Modafinil – It’s Indications, Side-Effects, Warnings, and more

Modafinil is used for:

Improving wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy or other sleep disorders. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent. Exactly how it works is not known, but it is thought to work by altering the natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.

Do not use Modafinil if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in modafinil or to armodafinil
  • you have a history of developing a rash after taking modafinil or armodafinil
  • you have a history of certain heart or heart valve problems (eg, mitral valve prolapse, left ventricular hypertrophy)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Modafinil:

Some medical conditions may interact with modafinil. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver problems, kidney problems, heart problems (eg, chest pain, heart blood vessel problems, a recent heart attack), or high blood pressure
  • if you have a history of mental or mood problems (eg, depression, mania, psychosis), suicidal thoughts or actions, or alcohol or other substance abuse or dependence
  • if you are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine)

Some medicines may interact with modafinil. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Erythromycin or ketoconazole because they may increase the risk of modafinil’s side effects
  • Carbamazepine, phenobarbital, or rifampin because they may decrease modafinil’s effectiveness
  • Clomipramine, desipramine, diazepam, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), omeprazole, propranolol, or warfarin because the risk of their side effects may be increased by modafinil
  • Cyclosporine, hormonal products (eg, birth control pills, certain hormone replacements), midazolam, quetiapine, or triazolam because their effectiveness may be decreased by modafinil

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if modafinil may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use modafinil:

Use modafinil as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Modafinil comes with an extra patient information sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it carefully. Read it again each time you get modafinil refilled.
  • Take modafinil by mouth with or without food.
  • Take modafinil in the morning unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • If you take modafinil for shift work sleep problems, take about 1 hour before the start of work.
  • If you miss a dose of modafinil, take it as soon as possible. If you do not remember until late afternoon or evening, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use modafinil.

 

Important safety information:

  • Modafinil may cause dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use modafinil with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using modafinil.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose or take more often than prescribed without check with your doctor.
  • Modafinil cannot cure sleep disorders and it may not stop all of your sleepiness. Do not change your daily habits without first talking to your doctor. Discuss your level of sleepiness with your doctor at each visit. Do not use modafinil in place of getting enough sleep. Follow your doctor’s instructions for good sleep habits and using other treatments.
  • Serious and sometimes fatal skin reactions (eg, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis) have been rarely reported with modafinil. Contact your doctor right away if you develop a rash; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; or blisters on the inside of the eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • A serious and sometimes fatal reaction has happened with modafinil. Most of the time, this reaction has signs like fever, rash, or swollen glands with problems in body organs like the liver, kidney, blood, heart, muscles and joints, or lungs. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using modafinil. To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms) while you are taking modafinil and for 1 month after stopping modafinil.
  • Have your blood pressure checked often. Talk with your doctor.
  • Use modafinil with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Modafinil is not approved for use in CHILDREN. The risk of serious and sometimes fatal skin reactions (eg, Stevens-Johnson syndrome) may be increased in children. However, your child’s doctor may decide the benefits of taking modafinil may outweigh the risks. Talk with the doctor if you have questions about giving modafinil to your child.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using modafinil while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use modafinil, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Some people who use modafinil for a long time, which may develop a need to continue taking it. People who take high doses are also at risk. This is known as DEPENDENCE or addiction. If you stop taking modafinil suddenly, you may have WITHDRAWAL symptoms. These may include sleepiness. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor or pharmacist.