Provigil contains an active ingredient called Modafinil. It promotes alertness in patients who have problems with excessive sleepiness, mostly associated with conditions, such as narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, and shift-work disorder. Although not officially approved, Provigil is often used in people who want to improve their cognitive abilities, such as memory, concentration, learning, and creativity.
According to the FDA, the Provigil precise mechanism of action is not yet known. For now, it is known that this drug has a weak affinity for GABAA, dopamine, histamine, serotonin, noradrenaline, and benzodiazepine receptors. Although it exhibits the promotion of alertness similar to the one induced by sympathomimetic drugs (such as Amphetamine), Provigil has no pharmacological profile of sympathomimetic, that is why it cannot be compared to this medicine.
In some studies, it was observed that Provigil Modafinil blocks the action of the alpha-receptor antagonists (medicines used to treat hypertension and benign prostate enlargement), and it is assumed that its alpha-agonistic effect is responsible for its wake-promoting effects. However, further and more detailed clinical studies are needed to fully determine its mechanism of action.
What You Need to Know Before You Start Using Provigil Modafinil
You should not use Provigil if you are allergic to its active substance (Modafinil) or other drugs of a similar chemical structure (Armodafinil). An allergic reaction may occur even if you are using Provigil for the very first time. Tell your doctor if you notice redness of the skin, swelling of the face, swelling of the throat, shortness of breath, or irregular heart rhythms. Very rare cases of severe allergic reactions induced by the use of Provigil Modafinil have been reported. Serious skin reactions, such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, have also been very rarely reported after taking this drug.
Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a rare and potentially life-threatening disorder affecting skin and mucous membrane, and the most common signs of this syndrome include fever, red or purple color of the skin that is gradually spreading painful skin and the appearance of blisters on the skin, or on the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, eyes, or genital organs. Toxic epidermal necrolysis is also potentially life-threatening immunological skin disorder, and the most characteristic symptom of this disorder is appearance of blisters that cover the vast majority of the skin (more than 30%). Most people should not worry about these side effects because they are very, very rare, but you should contact your doctor if you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms.
The FDA states that in clinical studies that involved a total of 1585 patients who used Provigil Modafinil, only one patient developed Steven-Johnson syndrome (mild form) that quickly disappeared after cessation of the therapy.
Keep in mind that using Provigil does not mean that you will no longer experience drowsiness. According to Meds4sure the Provigil Modafinil is not effective in all patients, and you should report to your doctor regularly in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the Provigil treatment. You shouldn’t drive, operate machinery, or perform other activities that require alertness even when you are taking this medicine.
Psychiatric side effects have also been reported following the use of Provigil Modafinil. Post-marketing studies suggest that the drug can cause manic episodes, hallucinations, depression, nervousness, aggressive behavior, delusions, confusion, agitation, insomnia, and suicidal behavior. Your doctor may decide to discontinue the use of Provigil if you develop these symptoms. The risk of developing psychiatric side effects is higher in patients with a positive history of psychiatric disorders.
The safety of the use of Provigil Modafinil in patients with cardiovascular disease has not been established. Data from clinical studies indicate that the use of this drug in patients with mitral valve prolapse or left ventricular hypertrophy can lead to a worsening of the condition. For this reason, you should consult your doctor if you have any cardiovascular disease.
Provigil should be used cautiously in patients with:
- Liver cirrhosis
- Kidney disease
- Positive history of heart attack
- Positive history of alcohol problems
- Angina pectoris.
It is not known whether Provigil has toxic effects on the fetus. Therefore, the use of Modafinil during pregnancy is not recommended.
Breastfeeding mothers must inform their physician about taking the drug, because it is not known what effects Provigil Modafinil can have on infants.
Always take Provigil Modafinil as your doctor has recommended.
The recommended dose for wake-promoting effects in patients suffering from shift-work disorders, narcolepsy, and obstructive sleep apnea is 200mg once daily.
The usual dose for improving cognitive functions is 100mg once a day.
Keep in mind that long-term administration of high doses may be habit-forming. Patients who become addicted may experience insomnia, nausea, tachycardia, and fatigue after discontinuation of Provigil.
Provigil Modafinil is usually used for 12 weeks or less. It can be taken regardless of the meal. It is best to take the pills with at least one glass of water.
The FDA does not recommend use of Provigil in children under the age of 17.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following side effects:
- Psychiatric adverse effects (depression, nervousness, anxiety, delusions, hallucinations, and suicidal behavior)
- Liver damage (signs of liver damage include pain in the upper right part of the abdomen, loss of appetite, yellow skin and eyes)
- Irregular heart rhythm
- Changes on the skin
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the chest
In addition, Provigil Modafinil can also cause the following adverse effects:
- Back pain
- Excessive sweating
- Visual disturbances
- Presence of blood in urine
Provigil is generally well tolerated and rarely causes adverse effects.
Interaction with Other Medicines
The effect of alcohol on the effect of Provigil Modafinil has not been studied. Because of the potential increase in the concentration of the drug if it is administered concomitantly with alcohol, concomitant administration should be avoided. Also, bear in mind that concomitant use with alcohol can theoretically increase the risk of liver damage.
Provigil can reduce the effect of steroid contraceptives, and it is recommended to use the condom while you taking this medicine.