How does Wakix help people who have narcolepsy?

Key Points

The drug Wakix (pitolisant) raises the amount of histamine in the brain. Histamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain, which is a natural chemical that helps keep you awake and keeps your muscles from twitching.

Wakix works as an antagonist/inverse agonist on the histamine-3 receptors that are mostly in the brain, but the exact way it does this is not fully understood.

Wakix is not a drug that is controlled by the government.

Wakix is approved to treat adults with narcolepsy who have too much daytime sleepiness (EDS) or cataplexy, which is a sudden loss of muscle strength. Narcolepsy causes people to be very sleepy during the day and to fall asleep suddenly. Cataplexy is a sudden, short-term loss of muscle tone that is often caused by strong emotions like laughter.

Histamine is a neurotransmitter (a natural chemical message) in the brain that helps you stay awake. Wakix sticks to H3 receptors very well. Histamine is made and released in the brain with the help of H3 receptors.

Wakix comes as a tablet that you take by mouth. Most people take it once a day when they wake up. Your symptoms may not get better for up to 8 weeks. Take your medicine just as your doctor told you to.

Can I combine Wakix with an antihistamine?

Some prescription or over-the-counter medicines can stop histamine from helping you wake up, which may make Wakix less effective. You should stay away from H1 receptor antagonists that work in the brain. Some examples of these drugs are:

Diphenhydramine and pheniramine maleate (example: Benadryl)

promethazine (antihistamines) (antihistamines)

imipramine clomipramine mirtazapine (tri- or tetracyclic antidepressants)

When you start taking a new prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, herbal, or other drug, ask your pharmacist if there are any possible drug interactions with Wakix.

Related Drug: Drug interactions with Wakix

If your liver disease is very bad, you shouldn’t take Wakix.

This is not all the information you need to know about Wakix (pitolisant) in order to use it safely and effectively. Talking to your doctor about your treatment is still the best way to find out what you need to know. Read all of the information about Wakix here, and if you have any questions, talk to your health care provider about this information and your questions.

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