Modafinil is used to treat excessive sleepiness caused by narcolepsy (a condition that causes excessive daytime sleepiness) or shift work sleep disorder (sleepiness during scheduled waking hours and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep during sleeping hours in people who work at night or have rotating shifts). Modafinil is also used in conjunction with breathing devices or other treatments to prevent excessive sleepiness caused by obstructive sleep apnea or hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS; a sleep disorder in which the sufferer momentarily stops breathing or breathes shallowly many times during sleep and therefore does not get enough rest when sleeping). Modafinil belongs to a class of drugs called wakefulness-stimulating agents. It works by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the area of the brain that controls sleep and wakefulness. How should this medication be used?
Modafinil comes as a tablet to take by mouth. They are usually taken once a day, with or without food. If you are taking modafinil to treat narcolepsy or OSAHS, you will probably take it in the morning. If you are taking modafinil to treat shift work sleep disorder, you will probably take it 1 hour before you start your shift. Take modafinil at the same time every day. Do not change the time of day you take modafinil without first talking to your doctor. Talk to your doctor if your shift does not start at the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take modafinil as directed.
Modafinil may be habit-forming. Do not increase your dose or take it more often or for a longer time than directed by your doctor.
Modafinil may decrease drowsiness, but it will not cure the sleep disorder. Keep taking modafinil even if you feel well rested. Do not stop taking modafinil without talking to your doctor.
Do not use modafinil to avoid getting enough sleep. Follow your doctor's recommendations for good sleep habits. Continue to use any breathing devices or other treatments your doctor has prescribed to treat your condition, especially if you have OSAHS. What other uses is this medicine for?
This medicine is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. What special precautions should I follow? Before taking modafinil,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to modafinil, armodafinil (Nuvigil), or any other medications. tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin); certain antidepressants such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil); certain antifungal drugs such as itraconazole (Sporanox) and ketoconazole (Nizoral); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); diazepam (Valium); certain anticonvulsant drugs such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital and phenytoin (Dilantin); monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, including isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar) and tranylcypromine (Parnate); propranolol (Inderal); selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); and triazolam (Halcion). Many other medications may also interact with modafinil, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list. Your doctor may need to change the dosage of your medications or monitor you closely for side effects. tell your doctor if you drink alcoholic beverages or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol, use or have ever tried street drugs, or abuse certain prescription drugs, especially stimulants. Also tell your doctor if you have had chest pain, irregular heartbeat, or other heart problems after taking a stimulant, and if you have or have ever had high blood pressure; a heart attack; chest pain; a mental illness such as depression, mania (frenzied, abnormally euphoric mood), or depression.