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Compare all 15 medications used in the treatment of Narcolepsy.
Reviews for Provigil to treat Narcolepsy
Review by rues:
I tried to write a lot more, but the space is limited. I'd tried ADHD medicines and loading up with caffeine, but nothing seemed to work to manage my excessive sleep cycles. I stumbled across information on Provigil, and asked my doctor if I could try it. I was skeptical because I have eczema, and I have to be careful about the medications, foods, and external allergens I'm exposed to. I began at the lowest dose once/day, and increased to that twice a day after a year and a half, because it seemed the effectiveness was decreasing. I do take breaks from the meds, usually for a day or two, but I've had to for months (cost) and haven't experienced noticeable withdrawal symptoms, like with all the other chemicals.
I am 2 months shy of having used Provigil for 10 years. I have no physical side effects from it, which is pretty good since I am in my late 60s. It was more effective at keeping me awake when I first started using it, but it also made me a little nervous. These days it is usually effective, but sometimes not, but the good news is that I am much calmer than I have been in years. If this medicine seems to lose it's effectiveness, don't give up. Stop taking it for a little while (a week or two) and it will work again just fine. All and all this medicine has given me back my life, except for driving me to the poor house.
I took Provigil along with Adderall and felt the best ever. I was alert, not on too much Adderall so I didn't feel bad from that--Then my insurance company wouldn't cover Provigil any more, they pushed Nuvigil--it made me sleepier.
Provigil worked for my narcolepsy for about 6 months. After that, I began to have bouts of insomnia at night and became ultra sleepy during the day times. I was prescribed sleep medications to help combat the new side effects. Things did not seem to improve. I also gained 40 pounds during the time I took Provigil (which was a total of 9 months). As a woman, gaining weight was my LEAST desirable side effect of all. Finally, I switched off of Provigil and returned to what was working for me originally, Adderall XR 30 mg one to two times per day (depending on what my schedule was like that day). I only switched off of Adderall XR originally because my doctor was concerned about the potential long term cardiovascular effects on my body.
I found that this medicine was good at keeping my body awake, but I still felt like my mind was falling asleep. After about 4 or 5 days on it I developed the worst migraine of my life...when I get migraines they usually resolve with just half of a Vicodin. After taking two full Vicodin's I still had the most raging migraine ever. It lasted for 3 days. Once it resolved I went back on the Provigil two days later another raging migraine. That was it for me.
Review by Sleepy Sister (taken for 6 months to 1 year):
For the past few years, my friends all made fun of me for how many naps I took. Eventually, I was not able to leave very far from my house lest I get a sleep attack and need to lay down immediately. I've slept everywhere - from the bathroom floor at my work (before I was fired for leaving early so many times to sleep) to friends cars during the middle of the day. After FINALLY getting a narcolepsy diagnosis (good luck getting insurance to pay without it - even the Patient Assist Program won't send you meds unless your diagnosis is documented) I am now experiencing how normal people must live. As long as I take the Provigil at the exact times I need to (100mg at 8am, noon, 4pm) I can work, making me feel like an asset to society again.
23 users found this comment helpful.
I've had delayed sleep phase syndrome, mood disorder and ADHD all my life, due to brain injury at birth and a family pattern of delayed sleep phase syndrome. I managed a successful professional career but with great difficulty and with struggles with different medications. I way overused caffeine, with mixed results and side effects. Provigil has been wonderful and I wish it had been available when I was a child and in school and working. I feel normal and alert and not constantly fighting sleepiness, inattention and depression. I can't help wondering how much better I might have done with this medicine. It is helping me with my second career as an artist.
22 users found this comment helpful.
I took Provigil for about 7 years. When I was working my insurance covered it. I had not idea of the price. It is wonderful medicine but way too expensive if you have to pay for it. Without any discounts it's approximately $1,300 per prescription. Am on Medicare now and they will not cover it so am no longer taking. It was great on keeping me from sleeping all the time and helped a lot with my depression. Perhaps the price will come down someday and I can start it again. Highly recommended.
27 users found this comment helpful.
I was diagnosed with narcolepsy around 7th grade, and pretty much sleep through middle school. I took Ritalin about up to 10th grade which moderately helped me stay awake, but I still would always crash multiple times a day due to the fact that it doesn't completely eliminate excessive sleepiness and trying to perfect your taking-schedule really is crucial with any narcolepsy prescribed medication. When my neurologist started me on Provigil, I was pretty shocked by the lack of side-effects it had, and it was a somewhat natural awake feeling as others have mentioned. I went from taking 2 (200 mg) pills a day to taking 2-3 (200 mg) pills a day depending on my schedule, exercise, or exam studying.
