Narcolepsy (part 4)

… continued from previous three articles on narcolepsy where some non-pharmacological treatments were mentioned.

However, I will now move onto mentioning the pharmacological treatments for narcolepsy.

In this week’s article, I will discuss the pharmacological treatments available and which symptom(s) they treat.

Examples of medication used to treat narcolepsy: (1)

  1. Modafinil (Provigil®)
  2. Dexamphetamine sulphate
  3. Methylphenidate
  4. Amphetamines
  5. Sodium Oxybate (Xyrem®)
  6. Clomipramine hydrochloride
  7. Antidepressants- (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors- SSRIs)

As we have already discussed the symptoms of narcolepsy in previous articles, we are aware that there are a quite a few of them. Therefore, various medications are prescribed to the patient(s) in order to cover all the important symptoms since not all of the medications mentioned above treat every single symptom.

For example, Modafinil (Provigil®), Dexamphetamine sulphate, Methylphenidate and Amphetamines are prescribed to control one’s sleeping activity in order to prevent them from sleeping randomly and avoiding any accidents or health hazards that can be caused by their excessive sleepiness.

Sodium Oxybate (Xyrem®) is prescribed to control the sleep cycle, hallucination, disturbed sleep and cataplexy.

Clomipramine hydrochloride and Antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors- SSRIs) also treat cataplexy.

These treatments, with the exception of Clomipramine hydrochloride and Antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors- SSRIs), will control one’s sleeping pattern. This I believe to be the main problem as controlling sleep affects all your actions. The second problem would be cataplexy (as this is not dependent on the lack of sleep) – it needs to be controlled too due to the danger of causing serious damage to one’s body from falling down or collapsing.

So, which treatment is the best?

Well, looking at what each medication treats, I think Sodium Oxybate (Xyrem®) is the best treatment out of the ones listed above, as this not only controls excessive sleep, but also disturbed sleep, hallucinations and cataplexy. This means that only one type of pill needs to be consumed by the patient(s) which would solve more than one problem thus making it very efficient and taking medication would become easier as there isn’t a different pill for each problem.

To be continued…





  1. (2016). Treating Narcolepsy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Mar. 2016].



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