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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.

In Summary

Common side effects of Nuvigil include: headache. Other side effects include: insomnia, skin rash, nausea, anxiety, and xerostomia. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects.

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.

Major Side Effects

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

Minor Side Effects

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


Common (1% to 10%): Rash, contact dermatitis, hyperhidrosis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Seasonal allergy
Frequency not reported: Angioedema, anaphylaxis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Insomnia, anxiety, depression, agitation, depressed mood, disturbance in attention, nervousness
Frequency not reported: Irritability, suicidal ideation[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Palpitations, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, dyspepsia, upper abdominal pain, constipation, vomiting, loose stools[Ref]


The following reactions occurred more frequently with the 250 mg/day dose compared to the 150 mg/day dose: headache, rash, depression, dry mouth, insomnia, nausea.[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Polyuria[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Pancytopenia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Increased gamma-glutamyltransferase, increased alkaline phosphatase
Rare (less than 0.1%): Elevated AST and/or ALT[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Anorexia, decreased appetite,
Frequency not reported: Decreased serum uric acid[Ref]

Nervous system

Very common (10% or more): Headache (17%)
Common (1% to 10%): Dizziness, paresthesia, tremor, migraine[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue, influenza-like illness, pain, pyrexia, thirst[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Dyspnea[Ref]


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

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.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the drug information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient. does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. 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 substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.