Heard of Nuvigil for Multiple Sclerosis Fatigue?

Neither had I until a friend with multiple sclerosis (who sees the same neurologist that I do) called me to tell me that it had "changed her life." Nuvigil (armodafinil) is a derivative of Provigil (modafinil), which many people with MS take to combat MS-related fatigue.

My ears perked up at the excitement in my friend's voice. She went on to tell me that she couldn't tolerate Provigil, as it left her too wakeful to sleep at night.

That Provigil-induced insomnia led to her getting not enough sleep to feel rested, so that she was even more tired the next day. Now she has big plans to do things that she was afraid to even consider before.

Provigil wasn't my friend, either. It completely eliminated my appetite in a kind of scary way, in that I was almost disgusted by food. That would lead to weird blood sugar fluctuations as I would finally force myself to eat something, but not enough or the wrong thing. Plus, I felt "off" the whole time I was taking it, in a kind of headachy, nauseated kind of way. I can't even really say it greatly improved my fatigue.

I set out to find out more info about Nuvigil for MS fatigue. Digging around, I found a couple of blogs where MSers had said the same thing as my friend - great drug, more effective and with fewer side effects than Provigil. However, I also found an equal number that could not tolerate Nuvigil.

Here is some very basic Provigil vs. Nuvigil scoop:

Nuvigil is NOT (as is rumored) a generic version of Provigil, but is a derivative of Provigil (the right-handed isomer, to be exact). Using just part of the molecule that makes up Provigil is thought to be a way to get more benefits with fewer side effects, which seem to correspond to the left-handed isomer.

Nuvigil may also cause the same sorts of side effects as Provigil, the most serious being a life-threatening rash. Also, Nuvigil may lower the effectiveness of hormonal birth control methods (pills, patches, rings and IUDs). Use a second (or different) method of birth control.

A couple of other points bear mentioning. Your Nuvigil dosage will be different than your Provigil dosage, so be careful here. Also, your insurance may not cover Nuvigil at the same level as it covered Provigil.

One place I like to look for patient reports is the Askapatient database. Check out what people have to say in Nuvigil patient ratings (although keep in mind that most of these people are not using it for MS-related fatigue).

What about you? Have you tried Nuvigil for your MS-related fatigue? Please, tell us what happened in the comment section - there are many of us who would love to hear what you have to say.

Read more:

Continue Reading