Provigil is the brand name for modafinil, distributed by the Cephalon company. It is used to treat excessive sleepiness in adults brought on by sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), or shift work disorder (SWD) by altering the neurotransmitters in the brain. One thing to keep in mind is that it treats symptoms but is not a cure for the sleep disorder itself. Therefore, it is important to continue treatments recommended by your doctor. It may be purchased online without a prescription by other names, although this is a not a safe practice.
Provigil is a classified as C-IV and controlled by the federal government via the Federal Drug Administration because of its potential for abuse or dependence.
As stated above, Provigil is used for excessive sleepiness, which can lead to poor work quality, bad judgment, lack of ability or desire to participate in activities, among other things. It also improves memory and is a mood enhancer. In fact, it has gained popularity for treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder because of its enabling effect on concentration. It has also been found in test trials to be effective in treating depressive symptoms in patients with bipolar disorder. It has been used to treat fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis. It can be prescribed to treat both the fatigue and chronic pain of fibromyalgia. Provigil has been helpful in easing symptoms of methamphetamine withdrawal. It is now being used as an experimental drug in treating the lethargy associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It is being tested in the treatment of myotonic dystrophy symptoms. Its use for post-anesthesis grogginess, schizophrenic impairment, spasticity of cerebral palsy, fatigue of Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome, symptoms of fatigue in cancer patients, jet lag, and age-related memory decline are also being investigated.
The obvious benefit of Provigil is to relieve the drowsiness caused by lack of sleep due to sleep disorders. It is also known as a “smart drug”, thus named because it is very effective in increasing one’s cognitive powers and mental energy. It reduces fatigue, improves memory, increases mental energy, and accelerates cognitive connections. The beauty is that all of this is accomplished without addictive potential.
Common side effects of Provigil include headache, back pain, nausea, nervousness and anxiety, diarrhea, insomnia, dizziness, stuffy nose, and GI distress. More serious side effects are skin rash, blisters, or peeling, mouth sores, trouble swallowing, fever, shortness of breath, leg swelling, dark urine, jaundice, and swelling of lips, tongue, face, or throat. You should seek medical attention immediately if you have suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, aggressiveness, chest pain, or uneven heartbeats.
Long term use
One excellent attribute of Provigil is that it does not create dependency. Other than that, very little is known about long-term use. That should be comforting, but it may be that there is just not enough data to determine any long-term detriment.
Provigil has been termed “the entrepreneur’s drug of choice” since it keeps one awake and able to concentrate for long periods of time without apparent side effects. Given Silicone Valley’s reputation for the workaholic environment, it has lead many to embrace this drug to keep up the expectation of massive production.
Always take Provigil exactly as directed by your medical care provider. It is usually taken in the morning to prevent daytime somnolence and can be taken with or without food.
Dangers of Provigil
The main danger is most likely the temptation to take Provigil more often than prescribed. Although seen in a small percent of users, there is the possibility of fever, sore throat, rash, easy bruising and bleeding, sores on mouth or lips, chest pain, or irregular heartbeat. If any of these symptoms occur, contact your doctor immediately.
As with any other drug, there may be side effects. These can vary greatly from one individual to another. It is wise to keep in mind the possible serious effects and consult a health care provider immediately if you notice any of them. If you experience any unusual condition, it would be wise to advise your doctor. However, as drugs go, there seem to be many benefits and very few side effects in a vast majority of cases.