Modafinil (Provigil)

Modafinil (Provigil) is a medication that is commonly prescribed to promote wakefulness. This is because it works by changing the neurotransmitters - or natural chemicals - inside the brain so that you do not feel too sleepy.

As a direct result of this mode of action, the drug is commonly prescribed for the treatment of excessive sleepiness that could be caused by shift work sleep disorder, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea. However, there are other uses of the medication that are related to the treatment of substance use disorders.

Modafinil (Provigil) Uses

You should take the medication exactly as your doctor prescribed and according to their express instructions. This effectively means that you need to follow all the directions that are written on the prescription label. Further, you should never use this drug in smaller or larger amounts or for longer than your doctor advised.

In particular, you need to realize that Modafinil (Provigil) can be habit forming. As a result, you should not share it with anyone else, particularly someone you know who has a history of substance abuse and addiction. It is also recommended that you keep the drug in places where only you can access it. This is because giving away or selling Modafinil is punishable by law.

When you are on Modafinil (Provigil), you should take it each morning to ensure that you do not experience sleepiness during the day. Your doctor might also ask that you take it a hour before you start your work shift, especially if you were previously suffering from work-time sleeping disorders.

In case you received a Modafinil (Provigil) prescription to treat the sleepiness caused by your obstructive sleep apnea, your doctors might also try to treat you using a CPAP - continuous positive airway pressure - machine. The machine works as an air pump that would be connected to a mask. It will gently blow pressured air straight up your nose while you are sleeping. The force of air could then ensure that your airway is open and without any obstruction.

Provigil Side Effects

While using Modafinil (Provigil), there is always a risk that you could suffer an allergic reaction. In case this happens, you could experience swelling of the throat, tongue, lips, and face. The allergic reaction could also come in the form of difficulty breathing and hives.

In other instances, you could suffer skin reactions - some of which could be so severe that you can only get them managed through a medical or hospital treatment program. In case you suffer any of the following, you need to stop using Modafinil (Provigil) and seek emergency medical assistance:

  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Atypical behavior
  • Being more talkative or active than you usually are
  • Blisters
  • Chest pain
  • Dark urine
  • Depression
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Hives
  • Jaundice (or yellowing of the eyes and/or the skin)
  • Mouth sores
  • Peeling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin rash
  • Suicidal ideation or actions
  • Swelling in the throat, face, lips, eyes, or tongue
  • Swelling in your legs;
  • The first signs of a skin rash irrespective of how minor it might seem to be
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Uneven heart beats
  • Unusual thoughts

Apart from the allergic reactions - some of which tend to be dangerous and require emergency medical assistance - there are many other side effects that might occur when you are on Modafinil (Provigil). Examples of these side effects include but are not always limited to:

  • Anxiety
  • Back pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling nervous
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Sleep problems (or insomnia)
  • Stuffy nose
  • Upset stomach

However, these are not all the side effects that you might end up suffering. There are many other adverse side effects that could happen. It is advised that you seek emergency services if they do occur.

Modafinil (Provigil) Interactions

Many other drugs might interact with Modafinil (Provigil). They often include herbal products, vitamins, as well as both over the counter and prescription medications. To this end, it is advised that you inform your doctor about all the medications that you are using.

Precautions with Modafinil (Provigil)

You should not take this medication if you have ever had a skin rash or an allergic reaction as a result of using it in the past. This is because Modafinil can cause you to develop skin reactions - some of which might be severe enough to require ongoing treatment in a clinical or hospital setting.

In the same way, doctors advise that you stop taking the drug immediately and seek emergency medical assistance if you experience any of the following side effects:

  • Blisters
  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Hives
  • Mouth sores
  • Peeling
  • Skin rash
  • Swelling in the face
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Yellowing of the eyes
  • Yellowing of the skin

If you received a prescription for Modafinil (Provigil), it is recommended that you inform your doctor if you have a history of substance abuse and addiction, heart problems, kidney disease, liver disease, and chest pain (angina). You should also inform them if you recently suffered a heart attack or if you have been taking any blood pressure medications.

This is because Modafinil (Provigil) acts on the CNS - or the central nervous system. As a result, there is a high risk that it could impair your reactions as well as your thinking. To this end, you should always be careful whenever you are on this drug and you are doing anything that require alertness and attention - such as driving.

You should also ensure that you do not engage in any activity that could potentially prove to be dangerous while you have a prescription for this medication and you have been taking it. This is because it could affect your levels of wakefulness.

Modafinil (Provigil) for Addiction Treatment

Due to its relatively low risk of addiction, Modafinil (Provigil) has been suggested as a potential medication for use in the treatment of people who are recovering from addiction involving cocaine and methamphetamine.

It is now thought that this drug could potentially work in much the same way that methadone does in the treatment of opioid use disorder. In particular, Modafinil (Provigil) might prove useful in reducing the cravings for cocaine among people who are addicted to this substance.

Research studies conducted on people who took this drug also showed that they reported the highest maximum number of consecutive days of cocaine abstinence in comparison to placebo groups.


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