Treating narcolepsy and similar sleep disorders properly F.A.Q. Modapro|Modavigil|Nuvigil|Modalert|Provigil|Modafinil
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Anti Narcoleptic F.A.Q.

1. What are anti narcoleptic medications?

Anti narcoleptic medications are those drugs whose primary effect is to promote wakefulness. It is important to point out that this class of drugs does not include some of the older drugs that have been used for this purpose, such as amphetamines or certain stimulants. Anti narcoleptic drugs are those that have been developed with only this in mind and that are relatively much younger than stimulants and such. One important thing to know about these drugs is that they do not cure narcolepsy or other conditions that cause untimely sleepiness. They only do away with the sleepiness so that the patient's quality of life is not that negatively affected. Most popular and most effective anti narcoleptic drugs are Modapro, Nuvigil, Modavigil, Provigil, Modalert and Modafinil.

2. How do anti narcoleptic drugs work?

The exact mechanism of work of anti narcoleptic drugs has not yet been fully established and described. The scientists and the pharmacologists have proposed a number of theories, some of which have been proven to an extent while others still need more studies to be either confirmed or disputed. What is important to remember is that anti narcoleptic drugs like for instance Modafinil and Nuvigil work in a way that is entirely different from earlier wakefulness promoting agents such as stimulants or amphetamines. It is because of this difference in the mechanism of action that they are both more effective at keeping the patient awake and also much safer than those older classes of drugs. It has been found that they increase the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the central nervous system which definitely works to promote wakefulness, but they also have certain effects on some other chemicals in the CNS, as well as processes that occur there, which also helps anti narcoleptics promote wakefulness.

3. Which conditions can be treated with anti narcoleptic drugs?

There are a number of conditions which can be treated with anti narcoleptic drugs and the symptom that connects all of these conditions is excessive sleepiness during hours which should be free from this feeling, mostly nights. One of these conditions is narcolepsy which is how this class of drugs got its name and for which most of them have been developed for. Narcolepsy is the most common neurological disorder which causes various disturbances to the healthy sleeping patterns, thus causing, among other symptoms, excessive daytime sleepiness. Obstructive sleep apnea is another condition which can be mitigated by using anti narcoleptic drugs. Once again, this is due to the fact that excessive daytime sleepiness is one of the symptoms of sleep apnea, due to the fact that the person does not get enough sleep and enough oxygen during sleep thanks to the obstruction to the air pathways. Shift work sleep disorder is yet another conditions treatable with anti narcoleptic drugs. This time, the sleepiness which is unwelcome can occur at any time during the day, depending on the shift that the person is working when they need to be awake and they are not due to the fact that their healthy sleeping patterns are disturbed.

4. Can anti narcoleptic drugs be prescribed for other purposes other than sleeping disorders?

Yes they can. For instance, there are certain doctors who will prescribe anti narcoleptic medications in treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as well as some mood disorders. For instance, certain people suffering from major depression, bipolar depression as well as seasonal affective disorder are prescribed with one of the anti narcoleptic drugs such as Modafinil or Modavigil as these drugs can help them fend off the fatigue brought on by these conditions in some cases and also because these drugs have been found to somewhat improve the mood. Depersonalization disorder is another condition that is often treated with anti narcoleptic drugs, usually in combination with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors as it has been said that this combination can do wonders for this condition. Anti narcoleptic drugs are also used to help patients who are suffering from fatigue caused by various conditions such as myotonic dystrophy, fibromyalgia, depression, spastic cerebral palsy, Parkinson's disease and so on. There have also been some reports that anti narcoleptic drugs such as Nuvigil and Modalert can be used in coping with cocaine addiction as several studies have shown that anti narcoleptics can reduce the cravings for this drug. Finally, there have been many reports that have shown that anti narcoleptic drugs hold certain potential for being used as weight loss drugs, due to the fact that they have helped a number of people during studies lose weight. It is important, however, to point out that all of these uses are still considered off-label and that only medical professionals can even start thinking about prescribing anti narcoleptic for these uses.

5. Is it true there are military uses for anti narcoleptics?

Yes it is, but it needs to be said that these drugs are used in such cases also as wakefulness promoting agents. For instance, there have been reports that the French Foreign Legion has employed Modafinil in certain covert operations when their operatives needed to stay awake for prolonged periods of time without any rest. Also, the Ministry of Defense of the United Kingdom has asked for a study to be done in using Modafinil to keep their personnel awake during lengthy missions. The same is true for Indian Armed Forces. In the U.S. military, Air Force has approved Modafinil for use on certain missions as the studies have shown that pilots and other personnel can use this anti narcoleptic to stay awake during long missions when they cannot get sleep. Finally, there has also been a report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that states that Modafinil has been used by astronauts aboard International Space Station in order to fend off fatigue and to help with disrupted circadian rhythms that many astronauts experience.

6. Can anti narcoleptic drugs be used by anyone?

Generally, anti narcoleptics such as Modalert, Modapro and Nuvigil are considered safe for anyone over the age of 17, although there are certain cases in which the use of these medications is not recommended or in which the regimen needs to be monitored or especially designed so as not to harm the patient. For one, people who are allergic to either Modafinil or armodafinil (Nuvigil) should not be using these medications for any purposes. This is also true for women who are carrying a child or who are breastfeeding. In such cases, the anti narcoleptic can be passed into the milk or via the placenta, which is why they should avoid taking these drugs altogether.

