Sodium Oxybate for Narcolepsy with Cataplexy: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

University Sleep Disorders Center, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Journal of clinical sleep medicine: JCSM: official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.05). 08/2012; 8(4):451-8. DOI: 10.5664/jcsm.2048
Source: PubMed


To assess the efficacy and safety of sodium oxybate (SXB) in narcolepsy-cataplexy patients.
Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Adults with narcolepsy-cataplexy.
Electronic databases (e.g., MEDLINE) and references of included studies were searched to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the efficacy and safety of SXB for patients with narcolepsy-cataplexy. Risk of bias was appraised using the Cochrane risk of bias tool. Meta-analysis was conducted in Review Manager Version 5. Six RCTs and 5 companion reports were included after screening 14 full-text articles and 483 citations. All were private-industry funded. SXB (usually 9 g/night) was superior to placebo for reducing mean weekly cataplexy attacks (n = 2 RCTs, mean difference [MD]: -8.5, 95% CI: -15.3, -1.6), increasing maintenance wakefulness test (MWT) (n = 2, MD: 5.18, 95% CI: 2.59-7.78), reducing sleep attacks (n = 2, MD: -9.65, 95% CI: -17.72, -1.59), and increasing Clinical Global Impression scores (n = 3, relative risk, RR: 2.42, 95% CI: 1.77-3.32). SXB did not significantly increase REM sleep versus placebo (n = 2, MD: -0.49, 95% CI: -3.90, 2.92). Patients receiving SXB had statistically more adverse events versus placebo, including nausea (n = 3, relative risk [RR]: 7.74, 95% CI: 3.2, 19.2), vomiting (n = 2, RR: 11.8, 95% CI: 1.6, 89.4), and dizziness (n = 3, RR: 4.3, 95% CI: 1.1, 16.4). Enuresis was not significantly different from placebo (n = 2, RR: 2.6, 95% CI: 0.8, 9.8). All meta-analyses had minimal statistical heterogeneity (p-value > 0.1).
Narcolepsy patients on SXB have significant reductions in cataplexy and daytime sleepiness. SXB is well tolerated in patients with narcolepsy, and most adverse events were mild to moderate in severity.

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Available from: Ahmed Salem BaHammam, Jun 30, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Cataplexy is the pathognomonic symptom of narcolepsy, and is the sudden uncontrollable onset of skeletal muscle paralysis or weakness during wakefulness. Cataplexy is incapacitating because it leaves the individual awake but temporarily either fully or partially paralyzed. Occurring spontaneously, cataplexy is typically triggered by strong positive emotions such as laughter and is often underdiagnosed owing to a variable disease course in terms of age of onset, presenting symptoms, triggers, frequency and intensity of attacks. This disorder occurs almost exclusively in patients with depletion of hypothalamic orexin neurons. One pathogenetic mechanism that has been hypothesized for cataplexy is the activation, during wakefulness, of brainstem circuitry that normally induces muscle tone suppression in rapid eye movement sleep. Muscle weakness during cataplexy is caused by decreased excitation of noradrenergic neurons and increased inhibition of skeletal motor neurons by γ-aminobutyric acid-releasing or glycinergic neurons. The amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex contain neural pathways through which positive emotions probably trigger cataplectic attacks. Despite major advances in understanding disease mechanisms in cataplexy, therapeutic management is largely symptomatic, with antidepressants and γ-hydroxybutyrate being the most effective treatments. This Review describes the clinical and pathophysiological aspects of cataplexy, and outlines optimal therapeutic management strategies.
    Nature Reviews Neurology 06/2014; 10(7). DOI:10.1038/nrneurol.2014.97 · 15.36 Impact Factor
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