Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: modafinil
BRAND NAME: Provigil
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Modafinil is an oral drug that is used for improving wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness. It is similar to armodafinil (Nuvigil). Like amphetamines, modafinil promotes wakefulness by stimulatIng the brain. The exact mechanism of action of modafinil is unknown. It may work by increasing the amount of dopamine (a chemical neurotransmitter that nerves use to communicate with each other) in the brain by reducing the reuptake of dopamine into nerves. Modafinil was approved by the FDA in December 1998.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: No
PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 100 and 200 mg.
STORAGE: Modafinil should be stored at room temperature, 15-30 C (59-86 F).
PRESCRIBED FOR: Modafinil is used to promote wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea (in addition to treatment of the underlying obstruction), and shift work sleep disorder. Narcolepsy is a chronic disease of the brain and spinal cord characterized most commonly by a recurrent, uncontrollable desire to sleep. Shift work sleep disorder is a condition in which the normal rhythm of sleep is disturbed, often as a result of working at night. Sleep apnea is a condition where sleep is constantly interrupted at night because of pauses in breathing or shallow breathing usually due to obstruction of the upper airway.
DOSING: The recommended dose is 200 mg once daily not to exceed 400 mg. It should be administered in the morning for treating narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea, and one hour prior to work in those with shift work disorder. It can be taken with or without food. The 400 mg dose may not be more effective than the 200 mg dose.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Modafinil can decrease or increase the activity of enzymes in the liver that metabolize (eliminate) other drugs. This can result in decreased levels of some drugs that reduce their effectiveness and increased levels of other drugs that leads to their toxicity. Modafinil treatment should be carefully monitored if taken with any of these drugs. Drugs which may have reduced effectiveness if taken with modafinil include cyclosporine (Sandimmune), theophylline, and hormonal contraceptives such as progestin-only or estrogen and progesterone containing drugs (for example, Micronor, Ortho-Novum 1/50). Alternative hormonal contraceptives or an additional non-drug form of contraception should be considered during treatment with modafinil, and treatment should continue for one month after modafinil therapy ends (since the effects of modafinil on contraceptive hormones may continue for several weeks). The effects of modafinil on hormonal contraceptives occurs if the hormones are taken by mouth, patch, or implant.
Drugs that may show increased effects or toxicity if taken with modafinil include warfarin (Coumadin), diazepam (Valium), propranolol (Inderal), imipramine (Tofranil), desipramine (Norpramin), phenytoin (Dilantin) and mephenytoin (Mesantoin).
Some other drugs that may increase the effectiveness and/or toxicity of modafinil. These drugs include carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital, and rifampin (Rifadin).
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