There are, however, many more cases in which the doctor will have to be especially careful about prescribing the treatment. For instance, if the patient is suffering from a certain heart valve of muscle disorder, if the patient has liver or kidney issues, if they are suffering from angina, if they are taking blood pressure drugs, if they have suffered a recent heart attack or if they have a history of drug addiction.

7. Can anti narcoleptic drugs cause side effects?

Yes they can. However, it is important to remember that the side effects are quite rare with anti narcoleptic drugs and that those which are more serious are very, very rare. Among the most common adverse effects that may be caused by anti narcoleptic drugs are headaches, nervousness, diarrhea, nausea, insomnia, dizziness and dry mouth. One side effect that simply has to be mention is a rash. If a patient should notice any kind of a rash developing, they need to report this straight away. There have been a few reports of extremely serious skin rashes that warranted hospitalization and that is why everyone should be aware that every little rash needs to be reported.

8. Do anti narcoleptic drugs interact with other medications?

There are certain drugs that are going to interact with anti narcoleptics and it is best never to combine them with any other medications unless this is first discussed with a doctor. Some common drugs that might interact with anti narcoleptics include: anticonvulsants like phenytoin, carbamazepine and Phenobarbital, certain antidepressants like doxepin, amitriptyline and imipramine, MAO inhibitors like rasagiline, tranylcypromine, selegiline and isocarboxazid, antifungal medications like itraconazole and ketoconazole, sedatives like midazolam and diazepam as well as rifampin, cyclosporine and Propranolol. Alcohol should also be avoided when taking anti narcoleptic drugs.

9. Are anti narcoleptic drugs like Modafinil or Nuvigil safer than other stimulant drugs?

Yes they are. The main reason for this is that most other stimulants such as amphetamines for example are very likely to cause dependency after prolonged use, which is something anti narcoleptic like Modafinil and Nuvigil are not. They hold no potential for causing dependency which means that it is almost impossible to get addicted to these drugs, which is very, very important. Furthermore, side effects are much rarer and they are far more likely to cause severe adverse effects, interactions or overdoses.

10. What is Modafinil?

Modafinil is the first of the modern anti narcoleptic drugs and it was developed in France. It was approved for use in the US in 1990s and this marked the birth of a new class of wakefulness promoting drugs. What is interesting is that most other medications that you will find from this class, such as Modapro, Modavigil, Provigil and Modalert are all Modafinil, basically. Namely, Modafinil is the generic name of the drug and all of the rest are just brand names under which various pharmaceutical companies all over the world manufacture Modafinil. In short, with either of these, you are getting basically the same drug which has been found to be extremely effective in promoting wakefulness.

11. What is Nuvigil?

Nuvigil is the brand name for armodafinil, a drug that has been developed by the same company that had developed Modafinil. It is a newer drug that has been developed during the 2000s and which is pretty similar to Modafinil and the rest of the drugs you can find such as Modapro, Modalert and so on. Its effects are virtually the same, although there are some slight differences which may be of interest to the doctors prescribing these medications and the patients using them.

12. Are Modapro, Modavigil and Modalert as effective as Provigil?

Yes they are. These are virtually the same drug, generically known as Modafinil, only they are manufactured by different companies that have taken advantage of the fact that the patent on Modafinil has expired in their countries. In essence, you are getting the same drug, only from a different manufactured. You do not have to worry about these drugs being any less effective or less pure. They are the same drug and you should have no problems in treating your excessive sleepiness with these medications.

13. Can I order anti narcoleptic drugs without a prescription?

You can. Online, this is a possibility and there are people who take advantage of this and order anti narcoleptic drugs when they are not prescribed. This is something that is not recommended as one needs to be perfectly safe when using any of these drugs and this can only be achieved if it is a doctor that has prescribed the drug and if there is a doctor involved in the regimen.

14. How should anti narcoleptic drugs be taken?

Anti narcoleptic drugs are rather potent medications and it is absolutely essential that the patient who is taking them is doing this in accordance with their prescribed regimen. One should never take more of the anti narcoleptic drug that they have been prescribed with as this will not enhance the effects and can only harm the health of the patient. For instance, when one exceeds their dosage, they are far more likely to experience side effects, or to even overdose, which can be extremely serious. It is also important to only take an anti narcoleptic tablet when there is sufficient time to set aside for sleep. Namely, if one should take one of these tablets too late in the day, they would probably have problems staying awake. Furthermore, one should make sure they clear up anything that they have questions about before they start using their anti narcoleptic drug, for instance Modapro or Modalert and they need to make sure that they know everything about the interactions, possible side effects and so on.

15. Do anti narcoleptic drugs cure narcolepsy?

Unfortunately, no. There is no such medication that will cure narcolepsy. All medications that are prescribed in cases of narcolepsy are only used to control the condition and to make the symptoms as little pronounced as possible and this is where anti narcoleptic drugs like Nuvigil or Modalert do wonders. They promote wakefulness like no other class of drugs and they can truly make the condition much more manageable than it would be otherwise.

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