Provigil – Modafinil

Most sleep aids are prescribed to address problems with sleep. Provigil treats the opposite problem, its intended effect is to keep you awake. Provigil is demonstrated to improve wakefulness in adults with excessive sleepiness that is associated with narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, jetlag and obstructive sleep apnea.

Provigil is a drug that is administered orally, and is known to have similar effects as caffeine. It stimulates the brain, promotes wakefulness, and therefore is considered a stimulant.

Like a lot of sleep medications, there is a risk of Provigil abuse. People could use this drug to get an exhilarating feeling by snoring Provigil. It could be also used to work and assist in studying with little sleep as well as promote weight loss. With such abuses, the risk of dependency and withdrawal symptoms is high.

Generic Provigil

Cephalon manufactures this drug along with another wakefulness drug known as Nuvigil. Provigil has a patent on it until 2012. Until then no generic modfinil will be available. See discussion about Nuvigil – Nuvigil vs. Provigil.

Provigil Side Effects

  • The most common Provigil side effects include:
  • Adverse effect on hormone based contraceptives
  • Excitation or agitation
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Nervousness
  • Weight loss
  • Aggression
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

More Serious Provigil Complications and Side Effects

While serious problems with Provigil are rare, they may include the following:

  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis
  • Erythematic multiform
  • Drug rash

These complications have been known to cause serious dermatological reactions that may need hospitalization.

Careful Use of Provigil

While largely considered to be safe by the FDA, Provigil and any other sleep medicine should only be taken under the direction of a doctor. The Provigil dosage, timing and length of use should be coordinated by the doctor in regard to patient health and exact nature of sleep disturbance.

Who Should Not Take Provigil

There are several conditions and diseases that make the use of this medication unsafe. These include those who are sensitive to this drug or any of its ingredients, those with cardiovascular problems and including left ventricular hypertrophy and mitral valve prolapse and cirrhosis. It should not be given to pregnant or nursing women. Provigil should not be given to children.

Provigil Classification Status

In the United States, Provigil is considered to be a Schedule IV controlled substance; it has different restriction classifications in other countries.

Other Uses of Provigil

There are several uses for Provigil, including several off-label uses. (An off-label use is one that the manufacturer or the FDA did not originally intend or approve). In addition to being used for the treatment excessive daytime sleepiness, Provigil has been prescribed off-label for these conditions:

  • Symptoms of multiple sclerosis
  • ADHD – not recommended for children
  • Sedation and fatigue in depression
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Myotonic dystrophy
  • Spastic cerebral palsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Fibromyalgia

Security operations may be given Provigil daily to boost their alertness and concentration. Additionally, there are several experimental uses of this medication, which include treatment of cocaine addiction, weight loss and primary biliary cirrhosis.

Further resources:

Essential further reading:

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