Nuvigil is a medication that is often prescribed to help people with certain sleep disorders stay awake. Specifically, it is used to treat excessive sleepiness due to sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and shift work sleep disorder. Nuvigil comes in tablet form and is generally taken by mouth once daily. Potential side effects of the drug include dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, and insomnia.
What Is Nuvigil?
Nuvigil™ (armodafinil) is a prescription medication used to help people stay awake and alert. More specifically, the drug is approved to treat people with excessive sleepiness due to the following sleep disorders:
- Sleep apnea (known medically as obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome or OSAHS)
- Shift work sleep disorder (SWSD), a problem in people who work night shifts or who frequently change between day and night work shifts.
Who Makes Nuvigil?
It is manufactured by Cephalon, Inc.
How Does It Work?
At this time, it is not known exactly how Nuvigil works to promote wakefulness. It does not work like other stimulants. Nuvigil does affect certain brain chemicals, but this does not seem to be the way the drug works, since blocking Nuvigil's effect on such chemicals does not stop it from working.
Nuvigil is chemically similar to Provigil® (modafinil), another drug approved for the same uses. Provigil contains two different forms of the modafinil molecule, while Nuvigil contains just one (the longer-acting form).
When and How to Take Nuvigil
General considerations for when and how to take the medication include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet form. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
- You can take it with or without food. If the medicine seems to bother your stomach, try taking it with food.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.