Aims: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and insomnia commonly coexist; hypnotics are broadly prescribed for insomnia therapy. However, the safety of hypnotics use in OSA patients is unclear. We conducted a retrospective case-control study to investigate the risk of adverse respiratory events in hypnotics-using OSA patients. Methods: We obtained data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Database from 1996 to 2013. The case group included 216 OSA patients with newly diagnosed adverse respiratory events, including pneumonia and acute respiratory failure. The control group included OSA patients without adverse respiratory events, which was randomly frequency-matched to the case group at a 1:1 ratio according to age, gender, and index year. Hypnotics exposure included benzodiazepines (BZD) and non-benzodiazepines (non-BZD). A recent user was defined as a patient who had taken hypnotics for 1–30 days, while a long-term user was one who had taken hypnotics for 31–365 days. Results: Multivariable adjusted analysis showed recent BZD use is an independent risk for adverse respiratory events (OR = 2.70; 95% CI = 1.15–6.33; P < 0.001). Subgroup analysis showed both recent and long-term BZD use increased the risk of acute respiratory failure compared to never BZD use (OR = 28.6; 95% CI = 5.24–156; P < 0.001, OR = 10.1; 95% CI = 1.51–67.7; P < 0.05, respectively). Neither BZD nor non-BZD use increased the risk of pneumonia in OSA patients. Conclusion: BZD use might increase the risk of acute respiratory failure in OSA patients.
Wang, S. H., Chen, W. S., Tang, S. E., Lin, H. C., Peng, C. K., Chu, H. T., & Kao, C. H. (2019). Benzodiazepines associated with acute respiratory failure in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 9(JAN). https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.01513