Dr Michael Thorpy on Misconceptions in the Treatment of Narcolepsy-Related EDS

Michael Thorpy, MD, director, Sleep-Wake Disorders Center, Montefiore, and professor, Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, speaks about common misconceptions within the treatment of narcolepsy-related excessive daytime sleepiness, and how combination therapy may play a role.

A misconception within the treatment of narcolepsy-related excessive daytime sleepiness is that it can be controlled by one therapy, but combination therapy is likely needed to address the full scope of disease burden, said Michael Thorpy, MD, director, Sleep-Wake Disorders Center, Montefiore, and professor, Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Transcript

What is a common misconception within the treatment of narcolepsy-related excessive daytime sleepiness?

I think that most physicians think that the excessive sleepiness in narcolepsy can be controlled entirely with 1 medication. I think what we're finding is that the majority of patients need multiple medications—2, or in some cases, even 3 medications.


So, the important thing about treating sleepiness is to get patients as much control as possible, so the patient's quality of life, occupation, and education are not adversely affected by the narcolepsy. I think one of the misconceptions that physicians have is that they might just prescribe one medication and reach a sort of maximum dosage, and think that that's the end of treatment. But I think we need to go a little bit further to try to produce treatments that really make major differences to patients and this often requires a combination therapy.