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Introduction to the Drug
Modafinil's barnd name is Provigil. It is used to ensure that a person remains wakeful during the times that he needs to be. It is also used to treat extreme drowsiness caused by various sleeping disorders, such as those experienced by people who go through shift work or who are suffering from either sleep apnea or narcolepsy. The drug is believed to effect changes on the brainís neurotransmitters that make the wakefulness effect possible. For those who are suffering from sleep apnea, additional treatments such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine may also be needed.
As mentioned in the introduction, the drug is prescribed to patients who have trouble keeping awake because of sleep problems.
Modafinil should not be taken if you are allergic to the generic component modafinil or to armodafinil (Nuvigil). There are also conditions that are considered comorbidities, such as heart problems, and kidney or liver disease. You should inform your doctor if you are taking any medication for regulating your blood pressure or if you have suffered a heart attack just recently.
You must inform your doctor if you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding. In fact, you must mention your whole medical history, including whether you are taking or have just recently taken particular medications. Mention all medications, even those that you may think donít matter as much. These include herbal drugs and vitamins.
Some of the drugs that may have some form of interaction with Modafinil are the following:
- Sedatives because they have the opposite effect: e.g. diazepam(Valium), triazolam (Halcion) or midazolam (Versed).
- Antifungal meds, such as ketoconazole (Nizoral) or itraconazole (Sporanox).
- Rifampin (Rifater, Rimactane, Rifadin)
- Propranolol (Inderal)
- Cyclosporine (Gengraf,Sandimmune,Neoral)
- Anti-seizure meds, such as phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol) or phenobarbital (Solfoton, Luminal).
- MAO inhibitors such as tranylcypromine (Parnate), rasagiline (Azilect), selegiline (Emsam, Eldepryl), phenelzine (Nardil), and isocarboxazid (Marplan)
- Antidepressants, such as imipramine (Tofranil), and others of its kind.
The above list of medications is not yet complete. There may be other medicines that will interact with Modafinil negatively. So, you must inform your doctor not only about prescription drugs but also about herbal products, over the counter drugs and even vitamins. When you have started taking Modafinil, you should not start taking new medications without first informing your doctor about it.
How to take Modafinil
You must take Modafinil according to your doctorís instructions and keep the prescription label ready at hand. Do not extend your prescription, nor should you increase or decrease your dosage without being instructed by your physician first. Note that Modafinil should not be taken for more than twelve weeks. Ideally, you must take Modafinil at about the same time every day. You can, however, take it with or without food.
Because Modafinil is used to keep you from getting drowsy, you should take it during the morning or an hour before you start your work shift. If you are uncertain about your dose, call your doctor or talk to the nearest pharmacist right away.
After Missing a Dose
If you miss a dose of Modafinil, consider the time when you do remember it. If you still need to be awake for several hours more, then it is time to take that dose right away. However, if it is near your usual bedtime then it is best to skip the forgotten dose. Do not take extra tablets for any of your missed doses.
Possible Side Effects
There are some side effects associated with Modafinil. If you happen to be allergic to it and donít know it, you may end up experiencing the familiar allergic reaction, which consists of hives, breathlessness, and swollen face, throat, tongue, and lips. If this happens to you, you must immediately stop taking the drug and call your doctor or poison control for assistance.
Other potentially serious side effects are reddish skin rash, vomiting (while experiencing some severe blistering), sore throat, fever, headache, malaise, numbness, severe tingling, bruising and pain.
You should also call for help if you easily bruise or bleed, experience unusual thoughts or hallucinations, notice white sores or patches on your lips or even inside your mouth, or if you are feeling anxious, aggressive or depressed.
Still more symptoms that should arouse concern are diarrhea, headache, faintness, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, nervousness or agitation, insomnia and dry mouth. This last group is considered a little less than serious.
The above symptoms, however, are not yet complete. So, you may want to consult your doctor if you are experiencing some symptoms that are not mentioned above but are bothering you. Call 1-800-FDA-1088 if you experience other side effects that you believe to be related to Modafinil.
Precautions to Take
If you are still uncertain about how Modafinil will affect you, you should stay away from potentially dangerous activities. Do not drink alcohol with it and do not take the medication at all if you are younger than sixteen years old.
Effects on Pregnancy and Lactation
Modafinil has been given an FDA pregnancy category C. This means that it has not been studied whether it can harm the fetus. It is also not known whether the generic component, modafinil, gets into breast milk, nor is it known if the drug can harm the nursing baby. So, it is best if you inform your doctor whether you are pregnant, suspect that you are pregnant, or just planning to get pregnant. The same can be said if you are breastfeeding.
Note also that you can get pregnant while taking Modafinil even when you are on the pill. Modafinil can render some birth control Pills a little less than effective than generally expected. You may need a second method of birth control if you want to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. You should talk in length with your doctor about your plans so that you can get the proper advice that you need.
Symptoms of Overdose
While it is still best to avoid overdosing altogether, here are the signs that you have taken a tablet too many: insomnia, extreme agitation/excitement, diarrhea and insomnia.
What to do During an Overdose
If you feel any of the symptoms of overdose, call 1-800-222-1222, the Poison Help Line. You may also call the nearest hospital.
Where to Buy
You can buy Modafinil from your nearest brick-and-mortar pharmacy. The drug is also available through online pharmacies.
Buying Modafinil Online
If you feel you are responsible enough and already know the effects of the drug on your system, you may want to buy the drug online. It is faster and more convenient to do so. There is no need for you to brave long lines just to get your medication. Also, prescription may not be required. So, if you have lost your prescription from your doctor, you can always choose an online pharmacy to buy Modafinil.
However, you must make sure that you do not go over twelve weeks because Modafinil can be addictive. You must follow all the safety precautions and instructions that need to be applied when taking the medication.
One of the other benefits of buying from an online pharmacy is the opportunity to earn some great discounts. You can also order from anywhere you are.
Before you actually order from an online pharmacy, however, you must make sure that you are ordering from a genuine and trustworthy merchant. Conduct some research. Try to find some testimonials or even articles about the site. Then, you may order a few Pills at a time just to check for quality. Make sure that the prices you are paying for are the same or even lower than what brick-and-mortar pharmacies are offering.
Where to Find More Information
The best people to go to for more information about Modafinil are your doctor and your pharmacist. Donít head to Yahoo answers to ask questions from virtual strangers. Ask your doctor about all the things that you need to know about the medication. You should also mention all the concerns that you have about the product. The Internet can also provide supplementary information. Just make sure that you are reading from a reliable site.
Modafinil is a great product that could relieve the extreme drowsiness and daytime sleepiness of people who have been suffering from sleeping disorders. It is, however, not the ultimate treatment for the conditions mentioned in the introduction. Instead, it just relieves the effects. You need other forms of treatment that really address the particular sleeping disorder, while Modafinil helps get you through the drowsy days.
You should not completely rely on Modafinil as it can be addictive. You must take it for a period of twelve weeks or shorter.
As with other medications, Modafinil may come with some serious and not-so serious side effects that you must immediately report to your doctor or to poison control. It must not be taken while performing potentially dangerous activities. So even though it supposedly promotes wakefulness, you donít really know its effects on you yet until you have tried it for a few days. As you are trying to keep awake with the help of Modafinil, it would be definitely wise not to take medications or other products that could make you feel drowsy.