Individuals may want to thoroughly research the drug either before starting to take it, or to address safety concerns especially in the case where adverse symptoms may have led to considering quitting the drug. The most frequently asked questions section below may provide a good starting point for such research. More information is freely available concerning Provigil dependence, Provigil alternatives, withdrawal from Provigil, what you need to know before stopping Provigil, and other topics on request.
The FDA-approved uses for Provigil (modafinil) are to treat the following conditions:
NARCOLEPSY: excessive sleepiness, especially that occurs spontaneously or unexpectedly during normal waking hours
SWD: shift work sleep disorder
SLEEP APNEA: a sleep disorder involving intermittent airway stoppage and frequent snoring episodes, associated with oxygen deprivation and certain heart conditions
The drug is also used “off-label” for wakefulness, for instance; students needing to stay up all night in preparation for exams, or at the workplace if an energy boost is desired that is long lasting, even through the next day. More information on this topic is below.
NOTE: ALL PEDIATRIC USE OF PROVIGIL IS BANNED BY THE FDA. IN EUROPE PRESCRIBING THE DRUG TO ANYONE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 IS RESTRICTED.
Stimulant drugs are popularized on the street, and have also become increasingly common in workplace settings, in schools, and in military use to keep soldiers awake during long-duration missions. Slang terminology refers to these types of drugs as go-pills, uppers or speed.
Modafinil is the generic name and is sold and prescribed under numerous trade names, including Provigil, Modiodal, Movigal, Alertex, Intensit, Vigil, Wakelert, Modiwake, and many others in various countries.
Perhaps in an attempt to continue to promote non-FDA approved use, Provigil is also referred to in certain literature as a “cognitive enhancer” or a “smart drug”. Provigil has been added to a group of stimulants called nootropic drugs. Ritalin is one example of this drug class, which is promoted “off-label” as a cognitive enhancement drug.
The drug may sound like a good idea but does come with risks. Due to the possibility of life-threatening side effects, adverse reactions need to be carefully watched for.
The drug has never been FDA approved for prescribing to children.
Some Provigil side effects are severe and can be life-threatening requiring immediate medical intervention regardless off age. The drug can produce a wide range of reactions, including (but not limited to) these:
Some individuals have reported an absence of any significant Provigil withdrawal symptoms on stopping Provigil. Clinical trials on the topic of withdrawal from Provigil are scarce; however, one study showed a correlation between discontinuation of Provigil and the emergence of certain life-threatening symptoms. (1) One sign of Provigil dependence is the emergence of withdrawal symptoms when stopping Provigil.
These were reported to be:
STEVENS-JOHNSON SYNDROME: a serious allergic reaction requiring immediate medical intervention in a burn unit or ICU
MULTI-ORGAN HYPERSENSITIVITY: a sometimes fatal condition of allergic reaction to various internal organs such as liver, kidneys, blood vessels, etc.
TENS: Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, a potentially fatal skin condition characterized by swelling and sepsis and/or death
DRESS (drug induced rash with eosinophilia): abnormally high white blood cell count) and other systemic symptoms requiring emergency medical treatment.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON PROVIGAL WITHDRAWAL: The FDA recommends to immediately stop the drug if signs of a rash appear and seek medical attention at once. The study also reported that discontinuation of Provigil did not prevent a rash from becoming life-threatening, nor did it prevent life-long disfigurement or becoming disabled as a result. (1)
Where emergence of a rash or other severe or life-threatening adverse effects require withdrawal, such as Stevens – Johnson syndrome, hallucinations, psychotic episodes, etc., the process would be best managed for safety reasons, in an inpatient setting, where adequate monitoring and treatment are readily available. The Alternative to Meds Center can provide Provigil withdrawal help on request.
Discontinuation symptoms can appear within some hours, days or even weeks after the drug is stopped. Provigil withdrawal symptoms can include the following according to FDA-required labeling information:
Provigil withdrawal sometimes needs to be done without delay when taking the drug has induced a life-threatening reaction; however, this must only be done in a medical setting where risk to life can be mitigated, as in an ICU. Provigil withdrawal treatment can be completed at the Alternative to Meds Center once any and all life-threatening factors have been addressed in a hospital setting.
The drug is reportedly easily found and purchased online, where safety information is not adequately provided. This is important to note, where young people can become vulnerable targets, especially if they feel under pressure to perform well in school and are lacking guidance and direction towards better solutions.
In some situations, a person may intend to keep their use of Provigil undisclosed; thereby resulting in possible tragic health consequences and undisclosed provigil addiction. Proper Provigil withdrawal treatment may not be able to be administered appropriately because the immediate causative agent remains unknown.
Several questions regarding Provigil can be hard to find definitive answers for, but such information is nonetheless vital to ensure personal safety and health.
In the below section, we have attempted to provide information on some of these questions as much as possible concerning some of the legal issues, mechanism of action, where to seek the best Provigil withdrawal help, and other frequently asked questions.
An individual may want to better understand and resolve such questions before engaging in taking Provigil or other brand name and generic equivalents.
Dr. Motl is currently certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Psychiatry, and Board eligible in Neurology and licensed in the state of Arizona. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biology and minors in chemistry and philosophy. He graduated from Creighton University School of Medicine with a Doctor of Medicine. Dr. Motl has studied Medical Acupuncture at the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine and at U.C.L.A.