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Modafinil fact sheet

(moe - DA - fih - nill)

This information is not a replacement for full discussion of risks and benefits with your doctor.

Other names: Modavigil, Provigil

Principal uses: treatment of excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, shift work sleep disorder

Cost: not subsidised in New Zealand, approximate cost $83 for 30 tablets (100 mg)

Dose: narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea: 200-400 mg/day; shift work sleep disorder: 200 mg/day

How it works: acts on the central nervous system (the brain) to increases alertness (wakefulness). Unlike other stimulants it does not overstimulate or produce a "high" feeling.

Possible side effects: headache, nervousness, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, dizziness, dry mouth, blurred vision. Less frequent: depression, chest pain, rapid heart beat, palpitations, abnormal liver function. Very rare: may cause a serious rash. Can cause severe rash in children under 16 years. In breastfeeding mothers, may decrease milk supply. Likely to decrease effectiveness of birth control pills up to one month after last taking modafinil.

Use in pregnancy: Category C (Animal studies have shown an adverse effect and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR no animal studies have been conducted and there are no adequate studies in pregnant women)

Use in breast feeding: Category L3 (There are no controlled studies in breast feeding women, however the risk of untoward effect to a breastfed infant is possible; or, controlled studies show only a minimal non-threatening adverse effects. Drugs should be given only if potential benefits justify the potential risk to the infant)

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