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Narcolepsy

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What is Narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects how the brain controls sleeping and waking patterns. Those who suffer from narcolepsy usually experience excessive daytime sleepiness and temporary loss of muscle control, often in response to laughter, anger and other emotions.

Narcolepsy is a rare condition that affects both men and women. The condition is often diagnosed during the teens, buy may also develop later on in life.

Symptoms of Narcolepsy may include:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness and sleep attacks, often in connection with calm or repetitive activities or monotonous work tasks.
  • Cataplexy which involves temporary loss of muscle control. Cataplexy often happens as a response to emotions, such as laughter, anger, fear or surprise. It may temporarily cause muscles in your face, neck or legs to weaken. Cataplexy usually doesn’t last for longer than a couple of minutes at a time.
  • Hallucinations affecting your vision, hearing and/or emotions upon wakening or falling asleep. These hallucinations are often fearsome but not harmful.
  • Sleep paralysis, which may coincide with hallucinations. Sleep paralysis may cause temporary inability to move your arms or legs. It may also affect your ability to speak upon wakening or falling asleep. The paralysis only lasts for a short while.
  • Interrupted sleep and/or excessive dreaming.
  • Weight gain and/or depression.
  • Difficulty concentrating during the day.

How is Narcolepsy diagnosed?

Narcolepsy is usually diagnosed by a neurologist. A neurologist is a doctor who specialises in diseases of the nervous system. In your appointment, the neurologist is likely to ask you questions about your sleep patterns and medical background and history.

The neurologist may also suggest a sleep test or request a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis or a combination of the two in order to provide a diagnosis.

What are the treatment options for Narcolepsy?

There is not yet a cure for narcolepsy, however there are a number of medicines that can be prescribed to relieve the symptoms of narcolepsy. Narcolepsy treatments often aim to increase alertness during the day while improving sleep quality and decreasing bouts of cataplexy.

Modafinil is one example of medicines used to treat narcolepsy. Modafinil relieves excessive sleepiness and promotes wakefulness. It contains the active ingredient with the same name.

Can Narcolepsy be treated without medicines?

Narcolepsy can’t be treated, but there are changes you can make to help improve your sleeping habits and quality of sleep. Below are a few things you can do yourself. Your doctor or GP will be able provide further advice on how to improve your condition.

To manage excessive sleepiness, take frequent, brief naps. Plan your naps so that they are evenly spaced throughout the day.

Sticking to a strict bedtime routine is often beneficial to people who suffer from narcolepsy. Make an effort to go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up the same time every morning.

Is treatment for Narcolepsy safe to buy online?

Yes, it may be safe to buy modafinil online, however, it depends on the source or website. You should always do your own research before buying any medicines online.

There are a few things you can do to verify whether a website is operating legally:

What will the doctor need to know?

What background and medical information the doctor needs to know depends on the treatment you are requesting. Some medicines may be more likely than others to interact with other medicines.

It is important that you take your time and don’t rush while filling in the medical questionnaire. Answer the questions thoroughly and include all information you think may be relevant, such as whether you have had a diagnosis and whether you have taken this medicine before. If you are unsure, it is always best to include too much information and let the doctor determine whether it is relevant or not.

Additional information and resources about Narcolepsy:

NHS Choices: Narcolepsy

Narcolepsy UK Registered Charity

The Order Process

1.      Choose your treatment

2.      Answer Our Doctor's Questions

3.      Prescription is issued

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