The lack of healthy sleep can have serious consequences to your life, mental well-being, and productivity at work. Some people don’t really understand that sleep disorders, especially on a long-term regular basis, can lead to serious health problems, such as chronic diseases, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart troubles, mood changes, decrease of the immune function, and finally it can result in shortened life expectancy. It can lead to ruining a career and depression. This is why a huge attention of leading pharm producers was concentrated on the invention of effective and safe drugs for normal sleep and wakefulness.
What Is Provigil
Provigil is a wakefulness-promoting medication, which works by changing the brain chemistry. The tablets are taken orally. Each pill contains 100 or 200 mg of the main drug modafinil, and the concomitant inactive compounds, such as lactose monohydrate, croscarmellose sodium, microcrystalline cellulose, and others. They are produced in the shape of capsules, you can see the name of the medication on one side, and the strength on the other. There are 30 pills in each bottle. The drug is stored at 20°-25°C (68°-77°F).
Provigil is a brand product approved by the US FDA on December 24, 1998. The certified manufacturer is Cephalon, Inc., which is a part of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. There is a range of companies producing generics of Provigil, called Modafinil, Modalert, Modaheal, etc. These preparations are equal to Provigil by the content and effectiveness. It should be mentioned, though, that generics may not always be commercially available, because of the patents. Buying analogues from an online retailer, be careful, and use only reliable internet pharmacies.
Way of Action
The primary mechanism of action of Modafinil is still unclear. Laboratory research shows that it restrains the process of dopamine reuptake, and results in increasing of extracellular dopamine (a neurotransmitter, which is produced in the brain, and passes signals between neurons). Modafinil activates glutamatergic circuits, and inhibits gamma aminobutyric acid, which calms down nervous activity. It is considered to be less abusive than other stimulating chemicals, because it has no significant pleasurable or euphoric effects. Modafinil directly stimulates the receptors, and slightly activates the work of the heart.
It also raises levels of glutamate, histamine, and noradrenaline neurotransmitters, mildly enhances hormone serotonin level, protects neurons from death, and improves their communication. The studies in Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, USA, reveal that Modafinil has neuroprotective and antioxidative effects. The recent research shows that free radicals may increase sleepiness and also damage cells, and Modafinil can oppose both of these effects, having cytoprotective and cognitive properties.
Doses and Methods of Administration
For patients with the obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy and the recommended daily intake is 200 mg, it is better to use the drug in the morning. The administration of up to 400 mg can be well-tolerated, too, but there is no convincing proof that it gives more benefits than the recommended one. For patients with shift work disorder, we recommend taking one 200 mg Provigil tablet one hour before the beginning of the work shift. In any case, you should consult your doctor and take the medicine regularly.
Patients who have severe hepatic impairment should take 100 mg of the drug. The dose should also be smaller for older patients with impaired overall function. They must be under special medical control. The use of Provigil in kids for ADHD treatment is not approved by the FDA, but it may still be taken if all other measures failed to give positive results and the expected benefits exceed the risks. The usual doses are 200–400 mg for kids with a weight below 30 kg, and 300–425 mg for those who weigh more.
Things You Must Know
Before taking Modafinil, you should know the response of your body to the drug intake. There are two groups of side effects: the reactions that are not dangerous for your health and well-being, and the ones that require immediate professional medical interference.
Side effects of the first group
The first group comprises such symptoms:
- headache, vertigo or insomnia;
- dry mouth and hives;
- nausea and stomach troubles.
The influence of the drug onto brain is sometimes invisible, so the doctor’s monitoring is required for the first time. Some other side effects, like sickness, heartburn, constipation, appetite loss, weight decrease or gain, pain in muscles, bad mood or anxiety, can appear within the first weeks of taking Provigil, while the body is getting used to the medication. These symptoms are normal, and will pass after some time.
Side effects of the second group
The second group of side effects is much more severe, you should stop taking the medicine and immediately go to a hospital if you notice:
- allergic reactions on the skin, such as rash, peeling, blistering, itching, swelling or burning;
- soreness of upper airways, face, or other body parts;
- breathing difficulties;
- the signs of depression, suicidal thoughts or aggression, delusions, and memory loss;
- cardiovascular troubles: high blood pressure, fast and irregular heartbeat, chest tightness;
- urination problems;
- high temperature, fever, fatigue, thrill;
- hands and legs numbness;
These reactions can be the signal that you’ve taken too much drug, or have an allergy. Some of the effects can appear if you use it for too many days in a row. Of course, we don’t want to say that you will have such problems necessarily, but forewarned is forearmed.
You should also know that Provigil can interact with other drugs. Using these medications together with modafinil can be dangerous for your health. Here is the list of drugs you should avoid while taking the nootropic:
- other dopaminergic drugs, antidepressants;
- anti-HIV, hepatitis, and cancer medications;
- cardiovascular preparations;
- hormonal medicines;
- antifungals, direct-acting antivirals, or antibiotics.
Don’t forget that Provigil is a serious drug, and you should always consult your doctor before you start using it.
Foods and Drinks to Avoid When Taking Modafinil
You should take a single dose of modafinil in a day, as it is prescribed by your health provider. If the dose is more than 400 mg, it’s better to take the medicine when your stomach if full. If your breakfast contains grapefruit, it’s better to tell this to your doctor, as it can increase the effect of the drug, and prolong its presence in the blood, that can lead to allergic reactions, and other adverse reactions.
You should avoid drinking alcohol right after taking the modafinil pill. Being a nootropic drug, it changes biological and chemical process in the brain, you can never foresee the reaction of your body. There were cases when a person fully lost self-control and was not able to walk after a single glass of beer. The half-life of the drug in your body is a little bit more than half a day. So, it should pass 10-15 hours before you can drink some alcohol without any consequences. Anyway, it’s better to skip a dose of the medication if you plan to drink on some occasion.
It is not prohibited to drink coffee while you take Modafinil. But it is better to control the doses of coffee, chocolate, tea, or sweet drinks you have during a day, and also talk to a doctor on this question. Caffeine and nicotine can aggravate the modafinil effect, while marijuana and such supplements as amino acids, bacopa, white mulberry, noni fruit, licorice root, and magnolia bark can suppress its action.
What Does Provigil Do
Modafinil belongs to the group of nootropics, also called smart drugs. It is a medication that not only treats sleeping disorders due to its potency to raise dopamine level, but is also used to improve brain activity, boost concentration, attention, and memory. It normalizes mental activity, increases ability to work after bad sleep, removes fatigue, gives high efficiency for ten hours and more, promotes a surge of energy, improves the ability to sensing and processing information.
The medicine is used to treat sleeping disorders resulting in tiredness, which can be caused by narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, or apnea. It’s also been considered for use for other off-label purposes for brain-boosting for students or white-collar workers as a nootropic smart drug to improve memory and intellect; in military men for fastening the reaction, elevating attention, and saving clear mind and the ability to reason and make judgement in situations of sleep deprivation. However, the research in this field is not fully completed.
Smart Drug For You
To sum up all the above, Provigil (Modafinil) is a smart drug that is very effective and rather safe. Many celebrities, such as showman Joe Rogan, entrepreneur Dave Asprey, speaker Tim Ferris, ex-baseball player Barry Bonds, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others, appreciate its benefits and take the pills. But remember that you should consult a doctor before using Provigil, and take it in the recommended doses, keep it away from kids, and do not share it with others on your own wish. When buying generics online, choose a reliable retailer, read the reviews, and try to find other people who use this or that web-based drugstore.