Narcolepsy Medications

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Medication is very useful for the treatment of the symptoms of narcolepsy. Commonly prescribed medications for narcolepsy are stimulants, antidepressants, and sodium oxybate. All these medications have certain common side effects so talk with the doctor.

Narcolepsy drugs

It may need one or more drugs for the treatment of narcolepsy. These may include:

  • Stimulants – stimulate the central nervous system, relieve from daytime sleepiness, and raise daytime alertness.
  • Anti-depression medication - to treat depression, it also suppresses REM sleep, help to prevent cataplexy, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis.
  • Sodium oxybate (Xyrem) - relieves cataplexy, helps to improve nighttime sleep, and it may help control daytime sleepiness even if it is taking at night.

Stimulants medication drugs for narcolepsy

Modafinil (Provigil, Alertec, Vigicer, Modalert) - a newer stimulant, it does not cause addictive and not produce the high and low often associated with older stimulants. It enhances wakefulness, concentration, and vigilance. It is useful to treat excessive sleepiness caused by narcolepsy or sleep disorder due to shift work. It is in a class of medications called as wakefulness promoting agents. It works by changing the amounts of particular natural substances in the area of the brain that controls sleep and wakefulness.

Possible side effects include: headache, dizziness, difficulty falling or staying in asleep, drowsiness, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, gas, heartburn, appetite loss, unpleasant tastes, mouth dryness, too much thirst, nosebleed, flushing, sweating, muscles tightness or difficulty moving, back pain, confusion, uncontrollable shaking of body parts, burning, tingling, or skin numbness, visual difficulty or pain in the eye.

Other serious side effects include: rash, blisters, skin peeling, mouth sores, hives, itching, hoarseness, difficulty breathing or swallowing, swelling (of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs), chest pain, fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat, frenzied, abnormally mood excitement, hallucinating, anxiety, depression, thinking about killing or harming oneself.

Methylphenidate HCl (Methylin, Methylin ER, Ritalin, RitalinSR) – it is a mild central nervous system (CNS) stimulant; it works by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain. It is used for the treatment of symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; difficulty concentrating, and remain still or quiet). It is also useful to treat narcolepsy.

Possible side effects include nervousness, difficulty falling or staying in asleep, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, stomach pain, diarrhea, heartburn, mouth dryness, headache, muscle tightness, uncontrollable movement of the body parts, restlessness, numbness, burning, or the hands or feet tingling, reduced sexual desire, menstrual pain.

Other serious side effects:

  • fast, pounding, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, shortness-of-breath,
  • much tiredness, fainting, weakness (or numbness of an arm or leg), fever,
  • motor tics (or verbal tics), seizures, speech-difficulty, blurred vision, breathing (or swallowing) difficulty
  • agitation, hallucinating (believing things that are not true, or feeling unusually suspicious of others),
  • depression, abnormal mood excitement, mood changes,
  • Hives, rash, blistering (or peeling) skin, itching.

Dextroamphetamine-Sulfate (Dexedrine, Dextrostat, Dexedrine-SR) - The stimulant effect may bring down depression and fatigue by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain. It is used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; difficulty to concentration, and remain still or quiet). It is also useful to treat narcolepsy.

Possible side effects include restlessness, difficulty falling or staying in asleep, headache, uncontrollable shaking of body parts, mouth dryness, unpleasant taste, diarrhea, constipation, appetite loss, weight loss, impotence.

Other serious side effects include fast or pounding heartbeat, shortness of breath, chest pain, too much tiredness, speech difficulty, dizziness or faintness, weakness or numbness of an arm or leg, seizures, mood changes, believing things that are not true, feeling unusually suspicious of others, hallucinations, abnormally excited mood, aggressive or hostile behavior, abnormal movements, verbal tics, blurred vision, hives.

Methamphetamine-HCl (Desoxyn) – methamphetamine is a very addictive stimulant medication. It affects the brain and can create feelings of pleasure, increase energy and mood elevation. Abusers may become addicted to it, needing higher doses more often.

Possible side effects include heartbeat irregularity, blood pressure rise and a variety of psychological problems. Long-term side effects may include severe mental disorders, loss of memory and dental problems.

Pemoline (Cylert) - is a central nervous system stimulant, indicated in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It is a link with life threatening hepatic failure, so it should not consider as first-line therapy for ADHD.

Possible side effects include life- threatening hepatic failure, mild depression, dizziness, headache, insomnia, weight loss, nausea, stomachache, and growth-suppressant.

Mazindol (Sanorex) - stimulates the central nervous system, increases heart rate and blood pressure and appetite loss.

Possible side effects include an allergic reaction, heartbeat irregularity, blood pressure rise, severe headache, blurred vision, hallucination, confusion, restlessness, tremor, nervousness, dizziness, insomnia, mouth dryness, unpleasant taste, diarrhea, constipation, and impotence.

Anticataplectic Compounds medication drugs for narcolepsy

Venlafaxine (EffexorSR) – is an anti-depressant medication prescribed for the treatment of depression, depression with associated symptoms of anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Possible side effects include: drowsiness, tiredness or weakness, dizziness, headache, nightmares, nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, constipation, diarrhea, gas, heartburn, burping, mouth dryness, unpleasant taste, appetite loss, weight loss, uncontrollable shaking of body parts, pain, burning, numbness, or tingling in body parts, muscle tightness, twitching, yawning, sweating, hot flashes or flushing, urinate often, urination difficulty, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection, ringing in the ears, impotence, pupils enlargement.

