Sodium oxybate for narcolepsy

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Abstract

Sodium oxybate (Xyrem™), also known as γ-hydroxybutyric acid, is the only therapeutic specifically approved in the USA for the treatment of cataplexy in narcolepsy. The US FDA has recently expanded its indication to include excessive daytime sleepiness associated with narcolepsy. In contrast to the antidepressants and stimulants commonly used to treat the disorder, sodium oxybate is the only compound that addresses both sets of symptoms and, when used properly, is less likely to lead to the development of tolerance and other undesirable side effects. In this review, the results of clinical trials and the place of sodium oxybate in narcolepsy treatment are discussed.

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