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Decreased body mass index during treatment with sodium oxybate in narcolepsy type 1

Publication year 2019
Published in Journal of Sleep Research
Authors Mink S Schinkelshoek, Isabelle M Smolders, Claire E H M Donjacour, W.P. Van der Meijden, Erik W van Zwet, Rolf Fronczek, Gert Jan Lammers

Narcolepsy type 1 is characterised by an increase in body weight after disease onset, frequently leading to obesity. It was suggested that this weight gain may be counteracted by treatment with sodium oxybate. We here provide longitudinal body mass index data of patients with narcolepsy type 1 after starting treatment with sodium oxybate, compared with patients in whom treatment with modafinil was initiated. Eighty-one individuals with narcolepsy type 1 fulfilled the entry criteria for this retrospective study: 59 had newly started treatment with sodium oxybate and 22 had newly started modafinil. Gender-specific differences between both treatment groups were compared using Student’s t tests and mixed effect modeling. Patients using sodium oxybate lost weight, with a mean body mass index decrease of 2.56 kg/m2between the first and last measurement (women; p = .001) and 0.84 kg/m2(men; p = .006). Patients using modafinil, however, gained weight, with a mean body mass index increase of 0.57 kg/m2(women; p = .033) and 0.67 kg/m2(men; p = .122). Medication (p = .006) and baseline body mass index (p = .032) were predictors for body mass index decrease. In conclusion, treatment with sodium oxybate is associated with a body mass index reduction in narcolepsy type 1, whereas modafinil treatment is not. This effect is most pronounced in those who already have a higher baseline body mass index.

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