What is the role of sodium oxybate in the treatment of narcolepsy?

Updated: Sep 04, 2019
  • Author: Sagarika Nallu, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Sodium oxybate [57, 58] is the only treatment for cataplexy that has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is also used to treat EDS. Sodium oxybate is a CNS depressant and should not be used with alcohol or other CNS depressants.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized study, the use of sodium oxybate (6 mg or 9 mg per night) was shown to reduce nocturnal sleep disruption in narcoleptic patients. [59] After 8 weeks of treatment, patients exhibited increases in the duration of stage 3 sleep. Changes in sleep were measured by means of nocturnal polysomnography (PSG). The benefits of sodium oxybate included improvements in total sleep time, decreased stage 1 sleep, and diminished wakening after sleep onset. [59]

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