Lower Sodium Oxybate for Excessive Sleepiness, Narcolepsy, and Hypersomnia: Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, DO, MS


The director of the sleep disorders center at Cleveland Clinic discussed the data on lower sodium oxybate presented at AAN 2021.

“We know based on the primary paper, which was published recently, that lower sodium oxybate is efficacious for excessive daytime sleepiness, measured by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, and cataplexy. And now we know from these newer data in narcolepsy that it is more beneficial than placebo therapy in health-related quality of life outcomes.”

Lower sodium oxybate (LXB) has efficacy in line with sodium oxybate (SXB; Xyrem; Jazz Pharmaceuticals) for the treatment of cataplexy and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in adults with narcolepsy, according to data from a recent study presented at the 2021 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, April 17-22, by Nancy Foldvary-Schaefer, DO, MS, director, Sleep Disorders Center, Cleveland Clinic.

Foldvary-Schaefer and colleagues found that 91% of those taking SXB at study entry had no dose adjustment or adjustments within 1 titration step (±1.5 g/night). The median number of adjustments was 0.0 (range, 0-8) in participants taking SXB at study entry and 3.0 (range, 0-7) in participants not taking SXB at study entry.

NeurologyLive spoke with Foldvary-Schaefer to learn more about the various studies on LXB presented at AAN 2021, including their findings and their motivations for conducting such studies. She additionally discussed the medication’s potential in treating idiopathic hypersomnia, another common sleep-related disorder for which sodium oxybate is not yet indicated.

For more coverage of AAN 2021, click here.

1. Foldvary-Schaefer NR, Bogan RK, Thorpy MJ, Huang L, Skowronski R, Dauvilliers Y. Lower-sodium oxybate dose titration and transition from sodium oxybate in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized withdrawal study in adult participants with narcolepsy with cataplexy. Presented at 2021 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting; April 17-22. Abstract P26 013
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