Generic Name: Modafinil (moe DAF i nil)
Brand Name: Provigil
Medically reviewed on September 5, 2018
Uses of Modafinil:
- It is used to treat a lot of sleepiness that may happen with sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or shift work problems.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Modafinil?
- If you have an allergy to modafinil, armodafinil, or any other part of modafinil.
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have ever had a rash when taking modafinil or a drug like it.
- If you have heart problems.
- If you have heart valve problems.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with modafinil.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take modafinil with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Modafinil?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take modafinil. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- This medicine is not a cure for sleep problems. Stay under the care of your doctor.
- Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how modafinil affects you.
- This medicine may be habit-forming with long-term use.
- If you stop taking modafinil all of a sudden, you may have signs of withdrawal. Tell your doctor if you have any bad effects.
- Have your blood pressure checked often. Talk with your doctor.
- You may have some heart tests before starting modafinil. Talk with your doctor.
- Avoid drinking alcohol while taking modafinil.
- A very bad and sometimes deadly 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. Talk with the doctor.
- Limit your use of caffeine (for example, tea, coffee, cola) and chocolate. Use with modafinil may cause nervousness, shakiness, and a fast heartbeat.
- If you are 65 or older, use modafinil with care. You could have more side effects.
- This medicine is not approved for use in children. The chance of very bad and sometimes deadly skin reactions like Stevens-Johnson syndrome may be raised 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.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using modafinil while you are pregnant.
- Birth control pills and other hormone-based birth control may not work as well to prevent pregnancy. Use some other kind of birth control also, like a condom, when taking modafinil and for 1 month after care ends.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Modafinil) best taken?
Use modafinil as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food.
- Shift work sleep problem: Take 1 hour before the start of work.
- Narcolepsy and sleep apnea: Take modafinil in the morning.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is near bedtime, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
- Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- Signs of low mood (depression), thoughts of killing yourself, nervousness, emotional ups and downs, thinking that is not normal, anxiety, or lack of interest in life.
- Signs of heart problems like chest pain, fast heartbeat, a heartbeat that does not feel normal, or shortness of breath.
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
- Feeling confused.
- Very bad headache.
- Fever or chills.
- Sore throat.
- Swelling in the arms or legs.
- Any unexplained bruising or bleeding.
- Feeling very tired or weak.
- Muscle or joint pain.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
What are some other side effects of Modafinil?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Nervous and excitable.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Not able to sleep.
- Back pain.
- Upset stomach.
- Runny nose.
- Stuffy nose.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Modafinil?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- This medicine comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time modafinil is refilled. If you have any questions about modafinil, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about modafinil
- Modafinil Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 300 Reviews
- Drug class: CNS stimulants
Other brands: Provigil