Narcolepsy is one of the most complex of non-respiratory Sleep Disorders, consisting of a tetrad of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness, Cataplexy, Sleep Paralysis and Hypnagogic Hallucinations.
Once we’ve diagnosed Narcolepsy, treatment for your Narcolepsy comes in many forms including :
Good sleep hygiene is crucial in managing Narcolepsy symptoms in the long term. Adequate sleep at night is important, daytime timed-naps can be useful.
Many medications can be used to treat Narcolepsy, each with their own pros and cons.
CNS stimulants such as Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta) and dextroamphetamine (dexamphetamine, dexamfetamine) work well but have long term implications.
Modafinil and Armodafinil (Modavigil, Nuvigil) are generally better-tolerated than amphetamine-based medications, and with less side effects. These still however require longterm vigilance.
Sodium oxybate (Xyrem, sodium salt of gamma-hydroxybutyrate) has been used in the USA since 2002, and has been used by our clinic since Australian access was granted in 2015. Accessing Xyrem involves several steps including involving state and federal bodies overseeing the prescribing of this. Careful consideration needs to be made for selecting those who should be on Xyrem, and the potential side effects from Xyrem. We provide regular clinical monitoring in conjunction with patients’ General Practitioners, to ensure optimal titration of treatment modalities based on the patient’s clinical status.
There are other medications available overseas including Pitolisant and Solriamfetol, these are not available in Australia at present.
At Adelaide Sleep, we routinely counsel, diagnose, and treat all aspects of Narcolepsy and Idiopathic Hypersomnia. We have experience in those medications used for Narcolepsy and Narcolepsy-like conditions. If you’d like to know more, contact us now.