Nuvigil vs. Provigil

Nuvigil
Provigil

Provigil (modafinil) and Nuvigil (armodafinil) are stimulant-like drugs used to treat excessive sleepiness. There are generics available for Provigil but not for Nuvigil. They are manufactured by the same company (Cephalon) and have the same effects. Armodafinil (Nuvigil) is an enantiopure drug; it is the R-enantiomer of modafinil (Provigil). In other words, there is only a small difference in their chemical structure.

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Nuvigil

User Rating (141):

Provigil

User Rating (113):
Type of Drug Analeptic Analeptic
Used to treat Narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and shift work disorder (SWD) Narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and shift work disorder (SWD)
Active ingredient Armodafinil, which is the longer-lived enantiomer of modafinil Modafinil
Legal Status Schedule IV – US ℞ Prescription only Prescription only (S4) – AU; ℞ Prescription only – CA;POM - UK; Schedule IV - US
Dosage OSA and narcolepsy – 150mg/250mg as single dose in the morning; SWD – 150mg taken 1 hour prior to work shift OSA and narcolepsy – 200mg as single dose in the morning; SWD – 200mg taken 1 hour prior to work shift
Forms available Tablet Tablet
Off-label Use ADHD, mood disorders, depersonalization disorder, cognitive enhancement, fatigue, cocaine addiction, post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment, weight loss etc. ADHD, mood disorders, depersonalization disorder, cognitive enhancement, fatigue, cocaine addiction, post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment, weight loss etc.
Manufacturer Cepahalon Cepahalon
What is it? Nuvigil is the brand name of armodafinil which is an analeptic used to treat sleep disorders like narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and shift work disorder (SWD) Provigil is the brand name of modfanil used to treat sleep disorders like narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and shift work disorder (SWD)
Routes Oral Oral
Restrictions No No
Trade Name Nuvigil Alertec-Canada, Ecuador; Carim-Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Uruguay;Modalert, Provake, Modapro, Modafil-India; Modasomil-Áustria, Switzerland; Modavigil-Australia, New Zealand; Modiodal-France, Denmark, Greece, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden,
Prescription for ages 10-19 Not allowed Not allowed
Withdrawal Symptoms Sleepiness in narcoleptic patients Sleepiness in narcoleptic patients
Addictive Not studied but likely to be similar to that of Modafanil Limited potential for large-scale abuse.
Effects Increases the release of monoamines, specifically catecholamines norepinephrine and dopamine from synaptic terminals. Also elevates hypothalamic histamine levels. Increases the release of monoamines, specifically catecholamines norepinephrine and dopamine from synaptic terminals. Also elevates hypothalamic histamine levels.
Common Side Effects Common side effects include headache, nausea, dizziness, trouble sleeping. Common side effects include, back pain, headache, nausea, nervousness, stuffy nose, diarrhea, anxiety, dizziness, upset stomach, trouble sleeping.
Serious Side Effects Rash, allergic reaction in liver or blood cells, hives, mouth sores, blistering or peeling skin, swelling of the face, lips, eyes, tongue, legs or throat, trouble swallowing or breathing, fever, shortness of breath, yellowing of the skin, dark urine Rash, allergic reaction in liver or blood cells, hives, mouth sores, blistering or peeling skin, swelling of the face, lips, eyes, tongue, legs or throat, trouble swallowing or breathing, fever, shortness of breath, yellowing of the skin, dark urine
Refillable Yes Yes
Generic Available No Yes
Dependency liability Possible Possible
Pregnancy Cat C (US), B3 (AU) C (US)

Contents: Nuvigil vs Provigil

200mg Provigil tablets
200mg Provigil tablets

edit Effect

Both Provigil and Nuvigil increase the release of monamines, specifically catecholamines norepinephrine and dopamine, from synaptic terminals. They also elevate hypothalamic histamine levels.

