Provigil (modafinil) is a medication that promotes wakefulness. It is thought to work by altering the natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.
Provigil is used to treat excessive sleepiness caused by sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or shift work sleep disorder.
You should not use Provigil if you are allergic to modafinil or armodafinil (Nuvigil).
To make sure you can safely take Provigil, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:
- angina (chest pain);
- cirrhosis or other liver problem;
- kidney disease;
- a heart muscle or valve disorder such as mitral valve prolapse;
- a history of drug addiction;
- if you take blood pressure medications; or
- if you have recently had a heart attack.
Skin rashes serious enough to require hospitalization have occurred in people using a medicine similar to Provigil. These rashes usually occurred within 1 to 5 weeks after the first dose.
Stop taking Provigil and call your doctor at the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how minor you think it might be.
FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether Provigil will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. It is not known whether modafinil passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. Provigil can make certain types of birth control pills less effective, which could result in an unplanned pregnancy. Talk with your doctor about the best methods of birth control to use while taking this medicine.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Provigil and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- fever, sore throat, headache, and vomiting with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash;
- bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
- easy bruising or bleeding;
- white patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips;
- hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior;
- depression, anxiety, aggression; or
- chest pain, uneven heart beats.
Less serious Provigil side effects may include:
- headache, dizziness;
- feeling nervous or agitated;
- nausea, diarrhea;
- trouble sleeping (insomnia); or
- dry mouth.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.