Narcolepsy and obesity: Remission of severe cataplexy with sibutramine

L. E. Krahn, W. R. Moore, S. I. Altchuler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


An overweight patient (body mass index of 34 kg/m2) with narcolepsy associated with cataplexy is described. Polysomnography did not indicate obstructive sleep apnea. Her obesity was treated with sibutramine, a norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine reuptake inhibiting medication and her severe cataplexy remitted. Clinicians must be aware that sibutramine may suppress cataplexy when evaluating excessive daytime sleepiness in an overweight patient taking this anti-obesity medication. Therefore a negative history of cataplexy in these cases may be misleading and narcolepsy may be overlooked in the differential diagnosis. Sibutramine should be discontinued before polysomnography and multiple sleep latency testing but may be a useful medication in the management of obese narcoleptic patients with cataplexy. With the discovery of decreased hypocretin 1 levels in humans with narcolepsy, a neuropeptide that modulates sleep and feeding, the association between narcolepsy and obesity requires more attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-65
Number of pages3
JournalSleep Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Monamines
  • Narcolepsy
  • Obesity
  • Sibutramine
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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