Narcolepsy Across the Lifespan

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Treatment for narcolepsy changes across the lifespan. Kids require special consideration, for example, as they need help identifying and enacting study, exercise, and sleep habits that make them most productive at school. Children respond differently to medications and certain drugs can have side effects on the growing body. It’s also very important to give children and teenagers a clear definition of what narcolepsy is, how it affects them, and a helpful way to talk about it with peers. Parents should normalize the disorder by helping kids research what it is and possibly connecting with other kids who have it.

If you are pregnant, have a conversation with your doctor to weigh the benefits and risks of staying on narcolepsy medications. Your doctor may recommend going off certain medications, as they can pose a risk to a growing baby.

Those with narcolepsy may develop separate sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, which can complicate narcolepsy symptoms. These separate sleep disorders should be addressed with a doctor, as they can worsen symptoms of disturbed sleep and daytime sleepiness. Always talk to your doctor about your full health history to see if there are other medical issues to take into consideration, like combining narcolepsy treatment with existing medications.