There is currently no widely accepted cure for narcolepsy but medication and therapy can help to relieve symptoms to a certain extent.
Behavioural therapies may help control symptoms, including taking three or more scheduled naps throughout the day. You may also be advised to avoid heavy meals and alcohol, which can disturb or induce sleep. Counselling is a very important part of the treatment. As it is not a well understood or widely known disease, it may cause you to feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or depressed.
Your doctor may also prescribe stimulants to improve alertness and reduce excessive daytime sleepiness. Antidepressants may also be prescribed if need be. Sodium oxybate, a strong sleep inducing agent, may be given at night to improve disturbed nocturnal sleep and reduce daytime sleepiness and cataplexy.
All these treatments have some side effects including headaches, irritability, mood changes, nervousness, insomnia, anorexia, irregular heartbeat, nausea, weight gain, anxiety or decreased emotions, drowsiness, sexual dysfunction and changes in blood pressure. Your doctor will prescribe the treatment that works best for you, with minimal side effects.