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modafinil (cont.)

What should I discuss with my health care provider before taking modafinil (Provigil)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to modafinil or armodafinil (Nuvigil).

To make sure you can safely take modafinil, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • angina (chest pain);
  • cirrhosis or other liver problem;
  • kidney disease;
  • a heart muscle or valve disorder such as mitral valve prolapse;
  • a history of drug addiction;
  • if you take blood pressure medications; or
  • if you have recently had a heart attack.

Skin rashes serious enough to require hospitalization have occurred in people using a medicine similar to modafinil. These rashes usually occurred within 1 to 5 weeks after the first dose.

Stop taking modafinil and call your doctor at the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how minor you think it might be.

FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether modafinil will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.

It is not known whether modafinil passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Modafinil can make certain types of birth control pills less effective, which could result in an unplanned pregnancy. Talk with your doctor about the best methods of birth control to use while taking modafinil.

Do not give modafinil to anyone younger than 16 years old.

How should I take modafinil (Provigil)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Modafinil is usually given for 12 weeks or less. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

This medication comes with patient instructions for safe and effective use. Follow these directions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Modafinil is usually taken each morning to prevent daytime sleepiness, or 1 hour before the start of a work shift to treat work-time sleep disorders.

If you are taking modafinil to treat sleepiness caused by obstructive sleep apnea, you may also be treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. This machine is an air pump connected to a mask that gently blows pressurized air into your nose while you sleep. The pump does not breathe for you, but the gentle force of air helps keep your airway open to prevent obstruction.

Do not stop using your CPAP machine during sleep unless your doctor tells you to. The combination of treatment with CPAP and modafinil may be necessary to best treat your condition.

Modafinil will not cure obstructive sleep apnea or treat its underlying causes. Follow your doctor's instructions about all your other treatments for this disorder.

Talk with your doctor if you continue to have excessive sleepiness even while taking modafinil.

Taking this medication does not take the place of getting enough sleep.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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