The apnea and the ecstasy

Drug linked to nighttime breathing disorder

By Nathan Seppa, 15:21 PM December 2, 2009

Users of a popular club drug will be less than ecstatic to learn that the pill might be making it hard to breathe at night.

Researchers report online December 2 and in the December 8 issue of Neurology that regular users of the drug known as ecstasy were more likely than nonusers to show the cardinal signs of sleep apnea — stoppage of breath and gasping for air — during deep sleep.

In sleep apnea, muscle tone in the throat becomes unduly relaxed, resulting in airway blockage. An individu...

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