While there is no specific cure for narcolepsy, there are several treatments available to help manage the symptoms of the condition.
Treatment is very dependent on the type and severity of the symptoms but talk to your doctor about the different treatments available and what will be the most suitable for you.
The following drugs are used but not all licensed for the treatment of the various symptoms of narcolepsy:
|| Common side effects
||200mg and 400mg as a single morning dose or divided into a morning and early afternoon dose
||Headache, nausea and nervousness
||Hallucinations, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and stomach aches
||Hallucinations, difficulty sleeping, mood swings and stomach aches
|Sodium Oxybate (Xyrem®)
||Cataplexy, hallucinations, disturbed sleep and excessive sleepiness
||4.5g–9g/night often in divided doses
||Nausea, headache and dizziness
||Dryness of mouth, constipation and blurred vision
|Antidepressants (Esp. selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs])
||Dependant on drug used
||Nausea, headaches and diarrhoea
||Increased blood pressure and anorexia; nervousness
N.B with the availability of newer drugs such as Provigil and Xyrem, older products are being used less frequently
As well as pharmacological treatments, there are also simple things you can do to help such as, going to bed and getting up at the same time, not drinking coffee late at night and taking planned naps during the day - more on this topic will be covered in the ‘Living with Narcolepsy’ section.