Modafinil is used to treat excessive sleepiness caused by narcolepsy (a condition that causes excessive daytime sleepiness) or shift work sleep disorder (sleepiness during scheduled waking hours and difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep during scheduled sleeping hours in people who work at night or on rotating shifts). Modafinil is also used along with breathing devices or other treatments to prevent excessive sleepiness caused by obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS; a sleep disorder in which the patient briefly stops breathing or breathes shallowly many times during sleep and therefore doesn't get enough restful sleep). Modafinil is in a class of medications called wakefulness promoting agents. It works by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the area of the brain that controls sleep and wakefulness.
Modafinil comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. If you are taking modafinil to treat narcolepsy or OSAHS, you will probably take it in the morning. If you are taking modafinil to treat shift work sleep disorder, you will probably take it 1 hour before the beginning of your work shift. Take modafinil at the same time every day. Do not change the time of day that you take modafinil without talking to your doctor. Talk to your doctor if your work shift does not begin at the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take modafinil exactly as directed.
Modafinil may be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor.
Modafinil may decrease your sleepiness, but it will not cure your sleep disorder. Continue to take modafinil even if you feel well-rested. Do not stop taking modafinil without talking to your doctor.
Modafinil should not be used in place of getting enough sleep. Follow your doctor's advice about good sleep habits. Continue to use any breathing devices or other treatments that your doctor has prescribed to treat your condition, especially if you have OSAHS.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Before taking modafinil,
Talk to your doctor about eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while you are taking this medication.
You should skip the missed dose. Wait until the next time you are supposed to take modafinil, and then take your normal dose. If you take modafinil too late in your waking day, you may find it harder to go to sleep. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Modafinil may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Modafinil may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( Web Site) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Store modafinil in a safe place so that no one else can take it accidentally or on purpose. Keep track of how many tablets are left so you will know if any are missing.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( Web Site) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. Web Site
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at Web Site. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Selling or giving away modafinil is against the law. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.