Narcolepsy (part 7)

… continued from previous six articles on narcolepsy where in the recent one the effects of the antidepressants were mentioned.

In this week’s article, I will continue discussing the effects of drugs on the body but I will focus on drug; Sodium Oxybate (Xyrem®).

Sodium Oxybate (Xyrem®): (1)

This is what I would say is an all-rounder drug as it helps with all four symptoms of narcolepsy; cataplexy, excessive sleepiness, hallucinations and disturbed sleepiness. However, it has a lot of disadvantages. For example: if one is pregnant then they should not take this medication as it can harm the baby, if one is breast-feeding then again, it is advised to not take this medication. In addition, if one consumes alcohol then it can also increase effects of this medication.

Additionally, one’s prescriber may advise to limit salt intake while taking this medication, also if one is planning to take vitamins or are prescribed the following drugs (alongside this medication): barbiturates (i.e. phenobarbital, butalbital), benzodiazepines (i.e. lorazepam, diazepam, clonazepam) droperidol, methotrimeprazine, modafinil, protriptyline, zolpidem, then it is best to consult a pharmacist or one’s prescriber as they can interact with Sodium Oxybate. Moreover, this medication can interfere with the ability to drive or operate machinery, therefore, one shouldn’t drive or operate on machinery until at least six hours after taking Sodium Oxybate (Xyrem®). This is especially difficult for those people who have jobs which involve those tasks such as delivery men, builders etc. affecting their employment.

In addition, since the mechanism behind this drug is unknown, it can be extremely dangerous as it is possible that there could be long-term effects or certain side effects, reaction or illness that could be caused by this drug.

These side effects, reactions etc. could be fatal as there won’t be any treatment available since the mechanism behind this drug is unknown so how can the cause of the problem be known?

To be continued…


(1). Xyrem ® (sodium oxybate) oral solution. (2016). 1st ed. [pdf] p.2. Available at: [Accessed 12 Apr. 2016].

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