17 users found this comment helpful.
Had no life at all except pain and overwhelming fatigue for 10 years. Visited many doctors with no help at all. I am a scientist began tracking medicines that were in the pipeline - came across Provigil, looked like it was the one for me. When it became available I was first in line. changed my life completely; I was normal again; I could produce again and did to a stunning degree. 3 weeks ago, after 8 years, Provigil completely stopped working. I know all the obvious reasons but makes no sense, I am again existing with no quality to go forward. Am manically changing to Adderall while I try to figure this out.
21 users found this comment helpful.
I have Narcolepsy with Cataplexy and am currently taking Provigil during the day when I first wake up. I have noticed that my Cataplexy attacks are fewer but it doesn't stop them all. I still have at least 3 big attacks a week. I have found that I am more alert taking Ritalin but have more cataplectic attacks. I am currently working with my doc to up the dosage because the 200mg are not enough. I have had some side effects with the medicine. Mood Swings, becoming fixated on a task or project, confusion, headache and some depression. I am currently a full time student and for me taking Provigil to prevent attacks vs being more alert is the best option for me at this point.
10 users found this comment helpful.
I have only been on Provigil for a month, but it has caused extreme nausea and headaches. I have a history of cluster headaches and migraines, which had diminished, but are now back in full force. I've also had stomach cancer twice and Provigil makes me very nauseous and losing weight due to an inability to eat. I'm glad that it is effective for some, I just wish that I was in that group because I am TIRED.
Review by crabbygranny (taken for less than 1 month):
After the first 200mg dose, I experienced a powerful, irresistible and complete voiding of my bowel. It left me weak so I did not take any more for a full day. Then I took half a tablet (100mg) and experienced the same thing again. At a quarter dose (50mg) the same thing happened. I think Provigil is an excellent laxative. It gave (at all those doses) a moderate improvement in wakefulness for about two hours; it did not help with my cataplexy. Since then 40mg (4 x 10mg) of methylphenidate allows me to stay awake and alert and also eliminates attacks of catalepxy.
I can't take Provigil daily because it is expensive so I use it on days when I need to accomplish important tasks (shopping, housework, social occasions, etc.).
Having suffered from depression since my teens, and although my standard medicines help, Provigil is the only medicine ever that has made me feel "good". I'm so happy my psychiatrist suggested this medication and I hope that it is approved for depression so that insurance companies will cover it.
17 users found this comment helpful.
Review by signs193 (taken for 6 months to 1 year):
Provigil (Modafinil) has been a good addition to my regimen for dealing with the symptoms of narcolepsy. I take different doses depending on severity of symptoms. I take 50 mg. twice a day most of the time. Or 100 mg. twice a day. I have tried 200 mg. once or twice a day and that's where the side effects kick in (very dry mouth and headaches). It does keep me awake during the day most of the time, but sometimes I feel as if I never took it. But that's where adding coffee or caffeine pills really helps. I feel safe taking this med and I'm happy to have discovered it.
10 users found this comment helpful.
No side effects. Did not see anyone who listed pain relief. It was prescribed for my daytime sleepiness, but I noticed that my arthritic pain (knees and back) was much less. Had much more energy as well.
16 users found this comment helpful.
I'm a 36 year old female and I've been living with narcolepsy for over 20 years and was just diagnosed about 2 months ago! I have been on Provigil for 1 week. 200mg twice a day with that I still feel like a walking zombie. I have not noticed a change with no side effects. I was taken off of Nuvigil 150mg 1x/day. I did notice a huge difference with that. I remember feeling..wow this is what it feels like to be awake. But it would die out by noontime and barley get me through the rest of my day. I also experienced a dull constant headache and random nausea. It now seems almost worth going back to it and dealing with the side effects.
Ever since I was age 13, I would have sleep attacks almost everyday; about 5 days out of a week. It really affected my school work, because I just couldn't force myself to stay awake. Two years ago, when I age 18, I finally investigated of why I was having these sleep attacks. I was eventually diagnosed with Narcolepsy from a Neurologist. He put me on Provigil, 200mg in the morning and 100mg in the afternoon. Within a week I noticed a huge difference. I've never felt so awake and refreshed in years. Now I'll only have around 10 sleep attacks per year. The only flaw this drug has is its price. MAKE SURE your insurance covers it. They may not at first, but give them documentation on your condition and they will.
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