Other serious side effects include rash, hives, itching, breathing, or swallowing difficulty, chest pain, fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat, seizures, unusual bruising or bleeding, skin with small purple spots, eye pain/redness, blurred vision, fever, sweating, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, and severe muscle stiffness, fever, coordination problems, hallucinations, and coma.

Atomoxetine (Strattera) - is useful for the treatment to increase the ability to pay attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in children and adults with ADHD.

Possible side effects include: heartburn, nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, weight loss, constipation, stomach ache, gas, mouth dryness, too much tiredness, dizziness, headache, mood swings, decreased sex drive or ability, urination difficulty, painful or irregular menstruation, muscle pain, sweating, hot flashes, unusual dreams, burning or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs.

Other serious side effects: fast or pounding heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath, speech difficulty, dizziness or faintness, weakness or numbness of an arm or leg, swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs, hoarseness, swallowing or breathing difficulty, hives, rash, abnormal thoughts, hallucinating, erection that lasts for several hours or longer, and seizures.

Protriptyline (Triptil, Vivactil) - is used to treat depression, a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It works by increasing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain that help maintain mental balance.

Possible side effects include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, appetite loss, weight changes, unpleasant taste, stomach ache or cramps, heartburn, mouth dryness, constipation, drowsiness, dizziness, nightmares, headaches, frequent urination (especially at night), urination difficulty, wide pupils, changes in sex ability, breast enlargement in men and women, unsteadiness, ringing in ears, hair loss, flushing, sweating and black tongue.

Other serious side effects include:

  • speech difficulty, arm or a leg weakness or numbness, blurred vision, walking difficulty,
  • crushing pain in the chest, rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat,
  • rash or hives, itching, swelling of the face or tongue, skin or eye yellowing,
  • jaw, neck, and back muscle spasms, uncontrollable shaking of body part, fever, pain, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • fainting, unusual bleeding or bruising, seizures,
  • confusion, hallucination, believing things that are not true

Imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil) – are used to treat depression, also used to prevent bedwetting in children. It is a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It works by increasing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain that need to maintain mental balance.

Possible side effects include: nausea, drowsiness, weakness or tiredness, excitement or anxiety, nightmares, mouth dryness, skin more sensitive to sunlight, appetite or weight changes, constipation, urination difficulty, frequent urination, blurred vision, changes in sex drive or ability, excessive sweating.

Other serious side effects include: jaw, neck, and back muscle spasms, speech difficulty, shuffling walk, uncontrollable shaking of body parts, fever, sore throat, or other signs of infection, breathing or swallowing difficulty, severe rash, skin or eyes yellowing, heartbeat irregularity.

Desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofran) - is used to treat depression, a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It works by increasing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain that need for mental balance.

Possible side effects include: nausea, drowsiness, weakness or tiredness, nightmares, mouth dryness, skin more sensitive to sunlight, appetite or weight changes, constipation, urination difficulty, frequent urination, blurred vision, changes in sex drive or ability, excessive sweating.

Other serious side effects include: jaw, neck, and back muscle spasms, speech difficulty, shuffling walk, uncontrollable shaking or movement of body part, fever, breathing or swallowing difficulty, severe rash, skin or eyes yellowing, heartbeat irregularity, sore throat, fever, and other signs of infection.

Clomipramine (Anafranil) - is useful to treat people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (a condition that causes repeated undesirable thoughts and the urge to perform certain behaviors repeatedly). It is in a group of medications called tricyclic antidepressants. It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that needs to maintain mental balance.

Possible side effects include drowsiness, mouth dryness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, nervousness, decreased sexual ability, decreased memory or concentration, headache, stuffy nose, appetite or weight change.

Other serious side effects include: uncontrollable shaking of body parts, seizures, fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat, urination difficulty or bladder control problems, believing things that are not true, hallucinations, eye pain, shakiness, difficulty or fast breathing, severe muscle stiffness, too much of tiredness or weakness, sore throat, fever, and other signs of infection.

Florentine (Prozac, Carafe) - is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (bothersome thoughts that do not go and the urge to perform certain actions repeatedly), some eating disorders, and panic attacks. It is useful to relieve the symptoms of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, including mood swings, irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness. It is a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). It works by increasing the amount of serotonin, a natural substance in the brain that helps maintain mental balance.

Possible side effects include nervousness, nausea, mouth dryness, sore throat, drowsiness, weakness, uncontrollable shaking of body parts, appetite loss, weight loss, changes in sex drive or ability, excessive sweating.

Other serious side effects includes: rash, hives, fever, joint pain, swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs, breathing or swallowing difficulty, fever, sweating, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, and severe muscle stiffness, hallucinating, seizures.

Hypnotic Compounds medication drugs for narcolepsy

Sodium Oxybate (Xyrem) - is useful to prevent attacks of cataplexy (episodes of muscle weakness that begin suddenly and last for a short time) in patients who have narcolepsy. It is a class of medications called central nervous system depressants.

Possible side effect include bedwetting, headache, dizziness, stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn, stomachache, back pain, weakness, and difficulty falling or staying in asleep, sweating, flu-like symptoms, ringing in the ears, vision problems, painful or irregular menstruation, and abnormal sensitivity to touch or sound.

Other serious side effects include sleepwalking, abnormal dreams, sore throat, fever, chills, and other signs of infection.

Hypnotic Benzodiazepines - are classifying in the CSA as depressants. Benzodiazepine family of depressants is useful therapeutically to produce sedation, induce sleep, relieve anxiety, and muscle spasms, and to prevent seizures. In general, it acts as hypnotics in high doses, anxiolytics in moderate doses, and sedatives in low doses.

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