Also known to be excessive daytime uncontrollable sleepiness, Narcolepsy is essentially a chronic sleep disorder. It is responsible for drowsiness in the daytime and even sudden sleep attacks. A person’s daily routine gets disrupted, and he may find it challenging to stay awake for a more extended period, regardless of any circumstances. As per a fact, one in every 2,000 people experiences this disorder, where it is more prone in a person’s teenage phase, or early 20s-30s. Experts say that females are more likely to have Narcolepsy than males.
What causes Narcolepsy?
Due to the lack of hypocretin in the brain, Narcolepsy can persist. This is essentially wakefulness regulating chemicals in a person’s brain. However, the following factors combine to yield Narcolepsy in a person:
- Autoimmune disorders: A loss of brain cells is often observed, while cataplexy leads to immune system abnormalities. Due to genetic or environmental factors, the immune system somehow starts to attack the hypocretin-containing brain cells of the body.
- Brain diseases or injuries: Narcolepsy as a result of any brain injury is rare. Injuries in the parts of the brain associated with wakefulness and REM Sleep can cause Narcolepsy. Another possibility for the same could be brain tumors, cancer, and various other diseases.
- Heredity: It’s less pretty, but still a % chance for an individual to get diagnosed due to family history.
Are there any types of Narcolepsy?
Yes, it is undoubtedly of type 1 and type 2
Narcolepsy type 1 disorder leads to sudden loss of muscle tone in the body. It is known as “narcolepsy with cataplexy.” It possibly gets diagnosed by detecting lower levels of the hypocretin brain hormone or cataplexy and excessive daytime sleepiness on a nap test.
The other type is narcolepsy type-2, aka “narcolepsy without cataplexy.” People who experience this have almost similar symptoms to type-1 but do not have muscle weakness triggered by their emotions. Symptoms are less severe, and the person has an average level of hypocretin.
What are the effective medications that help to manage Narcolepsy?
Medical science has given various medicines for the treatment of Narcolepsy that show pretty satisfactory results. Two of them are:
Modalert for narcolepsy treatment:
It is significantly prescribed for the treatment of Narcolepsy to reduce daytime sleepiness and fix the regular sleep routine.
Modalert could be taken with or without food but in a certain routine time every day. It is advised never to stop it, even if one feels better unless the doctor says so.
Common side effects of this medicine include nausea, headache, nervousness, anxiety, and insomnia. Some other temporary effects include diarrhea, back pain, runny nose, and indigestion.
One must disclose any kidney, liver, or heart disease history before consuming Modalert. There might be some complications with these problems, so it’s better to take assurance from a specialist!
Modalert makes one fully awake by stimulating his brain’s chemical messengers. It suppresses the abnormal symptoms and regulates a proper sleep cycle. One feels more energetic in daily activities while being on its dosage.
It is risky to drive an automobile while being on Modalert dose and abstaining from alcohol consumption. Experts suggest this medicine for all men and women above 18 years. However, there are potential risks involved for pregnant and breastfeeding women in Modalert consumption.
Modvigil for Narcolepsy:
This is an analeptic drug prescribed for narcolepsy treatment. It too helps treat excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), obstructive sleep apnea, and shift work sleep disorders.
Modvigil is a tablet to be taken orally at bedtime. The usual prescribed dosage for narcolepsy treatment is 200-400mg daily. It must be taken as a single morning dose or two-time-a-day dosage, as per the doctor’s words.
Usual side-effects count nervousness, aggression, sleeplessness, headache, loss of appetite, rashes, palpitations, or other gastrointestinal issues. If these side-effects persist longer, immediately consult a doctor.
This medicine works by altering neurotransmitters in the brain, thereby making you more alert and raising the rate of breathing.
Precautions must be taken if one is allergic to this drug or its ingredients. Before the consultation, let a doctor know about any allergies and diseases. Secondly, avoid taking Modvigil with other medicines unless allowed by the doctor. Furthermore, one must discard alcohol and caffeine consumption, and pregnant ladies must not consume them.
