15 Dec

Fibromyalgia Patients Reduce Fatigue with Modafinil and Armodafinil

The long list of conditions that modafinil can improve continues to grow. Now you can add fibromyalgia (FM) to it. Researchers are finalizing phase 4 trials, the last step for FDA approval.

Studies have proven modafinil and armodafinil to be extremely effective in helping FM patients. To understand why modafinil is such a great tool for fibromyalgia, let’s look at FM itself.

How Fibromyalgia Affects People

You’ve probably heard of fibromyalgia, if only because it has a unique name. What most people don’t realize is how big of a problem it is. FM affects around 2% of the population in developed countries. We’re talking about millions of people. What’s worse is we don’t even know how it works.

FM is a genetic disorder and is hereditary. Symptoms, depending on the patient, can be incapacitating or mild. This makes it hard to research and treat. As a result, doctors look for ways to reduce the symptoms.

What are the symptoms? The first is chronic, all-over pain, especially in response to pressure. Specific points on the body are even more sensitive. Everyday tasks become more difficult as the pain can be severe. Usually doctors treat this with painkillers and therapy, but that isn’t always effective. The regular pain causes other symptoms, like nonrestorative sleep. As the name implies, this is when you sleep but don’t feel refreshed afterwards.

So imagine your body is stuck in a permanent zombie-like state. You move around and it hurts, so naturally you’d rather not do anything. Work is a nightmare. Even at rest your body aches. Energy is fleeting and hard to come by. You end up with chronic fatigue and can’t hold a job.

That’s the reality for many FM patients. It can be hard for them to even hold down a part time position. Family members and friends have to provide support and FM patients end up with less independence.

How modafinil helps patients with fibromyalgia

I think you can see where this is going. What’s modafinil most known for? Removing fatigue and giving people energy of course. Just like in other medical cases, such as cancer treatment or depression, modafinil can cure chronic fatigue and give people the energy they need to keep going.

Trials are showing this exact same effect with FM patients. Most of them woke up and took a breakfast dose of 200mg, followed by a later dose of 50-100mg in the afternoon. The results were amazing. These were people who literally couldn’t have a life. When trials started, they had no expectations since nothing else had worked before.

While a couple of people dropped out due to complications with their schedule, every patient said they would continue using modafinil. They were able to maintain a more active schedule, without needing naps every day just to function. Their families cheered them on. Overall, modafinil was the answer.

If you know someone with FM or you yourself are dealing with it, talk to a doctor about using modafinil or armodafinil to treat your FM fatigue. Fibromyalgia may not be understood, but at least we have a way to fight back.

 

 

03 Dec

Reducing Side Effects of Modafinil

Modafinil has become popular largely because it’s well tolerated by most people, to the point of many people reporting no side effects at all. However, some users do experience different side effects which can cause some discomfort. This article details how you can avoid or reduce the side effects of modafinil and armodafinil, as many of them are not precisely caused by the medicine but rather by changes in your habits that it tends to create. Clinical trials of modafinil have shown it to be very safe and agreeable with virtually everyone, but there are some who experience mild symptoms as well as the rare severe symptom.

First of all, it’s worth mentioning that side effects tend to scale with dosage. Most people try 200mg of modafinil, but many people find that half a dose is enough to increase productivity and performance without side effects. If you find that these tips don’t work for you, consider lowering your dosage.

Headache

One of the most common complaints from people who take modafinil is having headaches during the day. Roughly 8% of users report headaches as a symptom. Usually they aren’t very severe, but they can be distracting and irritating when they occur. The main reason headaches occur is that modafinil, like many other stimulants, is a diuretic. This means that you’re more likely to urinate throughout the day and water passes through your system faster. The result is that you will get dehydrated faster. In fact, this is generally understood as the same mechanism behind the dreaded hangover headache. You wake up horrifically dehydrated and feeling as though you were a living desert, and the subsequent headache lasts a while as you replenish your fluids.

Solution: Drink more water. Make it a point to keep a bottle around while you’re on modafinil, and fill it up. I normally drink 2-3 bottles a day, and up that to 4-5 if I’m on modafinil and experience no problems.

