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armodafinil

Generic Name: armodafinil (ar moe DAF i nil)
Brand Name: Nuvigil

What is armodafinil?

Armodafinil is a medication that promotes wakefulness.

Armodafinil is used to treat excessive sleepiness caused by sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or shift work sleep disorder.

Armodafinil may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about armodafinil?

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had a rash or allergic reaction caused by armodafinil or modafinil (Provigil).

Stop taking armodafinil and call your doctor if you have a skin rash, no matter how mild. Other signs of a severe reaction include fever, swelling in your face or tongue, mouth sores, trouble breathing, swelling in your legs, yellowing of your skin or eyes, and skin rash or blistering sores.

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking armodafinil?

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to armodafinil or modafinil (Provigil).

To make sure armodafinil is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • liver or kidney disease;

  • a heart muscle or valve disorder such as mitral valve prolapse;

  • high blood pressure, heart disease, or prior heart attack;

  • a history of mental illness or psychosis; or

  • a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

It is not known whether armodafinil will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

Use a barrier form of birth control (condom or diaphragm with spermicide). Hormonal contraception (birth control pills, injections, implants, skin patches, and vaginal rings) may not be effective enough to prevent pregnancy during your treatment.

It is not known whether armodafinil passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

Armodafinil is not approved for use by anyone younger than 17 years old.

How should I take armodafinil?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Armodafinil may be habit-forming. Never share armodafinil with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Selling or giving away armodafinil is against the law.

Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Armodafinil is usually taken each morning to prevent daytime sleepiness, or 1 hour before the start of a work shift to treat work-time sleep disorders.

You may take armodafinil with or without food.

Armodafinil is usually given for up to 12 weeks. Follow your doctor's instructions.

If you are taking armodafinil to treat sleepiness caused by obstructive sleep apnea, you may also be treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This machine is an air pump connected to mask that gently blows pressurized air into your nose while you sleep. The pump does not breathe for you, but the gentle force of air helps keep your airway open to prevent obstruction.

Do not stop using your CPAP machine during sleep unless your doctor tells you to. The combination of treatment with CPAP and armodafinil may be necessary to best treat your condition.

Taking this medication does not take the place of getting enough sleep. Talk with your doctor if you continue to have excessive sleepiness even while taking armodafinil. Armodafinil will not cure obstructive sleep apnea or treat its underlying causes. Follow your doctor's instructions about all your other treatments for this disorder.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Keep track of the amount of medicine used from each new bottle. Armodafinil is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, but avoid taking the medication if you do not plan to be awake for several hours. If it is close to your normal bedtime hour, you may need to skip the missed dose and wait until the next day to take the medicine again.

Talk with your doctor about what to do if you miss a dose of armodafinil. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, diarrhea, confusion, feeling restless or excited, fast or slow heart rate, chest pain, trouble sleeping, or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real).

What should I avoid while taking armodafinil?

Armodafinil may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Avoid other dangerous activity until you know how this medication will affect your level of wakefulness.

Avoid drinking alcohol while taking armodafinil.

Armodafinil side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; hoarse voice, difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking armodafinil and call your doctor at the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how minor you think it might be.

Skin rashes serious enough to require hospitalization have occurred in people using a medicine similar to armodafinil. These rashes usually occurred within 1 to 5 weeks after the first dose.

In rare cases, armodafinil may cause a severe drug reaction that can affect many parts of the body. This type of reaction can start several weeks after you begin using this medicine. Seek medical treatment if you have new or worsening symptoms of fever, facial swelling, a red or blistering skin rash, flu symptoms, swollen glands, feeling weak or tired, severe tingling or numbness, upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), weight loss, pain or burning when you urinate, lower back pain, swelling in your legs or feet, cough, chest pain, or trouble breathing.

Stop using armodafinil and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;

  • unusual bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums);

  • skin sores or blistering;

  • mouth sores, trouble swallowing;

  • depression, anxiety, hallucinations, aggression, unusual thoughts or behavior, suicidal thoughts;

  • chest pain, uneven heart beats; or

  • severe skin reaction--fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness;

  • nausea; or

  • sleep problems (insomnia).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Armodafinil dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Narcolepsy:

150 to 250 mg orally once a day in the morning

Comments:
-In obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), doses up to 250 mg/day have been well-tolerated but there is no consistent evidence of additional benefit beyond the 150 mg/day dose.
-In OSA, this drug is not a treatment for the underlying obstruction.
-In cases where continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the treatment of choice for excessive sleepiness, a maximal effort to treat with CPAP for an adequate period of time should be made prior to initiating this drug.

Use: Treatment to improve wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness associated with OSA and narcolepsy.

Usual Adult Dose for Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome:

150 to 250 mg orally once a day in the morning

Comments:
-In obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), doses up to 250 mg/day have been well-tolerated but there is no consistent evidence of additional benefit beyond the 150 mg/day dose.
-In OSA, this drug is not a treatment for the underlying obstruction.
-In cases where continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the treatment of choice for excessive sleepiness, a maximal effort to treat with CPAP for an adequate period of time should be made prior to initiating this drug.

Use: Treatment to improve wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness associated with OSA and narcolepsy.

Usual Adult Dose for Shift Work Sleep Disorder:

150 mg orally once a day approximately 1 hour prior to the start of the work shift

Use: Treatment to improve wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness associated with shift work disorder.

What other drugs will affect armodafinil?

Taking armodafinil with other drugs that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic medication, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with armodafinil, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about armodafinil.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 6.01.

Last reviewed: February 09, 2017
Date modified: April 03, 2017

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