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Medications for Idiopathic Hypersomnia

Other names: Excessive Daytime Sleepiness; Hypersomnia; Idiopathic Hypersomnolence; IH; Somnolence

Idiopathic hypersomnia is a debilitating neurologic sleep disorder characterized by chronic excessive daytime sleepiness, making it difficult to stay awake and alert during the day.

People with idiopathic hypersomnia can sleep for adequate amounts of time each night but still feel excessively sleepy during the day. They may also experience severe sleep inertia or sleep drunkenness (difficulty waking, and grogginess and disorientation upon awakening).

The cause of idiopathic hypersomnia is not known but may be related to the presence of a substance that interacts with gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the cerebrospinal fluid, thereby enhancing the sleep promoting effects of GABA. Other possible causes of idiopathic hypersomnia include autonomic nervous system dysfunction, circadian system dysregulation, and dysfunction of energy metabolism.

Diagnosing idiopathic hypersomnia involves trying to establish a cause, and to rule out other conditions. Patients may be asked to rate their sleepiness on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, keep a sleep diary, take a polysomnogram test, and a multiple sleep latency test to determine the cause of their sleepiness.

Treatments for idiopathic hypersomnia are aimed at easing symptoms. Xywav (calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium oxybates) is the first and only FDA-approved treatment for idiopathic hypersomnia. Off-label treatments include wakefulness-promoting agents (modafinil and armodafinil) and psychostimulants (amphetamines and methylphenidate).

Drugs used to treat Idiopathic Hypersomnia

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

Filter
Drug name Rating Reviews Activity ? Rx/OTC Pregnancy CSA Alcohol
modafinil Off-label 5.1 7 reviews
Rx C 4

Generic name: modafinil systemic

Drug class: CNS stimulants

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Off-label: Yes

Xywav 6.3 3 reviews
Rx 3 X

Generic name: calcium oxybate / magnesium oxybate / potassium oxybate / sodium oxybate systemic

Drug class: miscellaneous anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

armodafinil Off-label 7.7 3 reviews
Rx C 4

Generic name: armodafinil systemic

Drug class: CNS stimulants

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph, Prescribing Information

Off-label: Yes

Xyrem Rate Add review
Rx B 3 X

Generic name: sodium oxybate systemic

Drug class: miscellaneous anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: Prescribing Information

sodium oxybate Rate Add review
Rx B 3 X

Generic name: sodium oxybate systemic

Brand name:  Xyrem

Drug class: miscellaneous anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

For professionals: AHFS DI Monograph

calcium oxybate / magnesium oxybate / potassium oxybate / sodium oxybate 6.3 3 reviews
Rx 3 X

Generic name: calcium oxybate / magnesium oxybate / potassium oxybate / sodium oxybate systemic

Brand name:  Xywav

Drug class: miscellaneous anxiolytics, sedatives and hypnotics

For consumers: dosage, interactions, side effects

Frequently asked questions

Learn more about Idiopathic Hypersomnia

Mayo Clinic reference

Legend

Rating For ratings, users were asked how effective they found the medicine while considering positive/adverse effects and ease of use (1 = not effective, 10 = most effective).
Activity Activity is based on recent site visitor activity relative to other medications in the list.
Rx Prescription only.
OTC Over-the-counter.
Rx/OTC Prescription or Over-the-counter.
Off-label This medication may not be approved by the FDA for the treatment of this condition.
EUA An Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows the FDA to authorize unapproved medical products or unapproved uses of approved medical products to be used in a declared public health emergency when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives.
Pregnancy Category
A Adequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
B Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.
C Animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
D There is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use in pregnant women despite potential risks.
X Studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.
N FDA has not classified the drug.
Controlled Substances Act (CSA) Schedule
M The drug has multiple schedules. The schedule may depend on the exact dosage form or strength of the medication.
U CSA Schedule is unknown.
N Is not subject to the Controlled Substances Act.
1 Has a high potential for abuse. Has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
2 Has a high potential for abuse. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions. Abuse may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
3 Has a potential for abuse less than those in schedules 1 and 2. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence.
4 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 3. It has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 3.
5 Has a low potential for abuse relative to those in schedule 4. Has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to those in schedule 4.
Alcohol
X Interacts with Alcohol.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.