Modafinil Duration Guide: Frequently Asked Questions about the Timing of Modafinil

What is Modafinil?

Modafinil is a prescription medication most commonly prescribed for narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, shift work sleep disorder, as well as other sleep disorders. Modafinil works to reduce extreme sleepiness and can be prescribed to assist individuals in staying awake and alert during work hours if their jobs prevents them from maintaining a consistent sleep schedule.

Modafinil Dosage

Most people prescribed Modafinil take either 200mg or 400mg per day. If prescribed 400mg., doctors may instruct their patients to take a split dose. Modafinil is an oral Administration should always be oral. Swallow your Your primary care physician will inform you of your daily dosage upon prescribing Modafinil. If experiencing any adverse reactions, such as nausea, dizziness, weakness, or fatigue, consult your doctor.

Timing: When Should Modafinil Intake Occur?

Modafinil should be taken once a day, unless otherwise prescribed by your doctor. If you are being prescribed Modafinil to treat Narcolepsy or OSAHS, take your dose in the morning, upon waking. If you are being prescribed Modafinil to treat shift work sleep disorder, take 1 hour prior to the beginning of your shift. Although most patients are directed to take Modafinil once a day, if directed to take a split dose, follow the directions outlined by your doctor.

Can I take Modafinil Every Day?

 Unlike other prescription drugs, Modafinil’s effects do not build up over time. The medication only works the day you are taking it, for approximately 10-12 hours, so Modafinil should be taken daily, or as needed, depending on the reason your physician has prescribed it to you. Although only experienced if administered for extended periods of time, Modafinil has been shown to produce withdrawl symptoms in some cases.

If administration of Modafinil is stopped abruptly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, If experiencing cold sweats, excessive shaking, insomnia, confusion, disorientation, chills, of other symptomology associated with chemical cessation and withdrawal. Withdrawal is more likely to occur if a patient has been taking high doses, has been using Modafinil for an extended period of time, or has been abusing the medication. Consult your pharmacy technician and contact your doctor immediately if experiencing signs and symptoms of withdrawal.

How Long Does Modafinil Take to Work?

You should start to feel the effects of Modafinil 30-60 minutes after dosing. If taken with food, it may take a little bit longer for the medication to enter into the bloodstream. Using Modafinil for extended periods of time; using the drug for longer than nine weeks, may result in the mediation no longer treating symptomology. Consult your doctor if you no longer feel the effects of Modafinil after having it administered. You may need to reevaluate your treatment plan and modify your prescription.

Modafinil Half Life

According to the centers for in the United Kingdom, “The effective elimination half-life of modafinil after multiple doses is about 15 hours. The pharmacokinetic properties of modafinil are linear and time-independent. Systemic exposure increases in a dose proportional manner over the range of 200-600 mg.” Unlike many pharmaceuticals, Modafinil enters and exits the body relatively quickly. It is important that you follow all guidelines set by your doctor.

What Happens if You Take Too Much Modafinil?

Unlike other medications, which can have serious, if not fatal consequences if overdose occurs, Modafinil presents much less of a hazard. Though overdose has resulted in fatality, most common side-effects are: headache, dry mouth, back pain, nausea, upset stomach, diarrhea, sleep disturbance or insomnia, and stuffy nose. Consult your doctor if experiencing these or other side effects for more than a week. Discontinue use and call 911 immediately if experiencing problems breathing, loss of consciousness, slurred speech, or other serious side effects.

Does Modafinil Pose a Threat of Addiction?

Although thousands of people have returned to normalcy and have regained a sense of functionality using the support of this drug, others have developed a dependency upon it. Addiction is far more likely to occur if you have been using Modafinil for an extended period of time; nine weeks or more, if cessation of the medication is induced abruptly, and when not taken regularly, or as prescribed. Addiction is also far more likely to occur in patients that have been abusing the drug, or have been taking more than the recommended dose.

Communication is Key

Consult your doctor if you see no improvement in your behavior after being prescribed Modafinil. Additionally, this medication has proved to be less effective over time, so communicate any and all symptoms and side-effects to your physician so they can modify your dosage, if need be. If you’re experiencing symptoms of a sleep disorder, talk to your doctor today to see if Modafinil is right for you.

Work Cited

“Modafinil Abuse.” The Recovery Village, SAMHSA, 25 Feb. 2020, www.therecoveryvillage.com/modafinil-addiction/#gref

“Modafinil Provigil 100 Mg Tablets.” Modafinil Provigil 100 Mg Tablets – Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) – (Emc), DataPharm, 24 June 2017, www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/5412/smpc

Schwartz, Jonathan R L, et al. “Dosing Regimen Effects of Modafinil for Improving Daytime Wakefulness in Patients with Narcolepsy.” Clinical Neuropharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14520165

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