The narcoleptic syndrome is a life-long and sometimes familial disorder in which there is a disturbance of the rapid eye movement phase of sleep. Patients with periodic sleep in the daytime but no other symptoms seldom develop the narcoleptic syndrome and have a separate unrelated disorder. Twelve patients with the narcoleptic syndrome were treated separately with l(−) amphetamine and d(+) amphetamine. Both drugs abolished narcolepsy, d(+) amphetamine being slightly more potent than l(−) amphetamine. In equipotent doses, unwanted effects of nervousness and insomnia were equal in frequency. No tolerance to either preparation developed during a six month period. Cataplexy was not affected by amphetamine treatment, but was abolished in two patients when clomipramine was given together with either amphetamine.
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