Effects of the antipsychotic quetiapine on sleep and breathing: a review of clinical findings and potential mechanisms

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Abstract

Quetiapine is an antipsychotic medication indicated for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, quetiapine also has hypnotic properties and as such is increasingly being prescribed at low doses ‘off-label’ in people with insomnia symptoms. Pharmacologically, in addition to its dopaminergic properties, quetiapine also modulates multiple other transmitter systems involved in sleep/wake modulation and potentially breathing. However, very little is known about the impact of quetiapine on obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), OSA endotypes including chemosensitivity, and control of breathing. Given that many people with insomnia also have undiagnosed OSA, it is important to understand the effects of quetiapine on OSA and its mechanisms. Accordingly, this concise review covers the existing knowledge on the effects of quetiapine on sleep and breathing. Further, we highlight the pharmacodynamics of quetiapine and its potential to alter key OSA endotypes to provide potential mechanistic insight. Finally, an agenda for future research priorities is proposed to fill the current key knowledge gaps.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14051
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • insomnia
  • lung
  • off-label prescribing
  • respiratory physiology
  • sleep-disordered breathing
  • upper airway

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