The following is taken from the National Institutes of Health website
"...TREATMENT: There is presently no cure for narcolepsy; however, the symptoms can be controlled with behavioral and medical therapy. The excessive daytime sleepiness may be treated with stimulant drugs, while cataplexy and other REM-sleep symptoms may be treated with antidepressant medications. At best, medications will reduce the symptoms, but will not alleviate them entirely. Also, some medications may have side effects. Basic lifestyle adjustments such as regulating sleep schedules, improving diet, increasing exercise and avoiding "over-stimulating" situations may also help to reduce the effects of excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy...."
can be treated using specific
medications. Of these medications stimulant medications
such as Amphetamines, Dextroamphetamine, Methamphetamine, and
Levoamphetamine, Pemoline, Mazindol are the most commonly prescribed. And soon to be added is Modafinil a.k.a. Provigil (USA) in early January 1999.
A brief outline of these is listed below.
Methylphenidate-HCL 10-60mg Short duration of action. (US and Japan)
D-Amphetamine-Sulfate 5-60mg Variable duration of action. (US)
Methamphetamine-HCL 5-60mg Better distribution
in the brain
vs. the periphery, more potent and efficacious
than amphetamine. (US)
20-115mg Less potent and efficacious, long duration of
Mazindol 0.5-6mg Weakly efficacious, rarely used except in UK.
100-300mg Fewer sympathomimetic effects and side
effects, long duration of action, well tolerated
but lower potency than amphetamine.
5-60mg Anticholinergic effects (dry mouth, blurred
vision, constipation, etc.) at high doses, mild
stimulant, preferentially adrenergic effects
Impiramine 10-100mg Anticholinergic effects
Desipramine 25-100mg Same as imipramine, more adrenergic effects.
Clomipramine 10-150 Very efficacious, mostly used in Europe
20-60mg Well tolorated but high doses are often
needed, less weight gain than with other
antidepressants, preferentially serotoninergic
Gammahydroxybutyrate 1-3g Short
duration of action, resulting
anticatapletic effects during daytime
Same as for the treatment of non-narcoleptic insomnias
"RESEARCH AND BASIC MECHANISMS INVOLVED IN THE DISEASE"
The neurochemical systems that are involved in the control of the narcolepsy symptoms are being identified - by : Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, Director; Stanford Center For Narcolepsy
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