Best Narcolepsy Medication

How to Find the Best Narcolepsy Medication for You

The medication is used to treat the symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders. It is also used to treat other conditions, such as social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The medication works by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain that are involved in regulating mood and emotions.

Medications for Narcolepsy

There is no one perfect narcolepsy medication. What may work for one person may not work for another. It is important to work with your doctor to find the best medication or combination of medications for you. 

There are several types of medications that can be used to treat narcolepsy. The most common type of medication is a stimulant.

Stimulants

Armodafinil (Nuvigil) and modafinil (Provigil). Stimulants increase the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and norepinephrine. These chemicals are involved in regulating mood, energy, and alertness. Stimulants are the most common medication used to treat narcolepsy.

Some people find that the best way to manage their symptoms is with a combination of medications. For example, they may take a stimulant to reduce daytime sleepiness and a tricyclic antidepressant at night to reduce sleep attacks or cataplexy episodes.  

Side Effects

There are some possible side effects of the stimulants used to treat narcolepsy. These side effects can include;

  • Decreased appetite
  • Stomach aches
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble sleeping

To find the best narcolepsy medication for you, it is important to work with your doctor and keep track of how well your medication is working. This can help you and your doctor determine if the medication needs to be adjusted or changed.

Amphetamine. Amphetamine is a stimulant that is used to treat narcolepsy. It is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant and works by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Amphetamine is a controlled substance and is available only under a doctor’s prescription.

Side effects may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss

These medications are not found to be good for the high blood pressure or heart patients.

Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GHB) also

known as Xyrem. GHB is a central nervous system depressant that is used to treat narcolepsy. It works by reducing the amount of time you spend in REM sleep. GHB is a controlled substance and is available only under a doctor’s prescription.

Side effects may include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

Antidepressants

Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil) and imipramine (Tofranil), are commonly used to treat narcolepsy. These medications work by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, such as norepinephrine and serotonin. They are also used to treat other conditions, such as depression, anxiety disorders, and chronic pain.

Antidepressants include side effects such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Sexual problems
  • Nausea
  • Headache

Solriamfetol (Sunosi)

Solriamfetol is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that is used to treat narcolepsy. It works by increasing the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Solriamfetol is available only under a doctor’s prescription.

Side effects may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness

Selective Histamine 3 Receptor Antagonist/Inverse Agonist

Selective histamine 3 receptor antagonists/inverse agonists (H3RAs) are a class of drugs that block the action of histamine at the H3 receptor. They are used in the treatment of allergies, colds, and motion sickness.

H3Rs are located predominantly in the vertebrate central nervous system. They exert their effects by binding to and activating H3 receptors, which reduces the activity of histamine neurons. As a result, H3RAs can help to reduce the symptoms of allergies, colds, and motion sickness by decreasing histamine levels in the CNS.

There are several different types of H3RAs available, including benztropine mesylate, thioperamide, and azelastine. These drugs vary in their potency and selectivity for the H3 receptor, as well as in their side effect profiles. They may also be used in combination with other medications, such as antihistamines and decongestants, to treat more severe symptoms.

Pitolisant (Wakix). More  selective H3RAs are currently being developed, and may provide even greater benefits for patients in the future.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of allergies, colds, or motion sickness, talk to your doctor about the potential benefits of using H3RAs. Possible side effects may include  drowsiness, dry mouth, and dizziness. Be sure to let your doctor know if you have any other medical conditions or are taking any other medications, as H3RAs may interact with these drugs. And always follow your doctor’s instructions carefully when taking any new medications.

When to talk with a doctor?

Narcolepsy is a chronic condition for which there is no known cure. As such, people with narcolepsy must rely on medications to help them manage their symptoms. There are currently several different types of medications available which can be used either separately or in combination, depending on the condition.

The primary treatment for narcolepsy is a medication known as modafinil. This medicine can help to keep you awake during the day. It is important to talk with your doctor about the best time of day to take this medicine. Some people may need to take it in the morning, while others may need to take it in the afternoon or evening. You will also want to make sure that you understand how this medicine should be taken and what the possible side effects are.

References

  • Sleep Foundation: “Narcolepsy: Medication and Treatment,” “Narcolepsy: Cataplexy,” “Narcolepsy: Medications for Sleepiness.”
  • Healthy Sleep (Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School): “Narcolepsy Medications,” “Narcolepsy: Changes Across the Lifespan.” 
  • CNS Drugs: “Recently approved and upcoming treatments for narcolepsy.”
  • Mayo Clinic: “Narcolepsy,” “Pitolisant (Oral Route).” 
  • MedlinePlus: “Modafinil,” “Armodafinil,” “Sodium Oxybate.”
  • National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke: “Narcolepsy Fact Sheet.”
  • Nature and Science of Sleep: “Living with narcolepsy: Current management strategies, future prospects, and overlooked real-life concerns.”
  • Regulatory Affairs Professional Society: “FDA Approvals Roundup: Xywav, Qutenza, Orphengesic.”
  • FDA: “Full Prescribing Information: Xywav,” “Full Prescribing Information: Wakix,” “Full Prescribing Information: Sunosi.”
  • TeensHealth: “GHB.”
  • Medscape: “FDA Okays Pitolisant (Wakix) for Narcolepsy.”

1 Comment

  • gralion torile
    August 6, 2022

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