Armodafinil for Narcolepsy
In night workers, armodafinil is used to treat excessive daytime sleepiness caused by Narcolepsy, a condition that causes excessive daytime awakenings, or shift work sleep disorder characterized by prescribed wakefulness. Sleepiness occurs during hours of sleep and has difficulty falling asleep or continues to fall asleep during scheduled hours. Armodafinil significantly improved narcolepsy patients’ ability to maintain wakefulness throughout the day.
Artvigil for Narcolepsy:
Artvigil 150 helps reduce excessive sleepiness caused by sleep disorders and allows a person to stay awake during nighttime working hours.
Artvigil is taken every morning to prevent daytime sleepiness. If the person is suffering from shift work disorder, it can be taken even one hour before starting the work shift.
Common side effects of this medicine include headache, stomach pain, a feeling of anxiety, diarrhea, and sleeplessness are all side effects.
The dosage of Artavigil should be taken only if the doctor has been informed and approved of all previous and ongoing medications. Some of the other drugs that have a serious effect on interactions with armodafinil are phenelzine, tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid, Linezolid, selegiline transdermal.
Inform the doctor about any existing medications and health issues. Avoid doing tasks that require attention, such as driving or operating a machine. This medicine is not intended for children under 18 years of age. This medicine should be stored in a cool, dry place. Never take Artavigil if you have a history of allergy, armodafinil, or any other ingredient.
Waklert for Narcolepsy:
Waklert 150 Tablet is used in the treatment of Narcolepsy, which causes excessive daytime sleepiness. It improves wakefulness and helps you stay awake, and reduces your tendency to fall asleep during the day, restoring the normal sleep cycle.
Waklert should be taken in tablet form for the duration specified by the doctor. You can tack it in the morning to prevent excessive daytime sleepiness.
A few common side effects of Waklert 150 mg Tablet are hypersensitivity, headache, nausea, fever and chills, confusion, and difficulty sleeping. These are all symptoms of hypersensitivity.
Hypersensitive people should not take Waklert. Obesity can worsen sleep apnea, making drug treatment ineffective. Monitor your blood pressure while taking this medicine. Waklert should not be prescribed if you have severe hepatic impairment! Do not perform any tasks that require concentration and alertness, such as operating machinery, driving, or dealing with fire.
What is the difference between hypersomnia and Narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by unexpected deep sleep. Narcolepsy is defined as uncontrolled daytime sleepiness; It is essentially a chronic sleep disorder. It is also responsible for daytime drowsiness and even unexpected sleepiness. On the other hand, hypersomnia is a symptom that refers to excessive daytime sleepiness in general. Excessive daytime sleepiness is defined as hypersomnia.
FAQ’s of Narcolepsy:
What are some common symptoms that individuals having Narcolepsy show?
The symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, sudden and frequent sleep attacks, sleep paralysis, disrupted nighttime sleep, cataplexy, and hallucinations. Experiencing cataplexy indicates type-1 Narcolepsy, whereas without it indicates type-2.
What activity must one avoid if he has Narcolepsy?
For safety precautions, individuals with Narcolepsy must avoid driving. There is a high risk of automobile accidents due to suddenly falling asleep or losing control. This could be hazardous too in a long flight of staircase.
Do short naps help?
Taking short naps during the day is significantly helpful, but one tends to feel sleepiness the most in regular schedules. However, one must never get rid of the normal sleep schedule for getting effective results, even with or without medication.
Is Narcolepsy curable?
There’s no absolute cure for Narcolepsy. However, things are made easier for the individuals who experience it. Lifestyle changes, planning routine, and proper medications can make it manageable to a pretty much extent. The medicines could merely help in keeping up the optimum level of hypocretin and suppress the symptoms!
What foods must one avoid for getting cured of Narcolepsy?
Firstly, it is essential to avoid food near bedtime. Also, eating large and heavy meals, especially before sleeping, must never be done. Caffeine and alcohol intake must be cut off strictly, along with adopting a no-smoking rule, especially at night.
Is it necessary to seek medication even in mild symptoms?
After getting diagnosed with Narcolepsy, one must immediately start to seek medication for the same. EDS and cataplexy, if left untreated, may worsen and get uncontrolled. This can further result in serious injuries.