Armodafinil (By mouth)

Introduction

Armodafinil (ar-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)

Nuvigil

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 armodafinil or modafinil.

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet

  • 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 continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine at night, continue using this machine with the medicine.
  • Take this medicine at the same time each day. Do not change your schedule without talking to your doctor.
  • This medicine should come with a Medication Guide. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. Ask your pharmacist for the Medication Guide if you do not have one.

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.

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  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • 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 using medicine for seizures (such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, phenytoin, Dilantin®, or Tegretol®), clomipramine (Anafranil®), cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), diazepam (Valium®), erythromycin (Ery-Tab®), ketoconazole (Nizoral®), midazolam (Versed®), omeprazole (Prilosec®), propranolol (Inderal®), rifampin (Rifadin®, Rimactane®), or triazolam (Halcion®).
  • Tell your doctor if you are also using hormonal birth control (such as ethinyl estradiol, estradiol, levonorgestrel, norethindrone, progesterone, Alesse®, Estinyl®, Mirena®, Modicon®, Necon®, Norinyl®, Ortho-Novum®, or Seasonale®), a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®), or an MAO inhibitor (such as isocarboxazid, phenelzine, selegiline, tranylcypromine, Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, or Parnate®).
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, high blood pressure, or a history of mental illness, depression, drug abuse, or alcohol abuse. Also tell your doctor if you have mitral valve prolapse or any other heart disease, or if you have recently had chest pain (angina) or a heart attack.
  • This medicine may cause serious types of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis and angioedema. 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.
  • Stop taking this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have more than one of these symptoms: chest pain or discomfort; fever and chills; dark urine; a headache; a rash; stomach pain; unusual bleeding or bruising; unusual tiredness; or yellow eyes or skin. These may be signs of a serious allergic reaction.
  • Serious skin reactions can occur during treatment with this medicine. Stop using this medicine and check with your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms: blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin; chills; cough; diarrhea; fever; itching; joint or muscle pain; red skin lesions; sore throat; sores, ulcers, or white spots in your mouth or lips; or unusual tiredness or weakness.
  • Hormonal birth control pills, implants, patches, shots, vaginal rings, or IUDs may not work as well while you are using armodafinil. To keep from getting pregnant, use a second form of birth control together with your pills, implant, patch, shot, vaginal ring, or IUD while you are using this medicine. Continue using the second form of birth control for one month after your last dose. Other forms of birth control include condoms, diaphragms, or contraceptive foams or jellies.
  • If you do become pregnant while you are taking this medicine, tell your doctor right away. Your doctor may want you to join a pregnancy registry for pregnant patients who are taking 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 may cause some people to be agitated, irritable, or display other abnormal behaviors. It may also cause some people to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies or to become more depressed. If you notice any of these side effects, tell your doctor right away.
  • This medicine does not take the place of getting enough sleep. It should not be used for occasional sleepiness that has not been diagnosed as narcolepsy, sleep apnea, or a shift work sleep problem. Ask your doctor for advice about good sleep habits.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.
  • 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.
  • Your doctor will need to check your progress at regular visits while you are using this medicine. Be sure to keep all appointments.

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, or red skin rash.
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Feeling unusually agitated, aggressive, confused, depressed, or excited.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Increase in how much or how often you urinate.
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there.
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself and others.
  • Tremors or shaking.
  • Unusual thoughts or behavior.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Anxiety, nervousness, or trouble sleeping.
  • Dry mouth or increased thirst.
  • Headache or dizziness.
  • Mild skin rash or itching.
  • Nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain or upset.

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

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

         
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