Also, if you’re a frequent caffeine user, avoid ditching your morning coffee when you use modafinil. Caffeine withdrawal leads to headaches, and while you might not feel the need for the extra energy, have one cup instead of your usual three and you’ll avoid the awful caffeine headache later on.

Dry Mouth

Like the previous symptom, relatively few people complain of dry mouth, but it occurs in about 5-6% of individuals. The reason is exactly the same as the previous one: a lack of water.

Solution: Drink more water. It’s not too hard to interpret your body’s symptoms. Dry mouth means you need more liquids.

Nausea

Nausea is even less common, with only 4% of users reporting it. There are a few possible explanations. One goes back to the dehydration point. Your body needs water to help move food through your stomach and if it gets dry it can lead to more sensitivity and stomach pain, which will lead to nausea. On the other hand, modafinil has been proven to reduce appetite, so you may not feel as hungry and food may seem less appealing. People who report nausea tend to also report this with other types of medicines, so if you know you have a tendency to feel nauseous on certain medications it’s more likely to happen with modafinil as well. It seems to be most common in the morning, or shortly after taking modafinil.

Solution: Have a light breakfast before taking your pill. Stay hydrated. Avoid heavy meals when you’re not in the mood, although don’t stop eating altogether.

Feeling Nervous or Agitated

This symptom is reported in about 5% of users, and it’s much more common on higher doses (9% with 400mg users in clinical trials). Regarding agitation, it seems that as modafinil tends to lock you into an activity with greater concentration, breaking that concentration can be more annoying than usual. People often comment that they’re testier when a coworker or a client asks a question while they’re involved in another task. I can attest to that, and it’s something to watch out for. If you’re aware of it, you can attempt to fight it back by simply counting to three before switching tasks. As far as feeling nervous is concerned, some people find themselves fidgety or antsy with the extra energy they have. This is often the result of a lack of things to do, or disorganization during a modafinil day.

Solution: Breathe before responding, think before you speak. Keep a list of things to do and make sure you check it off as you go. The mental satisfaction of accomplishing your to-dos will outweigh the possible negative influence of modafinil and keep you cheerful.

Trouble Sleeping

Alright, this one is entirely the result of a lack of common sense, but let’s talk about it anyway. Modafinil tends to last about 12 hours and armodafinil generally 2-3 more. After that its effects are significantly reduced and less noticeable. Most people report being unable to sleep while on modafinil, which is more or less the point of the pill seeing as it was designed to treat sleep disorders such as narcolepsy. So don’t be surprised when you plop down for a nap only to be denied. Likewise, don’t be shocked if you took your pill at 10 AM and can’t fall asleep at 10 PM.

Solution: Simple. Plan your day well. Take your modafinil in anticipation of your bedtime. I usually get up at 6 and go to bed around 10. By taking the pill right after I get ready for the day I’m well exhausted by the end of it and sleep very well.

Serious Side Effects (Call a doctor)

Serious side effects are very rare with modafinil, showing up in roughly 1% of the sample populations from studies, based on the number of participants who quit using the drug. However they include some of the following:

  • Fever, including vomiting, headache, blistering and skin peeling
  • Bruising or easier bruising
  • Excessive bleeding
  • White patches or sores inside mouth
  • Mental symptoms such as hallucinations, depression, severe anxiety
  • Chest pains

Fever, excessive bleeding and bruising, and sores in the mouth generally indicate an allergy to the medicine, and it should be stopped immediately. Mental symptoms are usually the result of previously undiagnosed conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, although these have never been shown to be brought on by modafinil. Chest pains are also usually indicative of an underlying condition. Modafinil accelerates the heart and can increase blood pressure, so chest pains are a sign of other heart conditions being exacerbated by modafinil’s effects.

Solution: Call a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms, and stop taking modafinil immediately. There are no recorded fatalities related to modafinil, and it’s extremely safe having passed a battery of tests and trials. However, safety comes first, so do not take these symptoms lightly if you develop them.