The Food and Drug Administration has approved pitolisant (Wakix) for excessive daytime sleepiness among patients with narcolepsy, according to a release from the drug’s developer. Approval of this once-daily, selective histamine 3–receptor antagonist/inverse agonist was based on a pair of multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies that included a total of 261 patients. Patients in both studies experienced statistically significant improvements in excessive daytime sleepiness according to Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores.
Rates of adverse advents at or greater than 5% and more than double that of placebo included insomnia (6%), nausea (6%), and anxiety (5%). Patients with severe liver disease should not use pitolisant. Pitolisant has not been evaluated in patients under 18 years of age, and patients who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant are encouraged to enroll in a pregnancy exposure registry.