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July 18, 1977

Carbamazepine for Central Sleep Apnea

JAMA. 1977;238(3):212-213. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280030020010

To the Editor.—  Carbamazepine Tegretol), a tricyclic, has been used successfully in trigeminal neuralgia and partial seizure with complex symptomatology. It has been tried also in the Kluver-Bucy syndrome, hiccups, compulsive water drinking, stammering, psoriasis, Pickwickian syndrome, and diabetic and amyloid neuropathy. Although other tricyclics have been used in the treatment of central sleep apnea,1 I have not found a citation that mentions carbamazepine used for this syndrome.Sleep apnea syndromes are more numerous than previously considered.2 I have been treating a patient for partial seizure and complex symptomatology with 1,200 mg/day of carbamazepine with good control of seizures and symptomatology for seven months. The patient sleeps better since I discontinued therapy with phenytoin and began carbamazepine therapy. Usually I see the patient alone; one day I saw the patient with his wife, who remarked that her husband did not snore nor did he "hold his breath" anymore