Idiopathic hypersomnia

How might idiopathic hypersomnia be treated?

Treatments for hypersomnia are generally aimed at excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), rather than at sleep duration or sleep drunkenness (confusion upon waking up). Although there are multiple treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for narcolepsy, there are no FDA-approved treatments idiopathic hypersomnia (IH). Therefore, treatment generally involves off-label use of medications approved for narcolepsy. Unfortunately, the use of these medications is inadequate to improve symptoms in many people with IH. These medication options may include:

There are also several emerging therapies for cases that do not respond to the above types of medications. These include sodium oxybate, clarithromycin, and flumazenil.

Non-medical approaches such as behavior modification are not generally effective for people with IH. Unlike in narcolepsy, where scheduled naps can help, daytime naps in people with IH are typically long and nonrestorative.

People with IH should avoid activities that may be dangerous, and should avoid driving or operating dangerous machinery unless sleepiness is well controlled by medication.

Following up with physicians at least annually (preferably more frequently) is recommended to assess for side effects of medication, sleep or mood disturbances, adequate control of symptoms, and any work-related or social issues.

Last updated on 05-01-20

Name: National Sleep Foundation 1522 K Street NW Suite 500
Washington, DC, 20005 , United States
Phone: 202-347-3471 Fax : 202-347-3472 Email: Url:
Name: American Sleep Association 110 W. Ninth Street, Suite 826
Wilmington, DE, 19801 , United States
Fax : 940-234-3357 Email: Url:
Name: Hypersomnia Foundation 4514 Chamblee Dunwoody Road #229
Atlanta, GA, 30338, United States
Phone: +1-(678) 842-3512 Email: Url:
Name: Hypersomnolence Australia PO Box 5278 Algester
Queensland 4115
Email: Url:
Name: Project Sleep P.O. Box 70206
Los Angeles, CA, 90070,
Phone: 323-577-8923 Email: Url:

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