About Provigil, drug nicknamed “Viagra for the brain.”

Provigil is one of the medications that that has natural chemicals helpful for wakefulness. Those individuals who suffer from excessive sleepiness caused due to diseases such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea need this medicine to stay away. This medicine is also taken by people who suffer from sleep disorder because of long shift of work.

Approved by FDA to treat narcolepsy

Provigil is actually an analeptic drug. It has been approved from the U.S. FDA or Food and Drug Administration for treatment of patients suffering from narcolepsy. Sometimes excessive day sleepiness is associated with individuals who work in shift. Even if this medicine is used for them as well, in US but in most European countries this medicine is only prescribed because of narcolepsy.

Mechanism of action

Extensive research has been done over the use of Provigil and its interaction with the neurotransmitter systems. The precise mechanism of its action is still very unclear but it is seen that this medicine usually acts as a stimulant. When this medicine is used for promoting wakefulness, it increases the release of monoamine in the system. These monoamines include the catecholamines, dopamine and the norepinephrine, which are usually released from the synaptic terminals. Sometimes it also elevates the release of histamine levels from hypothalamus.

When this drug was put into clinical trials and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism carried out a study on the affect of this drug on individual, it was seen that it is not dangerous. Though this drug has affect on the dopamine levels which act on the reward centers of the brain, but affect on catecholamines and histamine nulls he potential of an abuse, thus maintaining its effectiveness. There is limited potential that his drug would be used for any large scale dependence behavior or addiction.

Active ingredient

The active ingredient in the drug Provigil is Modafinil. It is available in 100 mg and 200 mg dosage of tablets. It was brought into the market by Cephalon, Inc. This drug is only advised to the patient when they are suffering from narcolepsy, sleep apnea or sleep disorder due to shift work. Without prescription, the pharmacist would not give this drug because it is placed under the schedule IV of the FDA approved drug. FDA approved this drug in 1998.

Provigil and birth control

It is observed that this medicine can decrease the effectiveness of some of the contraceptive that are in the market including control pills for birth or even contraceptives, which are implanted. So, while taking Provigil one should either tell their doctors to suggest them with some other control mechanism for birth which would not be prevented by Provigil or try and adjust the dosage properly by monitoring it properly.

Modafinil vs alcohol

It is also important to avoid the use of any complex machinery after the use of this drug, unless someone knows the possible side effects from which they can suffer from. Avoiding alcohol is important during this stage and it is also important to consult doctor if they suffer from any type of allergic reaction because of the use of this drug.

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