Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that is characterized by disturbed or no sleep at night and abnormal daytime sleep. Narcolepsy also has a number of associated symptoms which are known as the tetrad of narcolepsy symptoms. These include sleep paralysis, cataplexy, hypnagogic hallucinations, and other automatic behaviors.
Narcolepsy treatment includes a number of drugs that target the central nervous system and have various desirable effects like a decrease in drowsiness during the day and improving and stabilizing the sleep pattern during the night.
A list of the top drugs for the treatment of narcolepsy are:
- Nuvigil: a mild narcolepsy treatment drug that is used to keep a person awake and in a state of complete wakefulness. This is used especially in the morning time to inhibit daytime drowsiness that is accompanied with mild narcolepsy. Patients who are allergic to the drug Provigil should exercise caution before using this medication.
- Adderall: is also a central nervous system stimulant, which blocks the uptake of norepinephrine and dopamine. It is an amphetamine that can be administered in tablet form and is an FDA-approved drug treatment for narcolepsy.
- Effexor: is the drug treatment for cataplexy narcolepsy, a condition that results in a loss of muscle function. Effexor or Venlaflaxine is of the SSRI class of drugs and is also helpful in the treatment of depression associated with narcolepsy.
- Ritalin: also comes in many brand names like Concerta, Methylin, and Metadata. This orally administered drug is a central nervous system stimulant and is used as a treatment for sleep narcolepsy. This drug affects chemicals in the nerves that are responsible for excessive hyperactivity.
- Vyvanse: a CNS stimulant that affects the nervous chemicals that control impulse as well as excessive hyperactivity. It has been used to treat narcolepsy as well as ADHD and depression.
- Dexedrine: is an amphetamine, which is used to improve concentration as well as the attention span during the day. This medication also stimulates the central nervous system which reduces drowsiness during the day.
- Xyrem: has the generic name Sodium Oxybate and is a CNS depressant that is used as a treatment for cataplexy narcolepsy. This drug reduces the number of cataplexy attacks and is also used to reduce drowsiness during the day time, which is a characteristic of narcolepsy.
There are also a number of other treatment medications for narcolepsy that all fall under the CNS stimulant class of drugs.
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