Modafinil Side Effects

A 2016 article in Scientific American said "rigorous analysis shows the drug modafinil significantly enhances cognition". Source.

Headache and nausea are the most common side effects. Side effects are generally mild. The most common ones are:

  • Confusion or forgetfulness
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Numbness or Tingling
  • Rash
  • Runny nose
  • Stiffness
  • Tremors
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting

A recent study suggests that Provigil is linked to agitation and hallucinations in patients with Lewy Body Dementia.

Some side effects can be serious. In clinical trials, serious side effects occurred in about 5% of patients. While the following symptoms are uncommon while taking modafinil, if you experience any of them, contact your doctor:

  • Chest pains
  • Chills, fever, sore throat or other signs of infection
  • Fast, pounding or irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Dermatologic effects: Serious and life-threatening rashes, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, have been reported. Most cases have occurred in the few weeks after the drug is started. In rare cases rashes have occurred after long-term use. No risk factors have been identified to predict occurrence or severity. If you get a rash, stop taking Provigil and contact your doctor.

    brainAn FDA Drug Safety newsletter noted: "FDA has been monitoring cases of serious skin reactions, including erythema multiforme (EM), Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), in its postmarketing reviews of adverse event reports associated with the use of modafinil." The labeling on Provigil was recently updated to include a warning about serious skin rash as a side effect.

Can I take Provigil if I’m taking other prescription medication?

Yes; however, you may experience a variety of side effects. Also, Provigil may affect the way other medicines work and other medicines may affect how Provigil works. You should talk to your doctor about how Provigil may interact with any drugs, vitamins, or herbal supplements you are currently taking. If you get Provigil from an internet source, be sure to mention that to your doctor.

How Provigil compares to other stimulants

Provigil has less severe side effects, in general, than other stimulants, which is one reason the regulators approved it and doctors prescribe it. However, different people react differently to drugs, so it is always a good idea to be careful, especially as you begin using and medication.

Taking Provigil