Recent Evidence on the Management of Narcolepsy: Improving Outcomes through Expert Treatment Strategies

A continuing medical education activity provided by NAMCP and AAMCN

This activity is an archive from the live session from the 2020 Spring Managed Care Forum. If you participated in the live session, you are not eligible for continuing education credits from this archive.

This activity is valid from July 15, 2020 to August 1, 2021

Instructions for CME/NCPD: Complete the pre-test, listen to the audio and view the slides, complete the post test, complete the evaluation form and hit submit. You will be asked to enter your name and email address on the pre-test, evaluation and post-test. If you close your internet browser without completing the post test, you will have ONE more opportunity to complete. A score of 70% must be achieved on the post test to receive continuing education credits. If you do not pass the post test after two attempts, you will not be eligible to try again. Once you complete the evaluation form and score 70% or higher on your post test, you will automatically be given your certificate.

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Audience: This activity is intended for healthcare professionals practicing in managed care environments.

This activity is supported by an educational grant from
Jazz Pharmaceuticals

Narcolepsy is a chronic disorder of hypersomnia that affects the brain’s ability to control sleep-wake cycles. Narcolepsy patients experience severe excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) that leads to involuntary somnolence during regular activities that could put the patient and others in a harmful situation, such as driving, eating, or talking. Narcolepsy can interfere with psychological, social, and cognitive function and development and can inhibit academic, work, and social activities. Greater awareness of the disorder and its symptoms can help accurately and efficiently diagnosis the disease. As research continues to grow, better treatments for narcolepsy are becoming available. Sleep studies are an essential part of the evaluation and diagnosis of patients with narcolepsy. Symptoms can include EDS, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, but cataplexy is the most specific symptom and occurs in almost no other diseases. The combination of an overnight polysomnogram (PSG) followed by a multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) can provide the proper evidence of narcolepsy while excluding other sleep disorders.

Treatment of narcolepsy can include both nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic components. Most patients improve if they maintain a regular sleep schedule, which is typically around 8 hours per night. Pharmacologic treatment of narcolepsy involves the use of stimulants to the central nervous system such as methylphenidate, modafinil, dextroamphetamine sulfate, methamphetamine, and amphetamine. These medications help reduce daytime sleepiness, improving the symptoms in around 70% of patients. There are newer treatments that are currently undergoing clinical trials and are awaiting approval by the FDA, such as solriamfetol, which would help to treat excessive sleepiness in narcolepsy. 

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss current guidelines and recent evidence of current and emerging agents in the treatment of narcolepsy

  • Explore goals for optimal diagnosis of narcolepsy, including shortening the time of diagnosis and using clinical tools to detect persistent excessive sleepiness

  • Assess the clinical efficacy and safety data for pharmacologic therapies resulting in proper treatment strategies

  • Analyze the clinical and socioeconomic burden of narcolepsy and implement strategies to reduce the burden


Faculty: Michael J Thorpy, MD
Professor of Neurology
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Director, Sleep-Wake Disorders Center
Montefiore Medical Center


Dr. Thorpy serves as a consultant and research investigator for Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Flamel Technologies, Balance Therapeutics, Suven Life Sciences, Axsome Therapeutics, and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. His presentation has been peer reviewed for any bias.
  Planning Committee:
Bill Williams, MD has no real or perceived financial relationships to disclose.
Jeremy Williams has no real or perceived financial relationships to disclose.
Jacqueline Cole, RN, MS, CMCN has no real or perceived financial relationships to disclose.

NAMCP and/or the presenter has copyright or has received permissions for use of materials provided in this activity.

Accreditation & Designation
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the National Association of Managed Care Physicians (NAMCP) and American Association of Managed Care Nurses (AAMCN). The National Association of Managed Care Physicians is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

NAMCP designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 credit(s)TM. Each
physician should claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American Association of Managed Care Nurses is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Nurses who complete this activity and achieve a passing score will receive 1 hour in nursing continuing professional development.

This activity has been approved by the American Board of Managed Care Nursing for 1.0 contact hours toward CMCN recertification requirements.

This activity is supported by an educational grant from
Jazz Pharmaceuticals

NAMCP and/or this website does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. NAMCP does not endorse or imply endorsement of the content on any linked website. This website is to be used as an informational resource. With any health related concern, consult with your physician or healthcare professional.

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