What is armodafinil, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Armodafinil is an oral drug that is used to promote wakefulness. It is similar to modafinil (Provigil). Like amphetamines, armodafinil promotes wakefulness by stimuatIng the brain; however, the exact mechanism of action of armodafinil is unknown. Armodafinil 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. The FDA approved armodafinil in June 2007.

What brand names are available for armodafinil?

Nuvigil

Is armodafinil available as a generic drug?

No

Do I need a prescription for armodafinil?

Yes

What are the side effects of armodafinil?

Headache is the most common side effect of armodafinil. Other side effects include:

Rare side effects include angioedema, difficulty swallowing, bronchospasms, and reversible psychosis.

What is the dosage for armodafinil?

The recommended dose is 150 or 250 mg every morning or 150 mg daily one hour prior to the work shift.

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Which drugs or supplements interact with armodafinil?

Armodafinil 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 as well as increased levels of other drugs that increase their toxicity. Armodafinil treatment should be carefully monitored if taken with any of these drugs.

Drugs which may have reduced effectiveness if taken with armodafinil include cyclosporine (Sandimmune), ethinyl estradiol (Estrace, Climara, Estraderm, Menostar) (present in many birth control pills), midazolam (Versed), and triazolam (Halcion).

Drugs that may show increased effects or toxicity if taken with armodafinil include omeprazole (Prilosec), warfarin (Coumadin), diazepam (Valium), propranolol (Inderal), imipramine (Tofranil), desipramine (Norpramin), clomipramine (Anafranil), phenytoin (Dilantin) and mephenytoin (Mesantoin).

Carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital, and rifampin (Rifadin) may reduce the action of armodafinil by increasing armodafinil's elimination by the liver. Ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox) and erythromycin may increase the effectiveness of armodafinil by reducing the elimination of armodafinil by the liver.

Is armodafinil safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in pregnant women. Use of armodafinil during pregnancy has been asociated with decreased fetal development and spontaneous abortion.

It is not known whether armodafinil is secreted in breast milk.

What else should I know about armodafinil?

What preparations of armodafinil are available?

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 50, 150, 250 mg.

How should I keep armodafinil stored?

Armodafinil should be stored at room temperature, 20-30 C (68-77 F).

Summary

Armodafinil (Nuvigil) is a drug prescribed to promote wakefulness associated with narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea/hypoapnea syndrome, and shift work sleep disorder. Side effects, drug interactions, and warnings and precautions should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.

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See more info: armodafinil on RxList
Medically Reviewed on 7/30/2019
References
Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine

REFERENCE:

FDA Prescribing Information for Nuvigil
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