Medications can often be very important aspects of the recommended therapy for individuals dealing with narcolepsy and other sleep issues. The overall objective of the treatment is finding the ideal drug that offers the best health benefits with minimal side effects. Some of the mainstream medications used for treating this health issue are modafinil, amphetamines, and sodium oxybate. However, modafinil has been discovered to be the safest of these drugs because it comes with little or no side effects.
It is important to note that proper medications can help someone suffering from narcolepsy to maintain normal energy and alertness level during the day. The detailed information on the available medications for the treatment of narcolepsy and their side effects can be found in the journal of medications for enhancing alertness among narcolepsy patients.
Drugs for enhancing alertness
It can be quite difficult to maintain a normal everyday living if you are plagued with the need to sleep every minute of the day. People suffering from this condition will usually require medical aids in the form of medications, to keep them awake during the day. Modafinil is usually recommended for people suffering from mild to moderate narcolepsy. It is a preferred choice because it is highly effective and comes with no serious side effect. People with severe cases, however, are sometimes placed on sodium oxybate or amphetamines. It is important to note that these drugs come with some risks factors. This is why it is advisable to only buy the drugs, including modafinil from reputed online pharmacies like meds4sure.com on doctor’s prescriptions.
Amphetamines and Oxybate have high potential to be abused by users. Individuals who take high dosage of the drug for recreational purposes can become highly dependent and addicted to them. This is why it is highly recommended that they must be used only on doctor’s prescription. Below is the detailed information about these medications and how they impact on the health of the users.
Modafinil is recognized as the safe smart drug. It is a very popular and an effective drug for enhancing alertness and reducing drowsiness in narcolepsy. The drug comes in two different versions;
- The original formulation known as Provigil in the US and other generic modafinil forms, and
- The newer version, Armodafinil or Nuvigil.
The latter comes with the purified active compound. Modafinil acts by increasing the dopamine level in the brain which leads to increased alertness. Clinical studies have indicated that modafinil reduces the feeling of drowsiness as calculated by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. It has also shown the capability to improve the wakefulness of users placed on the maintenance wakefulness test.
The effectiveness of modafinil to improve alertness usually spans about eight hours in individuals suffering from narcolepsy. However, it takes about 12 to 15 hours to wear off in healthy adults. This is why it is advisable to use the drug in the morning.Generally, modafinil has little to no side effects when compared to other alertness promoting drugs. Some of the common side effects associated with it are nausea, insomnia, and headache. In a very rare case, it can produce dangerous and severe rashes that will require quick medical attention. It is important to mention that modafinil makes birth control pills less effective. It is therefore advisable that women who are on birth control and are using modafinil should use an alternative method of birth control other than the pills.
Amphetamines have been in use since the 1930s to enhance alertness and wakefulness in narcolepsy. Amphetamines are very effective in treating this health condition. However, they come with some side effects. There are numerous varieties of the drug that are available to patients but patients react to them differently. Some of the common forms of amphetamines are dextroamphetamine (Adderall and Dexedrine), Methylphenidate (Methylin, Ritalin, Metadate, and Concerta). All these are closely related to amphetamines and they have related side effects and of course, benefits.
Amphetamines and all the forms help to improve alertness by enhancing the dopamine levels in the brain. On another level, they also help to increase other two alert promoting chemicals in the brain, norepinephrine and serotonin. The effectiveness of the drug in improving alertness varies from short-acting forms to long-acting forms. The short acting forms span between 3 to four hours, while the longer acting form last between 6 to 8 hours. Patients need to discuss the dosage and timing of their medications with their doctors to reduce the possible side effects of the drugs. At moderate dosage, many people can use the drug with little or no trouble. High doses, however, can lead to abuse and addictions.
Sodium Oxybate is the sodium salt of gamma-hydroxybutyrate. This is a naturally occurring chemical substance in the brain. It differs a little bit from other drugs used in the treatment of narcolepsy. Sodium oxybate is in the form of sedating liquid that is consumed at bedtime. Its effect is to cause deep sleep during the night so as to be wakeful during the day. After many weeks of use, it is expected to reduce daytime sleepiness in the user. The effect of the drug lasts between three to four hours, as such; a second dose is to be taken after four hours of the first. How oxybate improves alertness in human is not very clear to researchers. Research conducted on animals shows that oxybate creates sedation by binding to the receptors of the neurotransmitter. However, how wakefulness improves over time is not known. It is important that individuals follow doctor’s prescriptions when using this drug. They also need to be monitored so as to see how effective the drug is on them.
Among all these drugs, modafinil seems to be the only one with the longer effects and little side effects. For individuals that are using the drug for other purposes other than narcolepsy, it is still crucial to consult your doctor before use. Never start the drug with a high dose. You need to be sure how your body reacts to low dosage and then increase it with time.