Narcolepsy: Signs, Symptoms, And Treatment

Narcolepsy is a type of neurological condition and sleep disorder that affects a person’s wakefulness. The disorder is characterized by the inability to control one’s ability to stay awake, daytime sleepiness, and sudden sleep attacks that can happen anytime and anywhere, no matter what the person is doing.

The Cause

The exact cause for narcolepsy is still unknown to this day, but it is commonly thought to be an inherited type of autoimmune disease that causes a chemical imbalance in the brain. People who have low levels of the hormone hypocretin tend to have difficulty in controlling their wakefulness.

Other causes for narcolepsy can be an injury to the brain or the growth of a tumor.

Common Signs And Symptoms

Narcolepsy can be mild or severe and may be accompanied by the following signs and symptoms:

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness – Narcoleptic people will fall asleep without any warning any time of the day. They will suddenly nod off while mid-sentence or while working. The episode may last anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour. People might feel refreshed after falling asleep, but they will soon fall asleep again.

Decreased Alertness – Due to excessive sleepiness a person with narcolepsy will detect that they aren’t as alert throughout the day.

Loss Of Muscle Tone – Also known as cataplexy, the condition exhibits changes such as slurred speech and muscle weakness. This is an uncontrollable condition that can be triggered by a number of intense negative and positive emotions.

Sleep Paralysis – At night, people suffering from narcolepsy experience the inability to speak or move when falling asleep or waking up. This can last for a few brief seconds or minutes and can be very scary.

It can take a while to detect these signs and symptoms at the beginning. If you are concerned about narcolepsy, consult with a doctor to get the proper diagnosis.


As of today, there is no one cure for narcolepsy, but medications such as Adrafinil are very helpful. To get the proper treatment your doctor may have to observe you in a sleep lab to determine if you have mild or severe narcolepsy. Once a full diagnosis is given, treatment can begin soon.

Stimulants – Adrafinil,63547-13-7 and similar stimulants are prescribed to patients to help them stay awake during daytime. Modafinil, Adrafinil, and Armodafinil are preferred prescription medication for narcolepsy because they aren’t addictive and show very little signs of a high when taken.

Side effects are also uncommon making these type of stimulants very useful and safe to use.

Tricyclic Antidepressants – Older types of antidepressants like imipramine and clomipramine help with cataplexy, but side effects like lightheadedness and dry mouth are a concern for many patients.

Medication Precautions

Other concerns narcoleptics must keep in mind is the combination of OTC drugs with their 63547-13-7 prescription. Some medication may interact with the drug and have serious health effects. Also be aware that even the most harmless cold and allergy medication from the local pharmacy can induce drowsiness.

Always check with your doctor to see which ones are best for your needs and which ones are safe for narcoleptic patients.

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