Modafinil (also known as provigil) is one type of fibromyalgia medication that is being used to treat a variety of fibromyalgia symptoms. But is modafinil an effective way of treating fibromyalgia and are there any side effects of provigil which can negatively affect the health of an individual with fibromyalgia syndrome?
What is Modafinil?
Originally developed and approved in 1998 by the FDA as a treatment for narcolepsy, modafinil is a drug that helps to increase an individual’s daytime alertness.
The drug is available by prescription and has also been approved by the FDA for treating other conditions that affect the quality of one’s sleep, such as shift work, sleep disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Provigil is a type of central nervous system simulator that works by altering the number of the natural substance in the region of the brain that controls sleep and wakefulness.
What Types of Conditions and Illnesses Does Modafinil Help to Treat?
In addition to treating fibromyalgia, provigil is used in the treatment of a variety of other illnesses and medical conditions, including the following:
- attention deficit disorder (ADHD)
- Multiple Sclerosis-related fatigue
- conditions associated with memory loss, such as schizophrenia and aging
Provigil and Fibromyalgia Treatment
A recent study found that modafinil helped to reduce fatigue, one of the most common fibromyalgia symptoms.
The study included 98 fibromyalgia patients that were treated with modafinil. The participants’ dosage of the drug ranged from 200 to 400 mg per day. On average, two-thirds of the patients experienced a 50% decrease in the level of fibromyalgia-related fatigue they experienced, while one-third of the study’s participants reported no benefit from the use of the drug.
Furthermore, the patients who noticed a decrease in their level in their fibromyalgia-related fatigue reported a drop in their fatigue level from 7 out of 10, to 3 to 4 out of 10.
A separate study found that all of its participants wanted to continue their use of provigil in the treatment of their fibromyalgia. However, certain limitations were found in the effectiveness of the drug. For example, participants were unable to drive more than one hour a day, were unable to manage a 30-hour workweek and were unable to cook routinely.
In addition, the benefits of the drug in bringing fibromyalgia relief were reduced when the participants skipped a dosage.
Health experts advise that modafinil is a type of fibromyalgia drug treatment that needs to be used by patients of fibromyalgia in combination with other fibromyalgia treatments, such as physiotherapy and biofeedback.
Modafinil and Side Effects
While modafinil can be beneficial in treating fibromyalgia, there are a variety of side effects and risks associated with the use of this drug.
Serious side effects, while rare, can result from the use of provigil, including the following:
- chest pain
- heart palpitations
- high blood pressure
- skin irritation or rash
- tremor or shaking movements
If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your health care provider immediately.
Some less serious provigil side effects include:
- changes in mood
- decreased appetite
While these symptoms are less severe than those listed above, you should speak to your health care provider in the case that they are persistent or become bothersome.
Is Provigil Right for Me?
When assessing whether provigil is the right drug for your fibromyalgia treatment, your doctor will evaluate your medical history and the severity of your fibromyalgia symptoms.
You should inform your doctor about whether any of the following conditions applies to you:
- you drink alcohol frequently
- you have a history of alcohol abuse
- you have cardiovascular disease
- you have kidney or liver disease
- you have a mental health condition
- you are on birth control
- you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant
- you are breastfeeding
Prescription drugs are often given to manage pain caused by pain disorders. However, it is good to read up first on prescription drug abuse treatment information to make sure that one prevents developing dependence over specific types of prescription medication.