Modafinil is a supplement that is used to help people with excessive sleepiness. It can be given to people with conditions such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and other health-related sleep issues. Many people that work the overnight shift often have sleeping issues. This medication can help them get on a regular sleep schedule. It can also help them stay awake and alert when needed such as during their work shift or when completing other daily activities. This medication is designed to treat a person that has trouble staying awake so they can be safe and complete their day. In some cases, it may even be given to a person to help increase their focus to a specific task and allow them to accomplish both academic and work-related projects. This will help increase concentration.
How it Works
- This medication is considered the neuro-enhancing drug. This will affect the neurotransmitters in the brain as well as parts of the central nervous system. It can affect the dopamine levels in the brain as well. This will help increase the activity in the brain and allow a person to have better mental clarity as well as focus.
- A person taking this medication will be able to increase tasks. This medication will change the way that the receptors give and receive information. This will allow a person to be able to stay awake during the day.
- This medication was discovered by a scientist in France that was working for the Lafon Lab company back in 1976. He was trying to make another compound but found this one to be effective. It was then tested and retested until the desired effects were found and the medication was deemed safe to use. This compound is metabolized in the liver and was able to have the desired effects in the body.
- It is used to help promote wakefulness and has been used with people that are suffering from various sleep disorders. It was tested in France and was first approved for use to treat narcolepsy in 1986. In Canada, it is approved to treat people with narcolepsy.
- This is considered to be a condition where a person would fall asleep at random times throughout the day. Depending on the situation they can be rather dangerous. This medication can help keep a person alert and awake.
Before Using Modafinil
- While this medication can help a person get the rest that they need, it is not for everyone. This medication needs to be prescribed by a doctor. If a person has medical allergies they should tell their doctor so they can decide if Modafinil is right for them. If a person begins to take this medication there are some things that they should be aware of.
- If they begin to develop a rash, hives, or swelling especially in the face they should tell their doctor right away and discontinue use until they are cleared by the medical professional. If a person has a heart problem they should also if they have heart issues. A person needs to stay in close communication with their doctor while they are using this medication to reduce the chance of experiencing side effects.
- This medication is used to help with cognitive impairment such as memory due to sleep deprivation. This medication does not modify behavior but will allow a person to have mental clarity so they can function at work and during other tasks.
- This medication will promote awakeners and will increase attention span. This will help a person with excessive sleepiness. In some cases, a doctor in Canada may prescribe this medication to people with ADHD. This medication in adults with ADHD will help increase their focus and allow them to get tasks completed.
Information While Taking Modafinil
- When a person is taking modafinil it is not intended to cure their sleeping problems. It is intended to allow a person to get on a regular schedule when they sleep and allow them to be alert during the day when needed. They should still remain under the care of their doctor while they are taking this medication.
- A person should not drive or operate heavy machinery until they know how modafinil is going to affect them and their alertness. If a person suddenly stopped taking this medication, they may experience signs of withdrawal. A person should also limit their caffeine intake while on this medication. This will help with their sleep.
How to Use Modafinil
- Modafinil requires a prescription for use. A person should follow all of the instructions by their doctor. This medication can be taken with or without food. If a person is using it to help with their work and they work a late shift they should take it one hour before starting work.
- If a person is suffering from narcolepsy or sleep apnea they should take this medication in the morning so they will be able to make it through their day. If a person misses a dose, they should take another dose as soon as they remember.
- If the missed dose is near bedtime, they should take it again the next day at a normal time so it does not keep them away at night. A person should not take two doses at one time to make up for a missed dose.
Like most medications, modafinil does have some side effects that a person needs to be aware of. Some people may have an allergic reaction to this medication. They may notice hives, tightness in their chest, and some swelling of the face. Some people may feel symptoms of depression. If a person has a rapid heartbeat that does not feel normal they should get medical attention right away. Other common side effects include a feeling of weakness and muscle pain.
Minor Side Effects
- These side effects are still rare but they are not life threatening. Some of the minor side effects include a headache, an upset stomach, a feeling of dizziness, and loose stool. This medication should not be used for anyone under the age of 18 years old.
Dosage for Narcolepsy Treatment
- If a person is prescribed this medication to help treat narcolepsy a person should take 200 mg a day orally in the morning. This should help a person stay awake and they should be able to stay awake during the day.
Dosage for Sleep Apnea
- If a person is using modafinil to treat sleep apnea they should also take 200 mg a day in the morning. This will allow a person to have the alertness they need during the day even if they did not sleep well due to sleep apnea.
Dosage for Work Shift
- If an adult is working the overnight shift they can take 200 mg of this medication one hour before the start of their shift. This will allow them to be awake during their shift and will allow them to be alert in order to get their work done.
- A person should keep a list of all interactions both prescription and non-prescription medications they are using in addition to modafinil. They should not take herbal supplements when using this medication. A person should also avoid street drugs when using this medication.
- A woman that is taking birth control pills should be extra cautious when she is using this medicine. It may decrease the effectiveness of hormonal birth control. A woman that is pregnant, may become pregnant, or nursing should not take modafinil as a precaution.
- This is for people that have abnormal levels of sleepiness and not occasional trouble sleeping. Even when they are taking modafinil their levels of alertness and wakefulness may not return to normal. They should be accessed often to determine if this medication is filling its intended purpose. It may take some time for the medications to be able to get into the body and for the full effects to be seen.
Uses in Canada
- Modafinil is legal in Canada when prescribed by a doctor for its intended purpose. It will help increase their state of awareness. In Canada, this is considered to be a schedule 1 prescription medication. It is regulated in the country and the use is carefully monitored. It has been approved to treat narcolepsy and other sleep-related disorders.
Offer Label Uses
In Canada, there are some off-label uses of this medication. Doctors are still careful who prescribe this medication too. Some of the off-label prescriptions are for those that have ADHD. This medication can help increase their alertness to a given task and allow them to focus. It can also be given to people that have schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis.
The medication modafinil can help a person that is suffering from several sleep-related conditions. It can help a person increase their levels of alertness so they will be able to get through the day and will be able to focus on the task at hand. Like all medications, modafinil should use under the careful supervision of a doctor and should be used only as prescribed.