Cataplexy Health Professionals Link Narcolepsy with Cataplexy Cataplexy is a strange neurologic situation that often affects people who have narcolepsy, where strong emotions such as stress, laughter, anger or fear induce sudden attacks of muscle weakness. Cataplexy usually affects both sides of the body, causing people to fall down and in many cases, injure themselves. Attacks can also lead to considerable anxiety and the sufferer may slip into an extended duration sleep. Cataplexy Symptoms and Quality of Life The severity of cataplexy episodes tends to vary, along with the frequency of those episodes, which can range from occasional attacks to many throughout the day. Cataplexy is typically most severe when a person is tired and not completely alert, and cataplexy symptoms, as well as the fear of those symptoms, often prevent people from experiencing important activities. The most common symptoms of cataplexy include: Slackening of the facial muscles Dropping of the jaw or head Weakness at the knees Total collapse on the floor Slurred speech with little to no effect on hearing or awareness Cataplexy symptoms can also cause emotional problems such as humiliation and loss of self-esteem, often leading to less social interaction, relationship interference, depression and decreased quality of life. Cataplexy Treatment Options Essentially, cataplexy is a symptom only found in narcolepsy, and there is no cure for narcolepsy. Cataplexy treatment, however, focuses on suppressing symptoms through central nervous system stimulants, wake-promoting agents, Tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Xyrem is the first and only FDA-approve product for cataplexy treatment. If you are concerned that you or someone you love may have cataplexy consult with your doctor for professional diagnosis and treatment. Disclaimer: These statements and products are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult your physician regarding any sleeping disorders.