Armodafinil is the generic version of the brand name prescription Nuvigil. This drug is used to treat narcolepsy and other similar sleep disorders. Armodafinil is a mirror image compound of the prescription Provigil (modafinil), and it’s unclear exactly how armodafinil works in the body. It’s believed, however, that armodafinil works by affecting the wake/sleep cycle and circadian rhythms, which determine when you sleep and when you wake.

This medication is taken orally in the morning and, as with other prescriptions, carries a risk of side effects.

Common side effects associated with the use of armodafinil include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty sleeping

Serious side effects are rare but possible, such as fast/pounding heartbeat, irregular heartbeat or mental changes. Contact your doctor right away if you experience any side effects, so you can decide together if Nuvigil is the right medication choice for your condition.

Armodafinil is prescribed to treat narcolepsy and other sleep disorders that arise from obstructive sleep apnea. It’s also prescribed to those seeking help to stay awake during work hours if they have a job that makes it difficult to develop a normal sleep routine.

Armodafinil is also commonly prescribed off-label to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), chronic fatigue syndrome and major depressive disorder, although these aren’t the prescription’s primary intent.

If your doctor has prescribed armodafinil for sleep apnea, continue to use your other treatments (like your CPAP machine) at the same time. Any questions about your treatments should be presented to your doctor. He is there to help you and ensure the best care for your condition.

Armodafinil is listed in the United States as a class IV controlled substance, which means it has a low possibility of becoming an addictive substance. Although the chance is low for addiction, it is possible.

Indications that you may be misusing armodafinil include the following side effects trouble sleeping, restlessness, confusion, disorientation, feeling excited, mania, hallucinations, nausea, diarrhea, severely increased or decreased heartbeat, chest pain and increased blood pressure.

If you are having trouble with the prescription armodafinil or if you and your doctor have decided you should stop taking armodafinil, do not abruptly stop taking the medication. Since you may experience withdrawal symptoms from the discontinuation of armodafinil, it’s important you work with your doctor or other trusted medical professionals to wean you off armodafinil.

The withdrawal symptoms you may experience are shaking, sweating, chills, nausea, vomiting and confusion. You have a higher chance of experiencing these symptoms the longer you’ve been taking armodafinil. Since there’s no way of knowing how your body will react to the withdrawal of this prescription, it’s best to be under medical care during this time.

As mentioned, contact The Recovery Village anytime for help. Your doctor and we can be there to provide a safe environment for you to recover.

Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

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