What is Armodafinil?
Armodafinil 150mg Tablet is a medication that promotes wakefulness.
Armodafinil 150mg Tablet is used to treat excessive sleepiness caused by sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or shift work sleep disorder.
Armodafinil may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
You should not use armodafinil if you have ever had a rash or allergic reaction caused by armodafinil or modafinil (Provigil).
Stop taking armodafinil and call your doctor if you have a skin rash, no matter how mild. Other signs of a severe reaction include fever, swelling in your face or tongue, mouth sores, trouble breathing, swelling in your legs, yellowing of your skin or eyes, and skin rash or blistering sores.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to armodafinil or modafinil (Provigil).
To make sure armodafinil is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- liver or kidney disease;
- a heart muscle or valve disorder such as mitral valve prolapse;
- high blood pressure, heart disease, or prior heart attack;
- mental illness or psychosis; or
- drug or alcohol addiction.
It is not known whether armodafinil will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Use a barrier form of birth control (condom or diaphragm with spermicide). Hormonal contraception (birth control pills, injections, implants, skin patches, and vaginal rings) may not be effective enough to prevent pregnancy during your treatment.
It is not known whether armodafinil passes into breast milk or if it could affect the nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.
Armodafinil is not approved for use by anyone younger than 17 years old.
How to use Armodafinil 150mg Tablet
Read the Medication Guide provided by your pharmacist before you start using armodafinil and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
For narcolepsy and obstructive sleep apnea, take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily in the morning. If you are using armodafinil for shift work sleep disorder, take it as directed by your doctor, usually once a day 1 hour before you start your work shift. You may take this medication with or without food, but armodafinil may take longer to work if you take it with food.
If you are using this drug for sleep apnea, continue your other treatment (such as the CPAP machine, mouth device) unless your doctor tells you to stop.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it.
If you suddenly stop using this medication, you may have withdrawal symptoms (such as shaking, sweating, chills, nausea, vomiting, confusion). To help prevent withdrawal, your doctor may lower your dose slowly. Withdrawal is more likely if you have used armodafinil for a long time or in high doses. Tell your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have withdrawal.
When this medication is used for a long time, it may not work as well. Talk with your doctor if this medication stops working well.
Though it helps many people, this medication may sometimes cause addiction. This risk may be higher if you have a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol). Take this medication exactly as prescribed to lower the risk of addiction. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.
How should I take Armodafinil 150mg Tablet?
Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take armodafinil in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
Armodafinil may be habit-forming. Never share armodafinil with another person, especially someone with a history of drug abuse or addiction. Selling or giving away armodafinil is against the law.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Armodafinil 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.
You may take armodafinil with or without food.
Armodafinil is usually given for up to 12 weeks. Follow your doctor’s instructions.
If you are taking armodafinil 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 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 armodafinil may be necessary to best treat your condition.
Taking this medication does not take the place of getting enough sleep. Talk with your doctor if you continue to have excessive sleepiness even while taking armodafinil. Armodafinil will not cure obstructive sleep apnea or treat its underlying causes. Follow your doctor’s instructions about all your other treatments for this disorder.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Keep track of your medicine. Armodafinil is a drug of abuse and you should be aware if anyone is using your medicine improperly or without a prescription.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember, but avoid taking the medication if you do not plan to be awake for several hours. If it is close to your normal bedtime hour, you may need to skip the missed dose and wait until the next day to take the medicine again.
Talk with your doctor about what to do if you miss a dose of armodafinil. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Overdose symptoms may include nausea, diarrhea, confusion, feeling restless or excited, fast or slow heart rate, chest pain, trouble sleeping, or hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real).
What should I avoid while taking Armodafinil 150mg Tablet?
Armodafinil may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.
Avoid other dangerous activity until you know how this medication will affect your level of wakefulness.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking armodafinil.
Armodafinil 150mg Tabletside effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).
Skin rashes serious enough to require hospitalization have occurred in people using a medicine similar to armodafinil. These rashes usually occurred within 1 to 5 weeks after the first dose.
Stop taking armodafinil and call your doctor at the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how minor you think it might be.
Seek medical treatment if you have symptoms of a serious drug reaction that can affect many parts of your body. Symptoms may include: skin rash, fever, swollen glands, flu-like symptoms, unusual bruising, or jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes).
