What Is Modafinil Used For?
Modafinil is used for treating excessive sleepiness in people with narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, and sleep apnea. Although the drug is not a cure for these conditions, it can help improve symptoms by promoting wakefulness. Healthcare providers may also occasionally recommend off-label modafinil uses, such as for treating depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Modafinil (Provigil®) is a prescription medication used to promote wakefulness. This means that it helps people stay awake and alert. It is approved to promote wakefulness in people with excessive sleepiness due to:
- Shift work sleep disorder (SWSD), a problem in people who work night shifts or who frequently change between day and night work shifts
- Sleep apnea (known medically as obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome or OSAHS).
Why Is Modafinil Used for Narcolepsy?
Modafinil can be used as part of narcolepsy treatment. Symptoms of narcolepsy include falling asleep uncontrollably and at unusual times. People with the condition often appear paralyzed when they are asleep and have hallucinations when falling asleep. Such people often fall asleep several times during the day.
Although modafinil can help people with narcolepsy stay awake, it is not a cure. Even while taking modafinil, most people with narcolepsy will still experience symptoms, although these symptoms will usually be less frequent or severe.