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Nuvigil Side Effects

Generic Name: armodafinil

Note: This page contains side effects data for the generic drug armodafinil. It is possible that some of the dosage forms included below may not apply to the brand name Nuvigil.

It is possible that some side effects of Nuvigil may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.

For the Consumer

Applies to armodafinil: oral tablet

As well as its needed effects, armodafinil (the active ingredient contained in Nuvigil) may cause unwanted side effects that require medical attention.

If any of the following side effects occur while taking armodafinil, check with your doctor immediately:

Less common
  • Blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, or flaking of the skin
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  • difficult or labored breathing
  • fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • fever
  • frequent urination
  • headache, severe and throbbing
  • increased volume of pale, dilute urine
  • itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, or swelling of the skin
  • rash
  • shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • shortness of breath
  • tightness in the chest
  • trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
  • wheezing

If any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking armodafinil, get emergency help immediately:

Symptoms of overdose
  • Anxiety
  • blurred vision
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • confusion about identity, place, and time
  • diarrhea
  • dry mouth
  • headache
  • hyperventilation
  • irritability
  • lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • nausea
  • nervousness
  • pounding in the ears
  • restlessness
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • sleeplessness
  • slow heartbeat
  • trouble sleeping
  • unable to sleep
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

Some armodafinil side effects may not need any medical attention. As your body gets used to the medicine these side effects may disappear. Your health care professional may be able to help you prevent or reduce these side effects, but do check with them if any of the following side effects continue, or if you are concerned about them:

Less common
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • belching
  • chills
  • cough
  • depression
  • difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
  • discouragement
  • feeling sad or empty
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • loss of interest or pleasure
  • mood or mental changes
  • muscle aches and pains
  • runny nose
  • shivering
  • sore throat
  • stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
  • sweating
  • thirst
  • tiredness
  • trouble concentrating
  • vomiting
  • weight loss

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to armodafinil: oral tablet


In general, armodafinil (the active ingredient contained in Nuvigil) has been well tolerated and most side effects have been mild to moderate in severity.[Ref]


Cardiovascular side effects have included palpitations (2%) and tachycardia (1%).[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects have frequently included nausea (7%), diarrhea (4%), dry mouth (4%), dyspepsia (2%), and upper abdominal pain (2%). Constipation, vomiting, anorexia, decreased appetite, and loose stools have been reported in 1% of patients.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have included headache (17%), dizziness (5%), insomnia (5%), tremor (1%), migraine headache (1%), paresthesia (1%), and disturbance in attention (1%).[Ref]


Other side effects have included fatigue (2%), thirst (1%), influenza-like illness (1%), fever (1%), and pain (1%).[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects have included anxiety (4%), depression (2%), agitation (1%), nervousness (1%), and depressed mood (1%). Postmarketing adverse events associated with the use of modafinil have included aggression.[Ref]


Genitourinary side effects have included polyuria (1%).[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have included dyspnea (1%).[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects have included rash (2%), contact dermatitis (1%), and hyperhydrosis (1%). Serious rash requiring hospitalization and discontinuation of treatment has been reported in adults in association with the use of modafinil and armodafinil (the active ingredient contained in Nuvigil) [Ref]


Hematologic side effects include a single case of mild pancytopenia that resolved following discontinuation of armodafinil (the active ingredient contained in Nuvigil) [Ref]


1. "Product Information. Nuvigil (armodafinil)." Cephalon Inc, West Chester, PA.

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