Doctors prescribe modafinil, sold under the brand name Provigil, to improve wakefulness in adults who experience excessive drowsiness as a result of obstructive sleep apnea, sleep disorder or narcolepsy.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved modafinil for the treatment of narcolepsy in 1998.
Researchers are not sure exactly how modafinil contributes to wakefulness. One theory is that it can increase dopamine levels in the brain, preventing back-absorption of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, that slows the process of moving chemical signals from one nerve cell to another.
Provigil is manufactured by Cephalon, Inc. in two volumes, 100 mg and 200 mg. Various manufacturers, including MylanPharmaceuticals, TevaPharmaceuticalIndustries and ParPharmaceuticalCompanies, produce a common form. The Teafamodafinil version is in fact a proprietary brand of Provigil, which was repacked and sold as a generic one.
Modafinil enhances short-term memory, allowing users to stay awake for extended periods of time. Sometimes it is used to increase the productivity of military pilots and soldiers during combat situations.
What do I need to know about Modafinil (Provigil)?
Modafinil is a substance controlled by the federation, and it should only be used as directed. Keep it in a safe place to prevent abuse. It is against the law to sell or give modafinil to another person.
The drug is not approved for use in children in any medical condition, and it is not known whether it is safe for children under the age of 17 years.
For those who have obstructive sleep apnea, modafinil is used in combination with other types of treatment. It will not cure these or other sleep disorders, but it can help the sleepiness created by these conditions.
Modafinil can lead to serious side effects, including a severe rash or an allergic reaction affecting your liver or blood cells. These side effects can be life threatening and may require hospital treatment. You should immediately stop taking the medication and call your doctor if you develop a skin rash, hives, mouth sores, blisters, scaling or yellowing of the skin and eyes, swallowing or breathing problems, dark urine or fever.
Do not take modafinil if you are allergic to armomafinil (Nuvigil), lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, croscarmellose sodium, povidone and magnesium stearate.
What should I discuss with my doctor before taking?
It is important that people talk with their doctors about all their health conditions before starting taking the drug, for example, whether they have problems with mental health, including psychosis. Make sure your doctor knows about any heart problems or if you have had a heart attack, high blood pressure, liver or kidney disease, a history of drug or alcohol abuse, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant or breastfeed. It is not known whether the drug enters the breast milk.
Be sure to tell your doctor about all the medicines that you take, including prescription and non-prescription drugs, vitamins and herbal supplements. In addition, if you use hormonal contraceptives, you may have a higher likelihood of becoming pregnant during treatment, and also within a month after discontinuation.
Modafinil: side effects
Not all side effects need medical attention and can go away during treatment, as your body adapts to the drug. Your doctor can also help you prevent or reduce some of them.
More common side effects range from anxiety and nausea to headache and nervousness.
More common side effects include:
People also need to monitor a number of other side effects that are not so common. Among them: back pain, decreased appetite, belching, diarrhea, or problems with the intestines.
In addition, other people may experience dryness of the skin or mouth, redness of the skin, sensation, heartburn / indigestion, vomiting.
Less common side effects of Provigil include:
- High blood pressure
- Ulcers or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
- Runny nose
- Tingling, burning on the skin
- Decreased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Dryness of the skin
- Feeling of constant movement of one’s own body or environment
- Redness of the skin
- Heartburn and upset stomach
Stop taking the medication and call your doctor and / or get emergency help if you experience the following serious side effects:
- Thoracic pain
- Labored breathing
- Sore throat
- Peeling and red skin rash
- Severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness
- Light bruising or bleeding
- White spots or sores in the mouth or on the lips
- Feeling of anxiety
- The feeling of things that do not really exist (hallucinations)
- Increase in activity (mania)
- Thoughts of suicide
- Aggression or other mental problems
Before taking modafinil it is important to tell your doctor about any medications you take.
Many drugs can interact with modafinil, such as propranolol or indyl, cyclosporin / neoral, sandimun, genefraph; Rifampin / Rifadine, Rimatan, Reefater; sedatives such as diazepam / valium, midazolam / styrene or triazolam / Halcion, as well as antifungal agents such as itraconazole / sporanox or ketoconazole / nisoral.
Other medicines that can interact:
- Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin) or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton)
- Amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and others
- Isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam), or tranylcypromine (Parnate)
- Ciclosporin (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf)
- Propranolol (Inderal)
- Rifampin (Rifadine, Rimatan, Reefater)
- A sedative such as diazepam (valium), midazolam (Versed) or triazolam (Halcion)
- Antifungal drugs, such as itraconazole (Sporanox) or ketoconazole (Nizoral)
- Medications such as carbamazepine (carbatrol, tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin) or phenobarbital (Luminal, Solfoton)
- Antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), nortriptyline (Pamelor), and others
- MAO inhibitors such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam) or tranylcypromine (Parnate)
Modafinil affects the central nervous system, so your thinking and reactions may be compromised.
Do not drive or participate in other activities that require you to be vigilant.
Avoid drinking alcohol because you do not know how it will affect you.
Modafinil has two volumes: 100 mg and 200 mg. It is usually taken in the morning to prevent drowsiness during the day or an hour before the start of the work shift.
If you are using a medication to treat obstructive sleep apnea, you can also be provided with a machine with constant positive airway pressure (CPAP). The air pump is connected to a mask that blows under the air pressure in the nose during sleep, which helps keep the airways open to prevent obstruction.
Remember that the medicine is not meant to replace the proper sleep.
If you think you have taken too much modafinil or, possibly, overdosed, seek emergency medical help or call the toxicology center.
If you feel nervous or worried, embarrassed, experiencing sleep problems, experiencing nausea or diarrhea, these may be symptoms of an overdose.
It is important to discuss how to handle the missed dose with your doctor. Do not take additional medication to make up for the missed dose.
If you miss a dose of modafinil, you should take it as soon as you remember. However, do not take medicine if you do not plan to stay awake for several hours.
If the time is approaching a normal sleep, you should skip the missed dose.