How is narcolepsy treated during pregnancy?

Updated: Jan 31, 2019
  • Author: Gila Hertz, PhD, ABSM; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Most patients with narcolepsy rely on stimulant and antidepressant medication to maintain daytime alertness and to control cataplexy; therefore, cessation of medication during pregnancy can cause excessive sleepiness or cataplexy, which may result in injury. In addition, withdrawal from medications also may affect sleep patterns.

No adverse fetal outcome was described in 2 case reports on women with narcolepsy who continued to take amphetamine throughout pregnancy and during nursing. Despite these findings, caution must be used in the administration of these medications during pregnancy, because the long-term sequelae have not been fully assessed.


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