Modafinil is taken orally and helps counteract excessive sleepiness, similar in function to armodafinil (Nuvigil). Similar to amphetamines, modafinil stimulates the brain. It may work by increasing dopamine in the patient’s brain by decreasing absorption into nerves. The brand name for modafinil is Provigil.

Is There a Generic Version to Save Money?

Yes, there are generic version approved, although it may be difficult to obtain.

How to Obtain Modafinil

The drug is available through a prescription from your doctor.

Uses of Modafinil

Modafinil helps users stay away and can be helpful to those with narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and shift work sleep recovery. Narcolepsy is a chronic condition impacting the spinal cord and brain that manifests as recurring, uncontrollable sleepiness. Shift work sleep disorder disrupts the body’s normal sleep cycle due to evening or overnight shift work. Sleep apnea describes a state of continual interruption of sleep during the night due to an obstructed upper airway.

Side Effects

The most common side effects of modafinil include:

  • ache
  • upper respiratory tract infection
  • nausea
  • insomnia
  • nervousness
  • anxiety

Dosage

Typical dosage is 200 mg daily and shouldn’t go over 400 mg in any usage. For maximum effectiveness, it should be taken in the morning for narcolepsy or sleep apnea, and one hour before work to counteract shift work disorder. The drug is safe to take with or without food and water, but it may be beneficial to eat a small snack and have a drink handy to aid with swallowing. Effectivity for dosages higher than 200 mg dose may be reduced.

Interactions and Precautions

Modafinil impacts the activity of liver enzymes that eliminate other drugs. This can decrease the levels of certain drugs and decrease their effectiveness or can lead to toxicity of other drugs. Modafinil use should be monitored if taken with conjunction with other drugs.

Drugs that lower the effectivity of modafinil include:

  • theophylline
  • cyclosporine (Sandimmune)
  • hormonal contraceptives (progestin-only or estrogen progesterone (e.g., Micronor, Ortho-Novum 1/50)

Alternative hormonal contraceptives or non-drug contraception should be considered while using modafinil, and for one month after modafinil therapy ends. This is due to the effects of modafinil on pregnancy contraceptive hormones. Possible impact on pregnancy hormones apply to all version of the drug, whether it’s taken by patch, mouth or implant.

It’s important to consult a medical professional familiar with all the medications taken by the patient to help prevent toxicity or other health issues.