In terms of chemical composition, armodafinil is an enantiomer of modafinil. It is possible that enantiomers of drugs bind differently to receptors in the body and therefore have different effects. For example, one enantiomer of Naproxen is used to treat liver pain but another causes liver poisoning with no analgesic effects. However, in the case of modafinil (Provigil) and armodafinil (Nuvigil), both drugs have similar effects on the body.

Since the two drugs are not chemically identical, the patent application for Nuvigil was filed and approved separately. The patent for Provigil has expired and generics are available.

edit Uses

Both Provigil and Nuvigil are used to treat narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea and shift work disorder.

In addition, Provigil may be prescribed to treat ADHD, mood disorders, depersonalization disorder, cognitive enhancement, fatigue, cocaine addiction, post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment, weight loss, as a doping agent and in military and law enforcement.

Nuvigil was being considered as treatment for jet lag, schizophrenia and depression but failed to meet FDA approval for all of these uses.

edit Off-label use

Provigil is popular for off-label use as a cognitive enhancer or "brain drug", championed by successful people like David Osprey. Some studies show that the drug can improve cognitive function[1] but the drug is not approved for — and the manufacturer recommends it NOT be used for — enhancing cognitive performance.

edit Dosage

In the case of OSA and narcolepsy, Provigil should be taken as 200mg single dose in the morning and to treat SWD, 200mg tablet should be taken 1 hour prior to shift.

Nuvigil is prescribed as 150mg/250mg single dose tablet in the morning for patients with OSA and narcolepsy. To treat SWD, it is taken as 150mg tablet prior to work shift.

edit Efficacy

Studies have shown that wakefulness of patients treated with Provigil and Nuvigil improves significantly in the case of narcolepsy, shift work disorder (SWD) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) when compared to a placebo. [2] [3]

When compared to each other, however, no differences have been found in the efficacy of provigil and nuvigil.

edit Side Effects

The common side effects of Provigil include, back pain, headache, nausea, nervousness, stuffy nose, diarrhea, anxiety, dizziness, upset stomach and trouble sleeping. The more serious effects include serious rash, serious allergic reaction involving the liver or blood cells, hives, mouth sores, blistering or peeling skin, swelling of the face, lips, eyes, tongue, legs or throat, trouble swallowing or breathing, fever, shortness of breath, yellowing of the skin or whites of eyes, dark urine.

The common side effects of Nuvigil are headache, nausea, dizziness, trouble sleeping. The serious side effects are similar to the use of Provigil.

edit Restrictions

Provigil and Nuvigil are not approved for pediatric use. In clinical trials of modfanil, serious rash requiring hospitalization and discontinuation of treatment has been reported. The rashes included one case of possible Stevens-Johnsons-Syndrome (SJS) and a case of multi-organ hypersensitivity reaction.

edit Withdrawal

No serious withdrawal symptoms were noticed in patients. The condition of excessive sleepiness returned when intake was stopped.

edit Abuse

A study of the abuse potential of Provigil has demonstrated that modafinil produced psychoactive and euphoric effects and feelings consistent with other scheduled CNS stimulants like methylphenidate. The abuse potential of Nuvigil has not been specifically studied and is likely to be similar to that of Provigil.

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Comments: Nuvigil vs Provigil

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Anonymous comments (2)

June 17, 2014, 7:47pm

I too am having problems with sleeping. I'm at this point trying 1/8th of a 200 mg tablet. But that does not keep me awake. I also am having hot flashes. My biggest concern, however, is a shooting nerve twang in my heel - perhaps completely unrelated. hoping so. Not sure whether to continue with pro vigil or not - 15 hour half life would very likely mean much longer for me - as I metabolize medications very slowly......Have also had some twitchiness at higher doses......

— 76.✗.✗.23
-3

November 6, 2013, 7:23pm

My 18 year old was prescribed Nuvigil after a sleep study, but the posted chart says prescriptions are not available for under 20.

— 50.✗.✗.56
-16

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