What Is The Best Treatment For Narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a chronic disease of nervous system that leads to excessive sleepiness in the day and sleep attacks. It happens anytime in the day during any activity. For example, the patient sleeps suddenly in between talking to someone, driving or eating. It interferes with the normal daily routine of the affected person. Its other symptoms involve loss of muscle tone, sleep paralysis, cataplexy and sleep attacks. It usually develops in the age of 15 -30 years detected after 20s and 30s. Its causes are not clear. One of its causes may be low levels of hypocretin in the brain that regulate the sleep-wake cycle of a person. There is no known cure for this disease.

What Is The Best Treatment For Narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a rare chronic condition of the brain due to which a person sleeps suddenly amidst any activity at inappropriate times. This results in inability of the brain to regulate the sleeping or waking patterns. It is not clear that how many people are affected as most cases are not reported or noticed. It tends to develop equally in both men and women. In some studies, it has been suggested that it develops more commonly in men. It develops in the young age in between 15 to 30 years. Its symptoms are detected in the age of 20 to 40 years.(1)

Narcolepsy is a rare medical condition and there is no cure known for this. There are many medicines that can reduce its symptoms and improve one’s alertness. One may require one or more medicines to get relief from its symptoms. Lifestyle modifications can help you to remain awake and active during the day have proper sleep at the night. Finding correct dose of best medicine may take some time.(2)

Current treatment methods cannot cure narcolepsy. Some of them are effective for few patients not for all. They help in reducing untimely sleepiness in the daytime. Some may require high doses to get relief that may impose side effects.(2)

For past few years, dexamphetamine is given for the treatment of narcolepsy. It is a psychostimulant that contain amphetamine. It is used in doses up to 60 mg in a day. Its period of action is 3-6 hours that starts within 30 minutes of consumption of medicines. It can be used twice or thrice a day. Its mode of action involves activation of sympathetic nervous system. It keeps the patient more awake and alert. Its side effects include increased heart rate, high blood pressure and thickening of heart wall. (2)
According to recent studies, Solariamfetol (Sunosi) is proved to be effective in keeping the patients awake for long time. It is first dual acting norepinephirnere and dopamine that can treat narcolepsy.(3)

Other medicines that can help in treatment of narcolepsy are armodafinil, methylphenidate Hcl, antidepressants and sodium oxybate. Armodafinil and methylphenidate Hcl reduce excessive sleeping in the daytime with side effects such as headache and nausea. Antidepressants such as tofranil and Anfranil reduce the number of cataplexy (loss of muscle tone). Sodium oxybate can improve both daytime sleepiness and catplexy. However, it is given in controlled doses due to history of drug abuse. (3)

Lifestyle modification helps incredibly to manage the symptoms of narcolepsy. The patient is advised to stick to regular sleep schedule in which he have to sleep and wake up daily at the same time. He should have seven to eight hours sleep at night. The patient is advised to leave alcohol and smoking that can interfere with sleep. Regular exercises also help to maintain sleep cycle. It is advisable to avoid driving when the patient feels sleepy.(3)

Conclusion

Narcoleopsy is a rare disease whose effective treatment is not known. Dexamphetamine and Solariamfetol are supposed to be best medicine to treat narcolepsy. Both of them possess some adverse effects on health. Lifestyle modifications also assist in improvement of the condition.

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