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How is narcolepsy treated?

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Although there is no cure for narcolepsy, the most disabling symptoms of the disorder (excessive daytime sleepiness and symptoms of abnormal REM sleep, such as cataplexy) can be controlled in most people with drug treatment. Sleepiness is treated with amphetamine-like stimulants, while the symptoms of abnormal REM sleep are treated with antidepressant drugs.

There has recently been a new medication approved for those who suffer from narcolepsy with cataplexy. This drug, called sodium oxybate (Xyrem), helps people with narcolepsy get a better night's sleep, allowing them to be less sleepy during the day. In addition, the new drug solriamfetol (Sunosi) has been approved to help those with narcolepsy stay awake for longer periods of time. Patients with narcolepsy can be substantially helped -- but not cured -- by medical treatment.

Lifestyle adjustments such as avoiding caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and heavy meals, regulating sleep schedules, scheduling daytime naps (10-15 minutes in length), and establishing a normal exercise and meal schedule may also help to reduce symptoms.

From: Narcolepsy WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCE:  The National Sleep Foundation.

 

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on May 22, 2019

SOURCE:  The National Sleep Foundation.

 

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on May 22, 2019

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