How is narcolepsy treated?

Updated: Sep 04, 2019
  • Author: Sagarika Nallu, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Treatment of narcolepsy has both nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic components. Sleep hygiene is important. Most patients improve if they maintain a regular sleep schedule, usually 7.5-8 hours of sleep per night. Scheduled naps during the day also may help. [5]

Pharmacologic treatment of narcolepsy involves the use of central nervous system (CNS) stimulants such as methylphenidate, modafinil, dextroamphetamine sulfate, methamphetamine, and amphetamine. These medications help reduce daytime sleepiness, improving the symptom in 65-85% of patients. In patients for whom stimulant treatment is problematic, subjective benefit from treatment with codeine has been reported. [6]


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