Nuvigil (generic: armodafinil) is a prescription medication used to treat excessive sleepiness linked to narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, and shift work disorder. Nuvigil belongs to a group of drugs called eugeroics or wakefulness-promoting agents, which alter the amount of a substance in the brain that controls sleep and wakefulness.
This medication comes in tablet form and is taken once a day, with or without food.
Common side effects of Nuvigil include headache, nausea, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping.
Nuvigil is a prescription medicine used to improve wakefulness in adults who are very sleepy due to one of the following diagnosed sleep disorders:
- obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Nuvigil is used with other medical treatments for this sleep disorder.
- shift work disorder (SWD)
This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Nuvigil may cause serious side effects. Stop taking Nuvigil and call your doctor right away or get emergency help if you get any of the following:
- a serious rash or serious allergic reaction. (See “Drug Precautions”)
- mental (psychiatric) symptoms, including:
- feeling anxious
- hearing, seeing, feeling, or sensing things that are not really there (hallucinations)
- an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania)
- thoughts of suicide
- aggressive behavior
- other mental problems
- symptoms of a heart problem, including chest pain, abnormal heart beats, and trouble breathing.
Common side effects that can happen in anyone who takes Nuvigil include:
- trouble sleeping
Tell your doctor if you get any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away while taking Nuvigil.
These are not all the side effects of Nuvigil. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Some effects of Nuvigil on the brain are the same as other medicines called “stimulants”. These effects may lead to abuse or dependence on Nuvigil.
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Nuvigil and many other medicines can interact with each other, sometimes causing side effects. Nuvigil may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how Nuvigil works. Your dose of Nuvigil or certain other medicines may need to be changed.
Especially, tell your doctor if you use or take:
- a hormonal birth control method, such as birth control pills, shots, implants, patches, vaginal rings, and intrauterine devices (IUDs). Hormonal birth control methods may not work while you take Nuvigil. Women who use one of these methods of birth control may have a higher chance for getting pregnant while taking Nuvigil, and for one month after stopping Nuvigil. Talk to your doctor about birth control choices that are right for you while taking Nuvigil.
Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them and show it to your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you if it is safe to take Nuvigil and other medicines together. Do not start any new medicines with Nuvigil unless your doctor has told you it is okay.
Nuvigil may cause serious side effects including a serious rash or a serious allergic reaction that may affect parts of your body such as your liver or blood cells. Any of these may need to be treated in a hospital and may be life-threatening.
Stop taking Nuvigil and call your doctor right away or get emergency help if you have any of these symptoms:
- skin rash, hives, sores in your mouth, or your skin blisters and peels
- swelling of your face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat
- trouble swallowing or breathing
- fever, shortness of breath, swelling of the legs, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, or dark urine.
If you have a severe rash with Nuvigil, stopping the medicine may not keep the rash from becoming life-threatening or causing you to be permanently disabled or disfigured.
Do not take Nuvigil if you:
- are allergic to any of its ingredients.
- have had a rash or allergic reaction to either armodafinil (Nuvigil) or modafinil (Provigil). These medicines are very similar.
Nuvigil is not approved for use in children for any medical condition.
It is not known if Nuvigil is safe or if it works in children under the age of 17.
Do not drive a car or do other dangerous activities until you know how Nuvigil affects you. People with sleep disorders should always be careful about doing things that could be dangerous. Do not change your daily habits until your doctor tells you it is okay.
You should avoid drinking alcohol. It is not known how drinking alcohol will affect you when taking Nuvigil.
Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with Nuvigil and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.
Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions including, if you:
- have a history of mental health problems, including psychosis
- have heart problems or had a heart attack
- have high blood pressure. Your blood pressure may need to be checked more often while taking Nuvigil.
- have liver or kidney problems
- have a history of drug or alcohol abuse or addiction
- are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
- are breastfeeding
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if Nuvigil will harm your unborn baby.
Pregnancy Registry: There is a registry for women who become pregnant during treatment with Nuvigil. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of Nuvigil during pregnancy. Contact the registry as soon as you learn that you are pregnant, or ask your doctor to contact the registry for you. You or your doctor can get information and enroll you in the registry by calling 1-866-404-4106.
Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding. It is not known if Nuvigil passes into your milk. Talk to your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take Nuvigil.
- Take Nuvigil exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will prescribe the dose of Nuvigil that is right for you. Do not change your dose of Nuvigil without talking to your doctor.
- Your doctor will tell you the right time of day to take Nuvigil.
- People with narcolepsy or OSA usually take Nuvigil one time each day in the morning.
- People with SWD usually take Nuvigil about 1 hour before their work shift.
- Do not change the time of day you take Nuvigil unless you have talked to your doctor. If you take Nuvigil too close to your bedtime, you may find it harder to go to sleep.
- You can take Nuvigil with or without food.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Narcolepsy
The recommended dose of Nuvigil is 150 mg or 250 mg given as a single dose in the morning.
Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWD)
The recommended dose of Nuvigil is 150 mg given daily approximately 1 hour prior to the work shift.
If you take more than your prescribed dose or if you take an overdose of Nuvigil, call your doctor or poison control center right away.
Symptoms of an overdose of Nuvigil may include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling disoriented
- Feeling excited
- Hearing, seeing, feeling, or sensing things that are not really there (hallucinations)
- Nausea and diarrhea
- A fast or slow heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Increased blood pressure
Nuvigil tablets are available in the following strengths: 50 mg, 150 mg, and 250 mg.
Active Ingredient: armodafinil
Inactive Ingredients: lactose monohydrate, microcrystalline cellulose, pregelatinized starch, croscarmellose sodium, povidone, and magnesium stearate.
- Store Nuvigil at room temperature between 68° and 77° F (20° and 25° C).
- Keep Nuvigil and all medicines out of the reach of children.