosage
  • Acetazolamide / pharmacology*
  • Acetazolamide / therapeutic use*
  • Acidosis / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Narcolepsy / etiology
  • Sleep / drug effects*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / complications
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / drug therapy*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / etiology


  • Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors
  • Acetazolamide