FDA Approves Cephalon's Provigil
So I mentioned this to my neurologist who gave me some samples of a medication to try.
Those samples were for Provigil, a prescription medication used to improve wakefulness in adults who experience excessive sleepiness due to one of the following diagnosed sleep disorders: obstructive sleep apnea, shift work sleep disorder, or narcolepsy.
Modafinil (Provigil® / Cephalon, Inc.) is not approved for MS-fatigue but is commonly used off-label for that purpose. When I first tried it, the effect was not immediate. It’s not the type of medicine which guarantees that you are peppy in 30 minutes. However, I did start very conservatively by trying just half a 200mg tablet. After a few days I tried a full tablet and finally had a day where my brain felt “normal.”
PROVIGIL is a prescription medicine used to improve wakefulness in adults who experience excessive sleepiness (ES) due to one of the following diagnosed sleep disorders: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), shift work sleep disorder, also known as shift work disorder, or narcolepsy.
In patients with OSA, PROVIGIL is used along with other medical treatments for this sleep disorder. PROVIGIL is not a replacement for your current treatment. Consult your doctor about the importance of continuing your current OSA treatment while taking PROVIGIL.
PROVIGIL is indicated to improve wakefulness in adult patients with excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome, and shift work sleep disorder.
In OSAHS, PROVIGIL is indicated as an adjunct to standard treatment(s) for the underlying obstruction. If continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the treatment of choice for a patient, a maximal effort to treat with CPAP for an adequate period of time should be made prior to initiating PROVIGIL. If PROVIGIL is used adjunctively with CPAP, the encouragement of and periodic assessment of CPAP compliance is necessary.
In all cases, careful attention to the diagnosis and treatment of the underlying sleep disorder(s) is of utmost importance. Prescribers should be aware that some patients may have more than one sleep disorder contributing to their excessive sleepiness.
Modafinil decreases extreme sleepiness due to narcolepsy and other sleep disorders such as difficult/irregular breathing during sleep (e.g., obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome-OSAHS). It is also used to help you stay awake during work hours for people with work schedules that interfere with a normal sleep routine (shift work sleep disorder-SWSD).
It is not known how modafinil works to increase wakefulness. It is thought to work by affecting certain chemicals in the brain that control the sleep/wake cycle. Modafinil does not make up for lack of sleep and should not be used to treat tiredness or hold off sleep in people who do not have a sleep disorder.
This medication is not recommended for use in children.