By Danny Suh
Narcolepsy is mostly biological “Most people with narcolepsy have low levels of the neurotransmitter hypocretin, which promotes wakefulness. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that neurons produce to communicate with each other and to regulate biological processes.” (“NIH”, n.d.) However there are some instances where people with no family history develop narcolepsy. “Some rare cases are known to result from traumatic injuries to parts of the brain involved in REM sleep or from tumor growth and other disease processes in the same regions. Infections, exposure to toxins, dietary factors, stress, hormonal changes such as those occurring during puberty or menopause, and alterations in a person's sleep schedule are just a few of the many factors that may exert direct or indirect effects on the brain, thereby possibly contributing to disease development.”(“NIH”, n.d.)
Ritalin- Ritalin helps to reduce excessive daytime sleepiness and improves alertness.,
Provigil-This drug has been shown in several studies to reduce excessive daytime sleepiness.
Nuvigil-This drug is similar to Provigil. It is also used to reduce excessive daytime sleepiness
Xyrem-This drug is used to treat a small subset of people with narcolepsy who have excessive daytime sleepiness and cataplexy that does not respond to the other medications. It is the only drug approved by the FDA for cataplexy.
Provigil- Headaches are the most common side effect.
Nuvigil- Headaches and nausea
Xyrem-It has a history of abuse as a recreational drug