Doxapram is used to treat drug-induced respiratory depression and to temporarily treat respiratory depression in patients with chronic pulmonary disease. This drug also may be used during the postanesthesia period when respiratory depression is caused by anesthesia. It also is used to stimulate deep breathing in patients after anesthesia.

Caffeine and sodium benzoate are administered intramuscularly or intravenously as part of the treatment of respiratory depression caused by CNS depressants, such as narcotic analgesics and alcohol. Because caffeine also has other effects, such as constriction of cerebral arteries and stimulation of skeletal muscles, the use of caffeine for this purpose has largely been replaced by narcotic antagonists for respiratory depression caused by narcotic overdose or other drugs with greater analeptic activity (eg, doxapram). Orally, caffeine, either as a beverage (coffee, tea) or in nonprescription tablet form, may be used by some individuals to relieve fatigue. Caffeine also may be included in some nonprescription analgesics. Modafinil is use to treat narcolepsy to decrease the number of sleepiness episodes during the day.

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