New medicines make you Fight Sleepiness and Stay Awake: Adrafinil, Modafinil, Armodafinil

New Wonder Drug to Fight sleepiness

You probably have seen television advertisements for Shift Work Disorder (SWD) promoting Nuvigil and Provigil, new drugs developed by Cephalon, Inc. These new medications are doing wonderful things for people with narcolepsy and sleep apnea, but also excessive daytime sleepiness – but that isn’t the whole story.. They have some other amazing drug side effects which we will discuss after a little focus on the effects they have on sleep.


Provigil and Nuvigil are part of a class of medications called Eugeroics, or wakefulness promoting agents. Currently they are being prescribed m

Imagine being able to sleep every other day instead of every day. Just about everyone has pulled an “all-nighter” whether for school or work. These medications allow you to stay up late without the negative side effects of losing sleep. An extra 12 hours of useful wakefulness is hard to come by, no matter what steps you take. Everyone can attest to hitting a wall or barrier where you suddenly feel sleepy, slow, and needing to get some restful sleep. Unlike caffeine and nicotine, these medications do not just keep you awake, even if you are tired. They actually make that drowsiness disappear, giving you a clear head.

Armodafinil has also been approved for use for ADHD, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

The mechanism of action for these medications is not well understood, yet – but more research is ongoing.

While Nuvigil and Provigil currently require prescriptions, Adrafinil is currently unregulated and available as a supplement through Amazon, among other places. Adrafinil gets metabolized into Modafinil (similar to the medication) in your liver.

A bit hard to stay awake

There have been some mixed reviews on whether Adrafinil works or not, so go with a reputable manufacturer, not a no-name brand, since supplements are basically unregulated by the FDA.

Drug side effects include headache, nausea, upset stomach and insomnia. Though I suppose the insomnia is more of the intended effect, it just works too well.

I promised earlier we would discuss some of the other effects of Modafinil.
Modafinil has many other effects that are currently being studied, probably the most interesting is that it makes you smarter. Studies have shown that Modafinil increases number retention and pattern recognition in most people, and even more areas were improved in people with “lower performing” scores initially.

It has also been shown as an effective treatment for ADHD, giving those who really need the extra focus a hand up with the cognitive benefits I just mentioned.

Modafinil acts as an exercise enhancer, and increases the amount of strenuous exercise you are able to do, as well as making that exercise feel easier.

Last, Modafinil has an appetite suppressant effect. That’s right, it most likely aids in weight loss. Participants ate 18% less, calorie wise when on only 200 mg of the drug, and a 38% decrease with 400 mg.

So, to sum up, when you take Modafinil you will have:

  1. You will have more hours in the day
  2. You will be smarter
  3. You will have more focus
  4. Your ability to exercise will be greater
  5. You will have better appetite control

Clearly, this looks like a wonder drug. There are certainly some drug side effects to taking this medicine, but the benefits seem to far outweigh the risks. Caution should be exercised, because it is a relatively new drug. Talk to your primary care doctor if you are interested.

Other names outside of the United States are Alertec, Modavigil, and Modiodal.

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