This article will deal with narcolepsy treatment. It is important to note that this website is only for educational purposes only, it does not offer any prescriptions for treatment for a sleeping disorder. If you sufferer from Narcolepsy and need to know about narcolepsy medication or treatment, we recommend that you get in touch with your Doctor who will assist or refer you to an expert.
Although it is possible, It may, however, take weeks to months for your doctor to find the best narcolepsy treatment for you. Even though there is some narcolepsy medication used to treat the sleep disorder e.g. Sleep Paralysis, in essence, there is still no cure for Narcolepsy, the symptoms often improve with an ongoing treatment i.e. assistance to the management of narcolepsy.
This basically means that it is possible to treat the symptoms of narcolepsy with a combination of medication and behavioral therapy. In Narcolepsy treatment, the goal is to improve alertness during the day i.e. eliminate excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) and to minimize Cataplexy. These two, EDS and Cataplxy are treated separately. The effect of the treatment varies per individual as one may be more effective to one person than to the other.
Narcolepsy treatment using drug therapy (medication)
This involves the use of stimulants and antidepressants. Stimulants are normally prescribed to offset daytime sleepiness and antidepressants or Anticataplectic medication is used to counter the effects of cataplexy and also to reduce the symptoms of hypnagogic hallucinations and sleep paralysis.
The two most commonly prescribed for EDS are the stimulants of the central nervous system Ritalin (Methylphenidate) and Provigil (Modafinil. dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), methylphenidate ( Ritalin ), and pemoline (Cylert) can also be used.
There are a few main categories of anticataplectic medication commonly used in narcolepsy treatment. These medicines affect the chemicals in the brain that seem to play a role in narcolepsy: They are, (1) Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs), (2) Tricyclic antidepressants, which include Eldepryl (Selegiline), block monoamine oxidase B, AND (3) Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) commonly referred to as Sodium oxybate or Xyrem (4) Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors like Tofranil and Vivactil.
Other different types of anti-depressant drugs, such as venlafaxine (Effexor) and fluoxetine (Prozac) are also used. Some of these are also used for REM symptoms. Stimulants are generally given in a single morning dose or in morning and lunchtime doses. Generally, drugs of this nature can lose their effectiveness for narcolepsy treatment if used over extended periods of time.
Narcolepsy treatment using behavioral Therapy
Narcoleptics can also use behavioral therapy for narcolepsy treatment. By changing some aspects of their lifestyle, habit, and daily routines, they make a huge difference in their sleep disorder. Firstly, it is important that you get a full night’s sleep, which is about 8 hours a day. Other behavioral activities are,
Avoiding drugs that can affect sleep. This includes any form of the drug.
- Take Short naps during the day: Taking short scheduled naps during the day can do wonders for some narcoleptics as it may help control sleepiness.
- Eat a proper diet and exercise but not within 2 – 3 hours of bedtime.
- Keep your bedroom or sleep area quiet, comfortable, and free of light and distractions.
- Avoid eating just before bedtime especially food that can make it hard for you to fall asleep. This includes Caffeine in coffee, chocolate, and certain soft drinks and teas.
- Also, avoid tobacco and alcohol especially before bedtime
- You can also try, chromatherapy and aromatherapy and natural sleep remedies such as herbs.
- A variety of natural sleep remedies can also be used for narcolepsy treatment
- Did You know that some people have died and some have come close to death by simply not understanding this illness and taking the necessary precautions? If you really want to know more about how to survive with this illness then you need to learn as much as you can about this subject.
Also Read: Narcolepsy diagnosis