Armodafinil may cause serious side effects. Stop using armodafinil and call your doctor at once if you have:
- bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness;
- unusual bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums);
- skin sores or blistering;
- mouth sores, trouble swallowing;
- chest pain, uneven heart beats; or
- depression, anxiety, hallucinations, aggression, unusual thoughts or behavior, suicidal thoughts.
Common side effects of Armodafinil 150mg Tablet may include:
- headache, dizziness;
- nausea; or
- sleep problems (insomnia).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Armodafinil side effects (more detail)
Armodafinil 150mg Tablet dosing information
Usual Adult Dose for Narcolepsy:
150 to 250 mg orally once a day in the morning
Uses: To improve wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness associated with OSA and narcolepsy.
Usual Adult Dose for Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome:
150 to 250 mg orally once a day in the morning
Usual Adult Dose for Shift Work Sleep Disorder:
150 mg orally once a day approximately 1 hour prior to the start of the work shift
Use: To improve wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness associated with shift work disorder.
Detailed Armodafinil dosage information
What other drugs will affect Armodafinil 150mg Tablet?
Taking armodafinil with other drugs that make you sleepy can worsen this effect. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic medication, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.
Other drugs may interact with armodafinil, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Narcolepsy Treatment: Modafinil vs. Armodafinil
Narcolepsy is a chronic (long-lasting) sleep disorder that can seriously disrupt daily life. People with this medical condition suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden attacks of sleep. Affected individuals struggle with staying awake for long periods regardless of the circumstances.
While there is no cure for narcolepsy, the condition can be treated. Lifestyle changes and medications can help manage the symptoms of excessive sleepiness. Two wakefulness-promoting agents commonly used to treat narcolepsy are modafinil (brand name Modvigil) and armodafinil (brand name, Waklert). These medications help people with narcolepsy feel more alert and stay awake.
Please continue reading to learn more about armodafinil and modafinil, including how they are similar, how they are different, and which one—armodafinil/modafinil—may be right for you.
Modafinil and armodafinil – What are these medications?
Armodafinil and modafinil are both wakefulness-promoting agents that have stimulant-like effects. Armodafinil is the R-isomer of racemic modafinil. Meaning, they have the same chemical structures but with a slightly different arrangement of structures. Similar to how the thumb on your left hand is on the left, and the thumb on your right hand is on the right. Both modafinil/armodafinil are Schedule IV drugs that have a low potential for abuse and dependence. Both medications are available by prescription only.
The exact mechanisms of how armodafinil and modafinil work is unknown. It is believed that these medications affect sleep-promoting neurons in the brain. Scientists think they work by boosting dopamine levels in the parts of the brain that controls sleep and wakefulness. Dopamine is a naturally occurring brain chemical in the central nervous system that is involved in the sleep-wake cycle. Higher levels of dopamine during armodafinil/modafinil treatment can lead to improved wakefulness.
What are armodafinil and modafinil used to treat?
Armodafinil and modafinil are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the following conditions:
Narcolepsy (excessive sleepiness)
This chronic sleep disorder is characterized by overwhelming and excessive daytime sleepiness with sudden attacks of sleepiness regardless of circumstances.
Shift work sleep disorder (SWSD)
This is a sleep disorder of the circadian rhythm (day-night cycle). It affects people who work the night shift and stay awake during normal sleeping hours. Symptoms can include excessive sleepiness, insomnia (difficulty sleeping), or both.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
This is a sleep-related breathing disorder in which affected individuals repeatedly start and stop breathing during sleep.
All these sleep disorders—narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, and obstructive sleep apnea—are characterized by excessive sleepiness and feeling unrested. Both armodafinil and modafinil improve wakefulness in people who struggle with excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue.
In addition to the above, armodafinil and modafinil are used off-label to treat cancer-related fatigue, fatigue related to multiple sclerosis, and in people with disorders like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and depression.
How are armodafinil and modafinil different?
Armodafinil (R-modafinil) and modafinil are similar in many ways. Both are stimulant-like prescription drugs and are a type of sleep disorder medicine (wakefulness-promoting agent). They are available as oral tablets. Brand name and generic versions are available for both. They are prescribed to people over the age of 17 for narcolepsy, shift work disorder, and obstructive sleep apnea. They can be used long-term, as directed by a physician, to control symptoms of daytime sleepiness.
