Medications administered for narcolepsy are customized to the needs of the patient, depending on the therapeutic response and symptoms exhibited by him or her. The total time taken to optimally relieve the symptoms of narcolepsy varies widely from one case to another.
Usually, all the narcoleptic signs can be brought under optimal control in a few months. But, in some cases, it might take even longer. However, in any case, it is not possible to achieve absolute control on the disorder symptoms.
Although the conventional oral medicines are the stronghold of the formal treatment of narcolepsy, healthy changes in lifestyle and natural therapies are also essential for quick results.
The central treatment of EDS (excessive daytime sleepiness), the most prominent narcoleptic characteristic, is done using drugs that function as stimulants for the central nervous system (CNS). Some of the most commonly prescribed stimulant drugs include methamphetamine, methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, and racemic-amphetamine. Provigil and Nuvigil are two newly introduced stimulants that trigger a special pharmacological mechanism in the CNS. However, some of these drugs are known to have caused adverse side effects, including severe reaction on skin, in some patients.
Other medicines commonly used for narcolepsy include selegiline, codeine, and atomoxetine. Atomoxetine, popularly known as Strattera, exhibits negligible potential for drug abuse and is a non-stimulant. Antidepressants, like protriptyline, clomipramine, and imipramine, are prescribed to repress REM sleep in narcoleptics. Cataplexy is brought under control by administering other anti-depressant drugs like Venlafaxine or Effexor XR. Xyrem or Sodium Oxybate of Jazz Pharmaceuticals is another popular medication for management of cataplexy and narcolepsy. The requirement of medications for treatment of EDS can be alleviated by taking short naps periodically in a pre-planned manner.
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