A Medication That Promotes Wakefulness

The active ingredient in Provigil is Modafinil. Inactive ingredients include: lactose, microcrystalline, cellulose, pregelatinized starch, croscarmellose sodium, povidone and magnesium stearate. Sleepiness significantly increases the potential for compromised attention, impaired cognition, lengthened reaction time, and negative mood. Provigil is a drug that helps to increase an individual’s daytime alertness. It is used to improve wakefulness in patients with narcolepsy, sudden uncontrollable attacks of day time sleepiness obstructive sleep apnea or hypopnea syndrome or in patients with shift work sleep disorder. You should be diagnosed with one of these sleep disorders before taking Provigil, since sleepiness can be a symptom of other medical conditions. Provigil may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.  Provigil is used for performance enhancement apart from promoting wakefulness in an individual. It also enhances short-term memory and lets the user stay awake for extended periods. The exact mechanism by which Provigil increases wakefulness in an individual is not known. At present, Provigil (Modafinil) is the only FDA-approved prescription medicine for the treatment of hyper – somnias and excessive sleepiness associated with OSAHS and SWSD (Shift Work Sleep Disorder). The American Academy of Sleep Medicine considers Provigil (Modafinil) the standard treatment for sleepiness in narcolepsy.  Narcolepsy is caused by dysfunction of a family of wakefulness-promoting and sleep-suppressing peptides, the orexins. Orexin neurons are activated by Provigil (Modafinil). Orexinergic neurons are found exclusively in the lateral hypothalamic area. Narcoleptics suffer profound disturbances in normal sleeping patterns and variable degrees of depression. These symptoms can be reversed with Generic Provigil (Modafinil). Depressives who feel sleepy and fatigued on SSRIs can supplement their routine with Provigil (Modafinil). Provigil is approved only for use by adults and children over the age of 16. It should only be taken by those suffering from sleep disorders. The United States FDA has classified Provigil (Modafinil) a Schedule IV drug (low abuse potential.

Provigil (Modafinil) is occasionally used to treat depression related to fatigue (and fatigue due to depression), which are two Multiple Sclerosis (MS) symptoms that often appear together and can aggravate each other so that both the fatigue and depression become worse if both are not treated. Just recently, Provigil (Modafinil) was shown to improve nocturnal enuresis (which is the involuntary discharge of urine during sleep at night) in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). If you are taking Provigil (Modafinil) l to treat sleepiness caused by obstructive sleep apnea, you may also be treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This machine is an air pump connected to a mask that gently blows pressurized air into your nose while you sleep. The pump does not breathe for you, but the gentle force of air helps keep your airway open to prevent obstruction. Provigil, like other stimulants, has the potential for abuse. It can alter your mood, perception, thinking, and feelings, providing an artificial “lift” and potentially leading to a certain degree of dependence (although discontinuation of the drug does not produce physical withdrawal symptoms).

Provigil is taken orally in pill form and the usual dose for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – related fatigue is between 100 to 200 mg. Provigil (Modafinil) is usually taken each morning to prevent daytime sleepiness, or 1 hour before the start of a work shift to treat work-time sleep disorders. Provigil is usually taken once daily in the morning or as directed by your doctor. Taking Provigil (Modafinil) as a medication does not take the place of getting enough sleep and should not be used to treat tiredness or hold off sleep in people who do not have a sleep disorder. Food does not reduce the effectiveness of Provigil. However, it will delay the onset of action by approximately 1 hour. Make a point of taking only the prescribed Provigil dose. Never increase the dose or take additional doses. Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, but avoid taking the medication if you do not plan to be awake for several hours. If it is close to your normal bedtime hour, you may need to skip the missed dose and wait until the next day to take the medicine again. This medication is not recommended for use in children. Read the Patient Information Leaflet provided by your pharmacist before your start using Provigil (Modafinil) and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, consult your doctor or pharmacist. If you are using this for apnea (OSAHS), continue your other current treatment (e.g., CPAP machine) unless your doctor tells you to stop. Provigil dosage is based on your medical condition and response to therapy. Use this medication exactly as prescribed to get the most benefit from it. Do not increase your dose, take it more frequently, or use it for a longer time than prescribed. Properly stop the medication when so directed. Inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed Provigil (Modafinil) as a medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Headache, nausea, nervousness, anxiety, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: mental or mood changes (e.g., agitation, confusion, depression, abnormal thoughts, and hallucinations). Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, fast or pounding or irregular heartbeat, signs of infection (e.g., fever or persistent sore throat). A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, stop taking this medication and seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching or swelling (especially of the face, tongue or throat), skin blisters or peeling, severe dizziness and trouble in breathing.

In addition to treating fibromyalgia, Provigil is used in the treatment of a variety of other illnesses and medical conditions, including the Alzheimer’s, depression, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), Multiple Sclerosis-related fatigue, conditions associated with memory loss, such as schizophrenia and aging.