Q. Is it normal if my SpO2 drops when I lie down?

Answered by
Dr. Basuki Nath Bhagat
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 13, 2021

Hello doctor,

My SpO2 saturation drops to 93% when I lie down. But my normal SpO2 saturation is 98%. I have diastolic dysfunction, and I was diagnosed with UTI recently. My current medications are antibiotics and tablet Zapain.

Is it normal if my SpO2 drops when I lie down?




Welcome to

Regular oximeter reading should be above 95%. There will be differences in the oxygen saturation according to the different body positions. Usually, sitting upright has more reading than in the supine position. So, it is normal for the saturation to drop if you lay down. Just be alert when the reading goes below 94% at room air, symptomatic difficulty in breathing, or any other lung-related symptoms.

Since you mentioned that recently sometimes oximeter reading shows 93% or 94% after you lay down, I would suggest monitoring it closely, take oximeter reading more frequently, and if reading is consistent around 93 to 94% on the supine position at room air, better take guidance from your doctor. Also, look for any symptoms which I mentioned above.

I hope you find this helpful.


Hello doctor,

Thanks for the reply.

Can antibiotics or pain medications like Paracetamol with Codeine affect Sp02 levels? And also, can UTI cause a drop in oxygen saturation?




Welcome back to

The medications and UTI (urinary tract infection) do not affect the saturation.

Usually the accuracy of pulse oximeter reading depends on multiple factors such as poor circulation, skin pigmentation, skin temperature, tobacco use, use of fingernail polish, and incorrect usage of oximeter instrument. The lung pathology generally affects the reading of oximeter value. So, monitor closely the oximeter reading and follow above suggestions.

Take care of your health.


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