Modafinil (By mouth)


Modafinil (moe-DAF-i-nil)
Improves daytime wakefulness in people with uncontrollable sleepiness caused by narcolepsy or sleep apnea. Also used in people who are sleep deprived from working odd hours such as a night shift.

Brand Name(s)

There may be other brand names for this medicine.


When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to modafinil or other similar medicines (such as armodafinil).

How to Use This Medicine

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • If you use this medicine for daytime wakefulness, take it in the morning. If you use it to stay awake during shift work, take the medicine 1 hour before you begin working.
  • You may take this medicine with or without food.
  • If you have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine at night, continue using this machine with the medicine.
  • This medicine may not work as well if you use it during a time when you are unusually sleepy.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
If a dose is missed:
  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • If you have missed your dose by more than half a day, skip the missed dose so you will not be kept awake during your normal sleeping hours.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using dextroamphetamine (Adderall®, Dexedrine®), itraconazole (Sporanox®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), methylphenidate (Ritalin®), or rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®). Tell your doctor if you are using blood thinners (such as warfarin, Coumadin®), or an MAO inhibitor (such as Marplan®, Parnate®, Nardil®, Eldepryl®).
  • Your doctor should know if you are also using medicine for depression (such as clomipramine, desipramine, Anafranil®, Norpramin®), or medicine for seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, Tegretol®).
  • Talk to your doctor if you are also using cyclosporine (Neoral®, Sandimmune®), diazepam (Valium®), phenytoin (Dilantin®), propranolol (Inderal®), or triazolam (Halcion®). Your dosages of these medicines may need to be adjusted if you use them together with modafinil.
  • Birth control pills, implants, shots, or an IUD may not work while you are using modafinil. To keep from getting pregnant, use another form of birth control while you are using this medicine and for one month after your last dose. Other forms of birth control include condoms, a diaphragm, or contraceptive foam or jelly.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, or if you have high blood pressure, kidney disease, liver disease, heart rhythm problems, heart disease, or have recently had chest pain or a heart attack. Tell your doctor if you have a history of mental illness or drug abuse.
  • This medicine may cause a a serious rash or a serious type of allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have a skin rash, itching, hives, hoarseness, trouble breathing, trouble swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, or mouth while you are using this medicine.
  • Until you know how this medicine affects you, avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that requires you to be alert.
  • This medicine is not for use with occasional sleepiness that has not been diagnosed as caused by narcolepsy, sleep apnea, or shift-work sleep disturbance.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.
  • This medicine may be habit-forming. If you feel that the medicine is not working as well, do not use more than your prescribed dose. Call your doctor for instructions.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Blistering, peeling, red skin rash.
  • Chest pain.
  • Fast, slow, pounding, or irregular heartbeat.
  • Feeling unusually agitated, aggressive, confused, or excited.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Mood or mental changes.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Skin rash or itching.
  • Tremors or shaking.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness.
  • Unusual thoughts or behavior.
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
  • Anxiety, nervousness, trouble sleeping.
  • Back pain.
  • Headache, dizziness.
  • Nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, loss of appetite.
  • Runny or stuffy nose, dry mouth.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
Review Date: 2011-02-04 Reviewed By: Keywords: ,
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