Wakix (pitolisant) is a brand-name drug that’s prescribed for excessive daytime sleepiness or cataplexy in adults who have narcolepsy. Wakix comes as an oral tablet that’s typically taken once per day in the morning. The dosage can vary depending on how Wakix works for you.
Wakix belongs to a drug class called histamine-3 (H3) receptor blockers/inverse agonists. Wakix is not available in a generic version.
Keep reading for specific information about the dosage of Wakix, including its strengths and how to take the medication. For a comprehensive look at Wakix, see this article.
Note: This article describes typical dosages for Wakix provided by the drug’s manufacturer. When taking Wakix, always follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.
If you have thoughts of suicide during Wakix treatment, call 911 or your local emergency number. In the United States, you can also call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or text HOME to the Crisis Textline at 741741. You can also refer to this article for ways to seek support.
Below is information about Wakix’s form, strengths, and dosages.
Wakix comes as an oral tablet that you swallow.
Wakix comes in two strengths: 4.45 milligrams (mg) and 17.8 mg.
Typically, your doctor will start by prescribing you a low dosage. Then, they’ll adjust it over time to reach the amount that’s right for you. Your doctor will ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly prescribed in adults. However, be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for narcolepsy
If your doctor prescribes Wakix for your narcolepsy, your starting dose will likely be 8.9 mg. Typically, you’ll take this dose once daily in the morning for the first week. After 1 week, your doctor will recommend increasing your dosage to 17.8 mg once daily in the morning. After another week, your doctor may recommend increasing your dose to 35.6 mg once daily in the morning. This is the maximum dose of Wakix that’s recommended.
For more information about your specific dosage, talk with your doctor.
Wakix is meant to be taken as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Wakix is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
Before you start taking Wakix, your doctor will discuss your treatment plan with you.
The Wakix dosage your doctor prescribes will depend on several factors. These include:
- how your body responds to Wakix
- the severity of the condition you’re taking Wakix to treat
- other medications you take
- side effects you may have with Wakix
- your liver and kidney function
- whether your body is a poor metabolizer of CYP2D6
Other medical conditions you have can also affect your Wakix dosage.
Your doctor may need to adjust your dosage if you take certain medications, such as CYP2D6* inhibitors or CYP3A4* inducers. These drugs can affect the level of Wakix in your body.
Your doctor may also need to adjust your dosage if you have liver damage or kidney disease, or if your body is a poor metabolizer of CYP2D6. Your doctor can help determine whether you have any of these conditions and what the best dose of Wakix may be for you.
Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications you take and any health conditions you may have.
* CYP2D6 and CYP3A4 are enzymes (a type of protein) in the liver that break down medications.
Wakix comes as an oral tablet that you swallow whole. Do not divide, crush, chew, or place the tablet in water. You may take your dose with or without food.
You should take Wakix around the same time each morning upon waking up. This helps maintain a steady level of the drug in your body so Wakix can work effectively.
If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication. You can also talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have questions about how to use Wakix, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
ACCESSIBLE DRUG LABELS AND CONTAINERS
Some pharmacies offer labels with large print, braille, or a code you scan with a smartphone to convert text to speech. If your local pharmacy doesn’t have these options, your doctor or pharmacist might be able to recommend a pharmacy that does.
If you’re having trouble opening medication bottles, ask your pharmacist about putting Wakix in an easy-open container. They also may recommend tools that can make it easier to open bottles.
If you miss a dose of Wakix, skip the missed dose and take your next scheduled dose the following morning. Do not take two doses to make up for the missed one. If you’re not sure whether you should take a missed dose or skip it, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
To help make sure that you don’t miss a dose, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or putting a note where you’ll see it, such as on your bathroom mirror or bedside table. You could also download a reminder app on your phone.
It’s important that you don’t take more Wakix than your doctor prescribes. For some medications, taking more than the recommended amount may lead to harmful effects or overdose.
If you take more than the recommended amount of Wakix
Call your doctor right away if you believe you’ve taken too much Wakix. Another option is to call America’s Poison Centers at 800-222-1222 or use its online tool. If you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Below are some frequently asked questions about Wakix.
Is the dosage of Wakix similar to the dosage of Sunosi?
Yes, the forms and how often you take each drug are similar. Wakix and Sunosi (solriamfetol) are both oral tablets that are taken once daily in the morning upon waking up. Both drugs are used to manage excessive daytime sleepiness from narcolepsy. But Wakix can also be used for cataplexy from narcolepsy. Sunosi isn’t used for cataplexy. However, Sunosi can also be used for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Wakix isn’t used to treat OSA.
The dose in milligrams for each drug differs because they have different active ingredients. Your doctor will prescribe the drug and the dosage that’s right for you.
To learn more about how these drugs compare, talk with your doctor.
How long does it take for Wakix to start working?
Wakix starts to work after your first dose. But it can take up to 8 weeks to see a change from Wakix. Your doctor will monitor you during treatment to check whether the drug is working to treat your condition.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about what to expect with Wakix treatment.
The dosages in this article are typical dosages provided by the drug’s manufacturer. If your doctor recommends Wakix for you, they will prescribe the dosage that’s right for you. Always follow the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
As with any drug, never change your dosage of Wakix without your doctor’s recommendation. If you have questions about the dosage of Wakix that’s best for you, talk with your doctor.
Besides learning about dosage, you may want other information about Wakix. This additional article might be helpful:
- More about Wakix. For information about other aspects of Wakix, refer to this article.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.