However, there are subtle differences between armodafinil and modafinil. As noted, armodafinil is the R-enantiomer of modafinil (you can think of it as a mirror image). So, the chemical structure is different. Armodafinil (Nuvigil) is a newer drug, approved in 2007, compared to modafinil (Provigil) which was FDA approved in 1998. The recommended dose of modafinil is 200 mg once a day, and armodafinil is 150 mg once a day.
The potential adverse effects and drug interactions of both drugs are similar. Common adverse effects of both medicines include headache, insomnia, dizziness, nausea, dry mouth, nervousness, weight loss, and diarrhea.
The incidences of side effects may be more common with one medication or the other, armodafinil versus modafinil. Serious but rare side effects are allergic reactions to either medications. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include shortness of breath, hives, swelling of face, tongue, and throat – This is a life-threatening medical emergency, you need to seek medical attention immediately. If you are allergic to modafinil, more than likely, you are allergic to armodafinil, and vice versa.
Is Nuvigil stronger than Provigil?
Both medications are FDA-approved and have similar wakefulness effects. However, a critical difference between armodafinil and modafinil is the pharmacodynamic effects. It is believed that armodafinil has a longer half-life. Meaning, pharmacokinetic studies show that it stays in the body longer. Studies have shown that there are higher plasma concentrations (armodafinil levels) in the body later in the day. Armodafinil can therefore produce longer-lasting effects and better wakefulness than modafinil.
Studies comparing armodafinil to modafinil have also shown that a 150 mg single dose of armodafinil produces effects comparable to a 200 mg single dose of modafinil. Therefore, armodafinil may be the stronger medication on a milligram to milligram basis. In other words, armodafinil administration may be more effective than modafinil administration in treating daytime sleepiness in people with sleep disorders.
With that said, there are currently no studies on modafinil/armodafinil that clearly say one drug is definitively more effective than the other. However, randomized clinical trials and meta-analyses have found that armodafinil and modafinil have comparable efficacy and safety profiles in treating sleep disorders. Both medicines significantly improve excessive sleepiness and sleep latency (the amount of time taken to fall asleep). Patients with narcolepsy, shift work disorder, and obstructive sleep apnea tolerate both medications well.
A deciding factor between armodafinil versus modafinil may be the cost of treatment. Generic armodafinil is more expensive than generic modafinil. However, generic armodafinil may be slightly less expensive than brand name Provigil. It is best to consult a doctor to decide between the two medications for the treatment of sleep disorders or address any other concerns that you may have.
How effective is modafinil for narcolepsy?
More than one clinical trial has shown that modafinil and armodafinil significantly improved sleepiness in healthy subjects with acute sleep loss in a nocturnal period, i.e., short-term sleep deprivation.
Modafinil has been clinically proven to be effective in treating sleepiness associated with narcolepsy. It can also help people with shift work disorder and obstructive sleep apnea. Provigil (modafinil) starts working 30-60 minutes after you take the medication, a bit longer if you take it with food. Notably, modafinil has fewer side effects and is better tolerated than traditional stimulant drugs such as Adderall and Vyvanse.
Keep in mind that modafinil or armodafinil may not completely treat your symptoms. You may have some excessive residual sleepiness.
Can you sleep on armodafinil?
Armodafinil is an effective treatment for excessive sleepiness and daytime sleepiness. It can help you stay awake and alert for 12-15 hours at a time. You should take your medication as directed by your physician. If you are using this medicine to treat narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea, you will probably be advised to take it in the morning. If you are taking it for shift work disorder, you should take it one hour before your shift starts to prevent excessive sleepiness while at work.. Since they both are wakefulness-promoting agents, taking modafinil and armodafinil before bed will cause trouble falling asleep.
Keep in mind that while armodafinil can help you stay awake, it is not a substitute for getting enough sleep. You should continue to practice good sleep habits. You should also continue to use any breathing devices like a CPAP machine prescribed by your doctor for obstructive sleep apnea.
Does armodafinil cause euphoria?
Armodafinil is not known to cause euphoria (feeling high). It is a Schedule IV substance with a low potential for abuse and dependence. However, armodafinil does have psychoactive effects and can affect your mood since it affects the dopamine level in your brain.
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