Modafinil / Provigil

I should post here more often, but I’m tired.  It’s rather ironic… I have a blog about fatigue, in which I’m too tired to post.

One medication which has helped me with some of my fatigue issues is Provigil, otherwise known by the generic name of Modafinil.  It doesn’t help with physical fatigue as much as it helps me with “mental fog”, that almost inexplicable pea soup which clouds my thoughts, and makes thinking almost palpably painful.  There are times where I’d describe myself as “tired”, but upon deeper examination I realize it’s my brain which is tired and not my body.  The mental fog has been the most frustrating aspect of FMS for me, because I love to read and write and learn new things, and the fog makes something fun, like taking a class, into something torturous.  For years I’ve wished I could go back to school, yet I know I could barely cope with one class, let alone an entire course.  I do think the mental fog is caused by mental overload from pain, i.e., my body is constantly in pain, which my brain has to process, and the neverending cycle causes brain burnout, but in lieu of pain relief, Modafinil has proven to be a valid aid to mental clarity.

Modafinil is a stimulant, and was originally prescribed as a treatment for people with narcolepsy.  I believe it’s in the same class of drugs as things like Ritalin, and I recall that at least one athlete was disqualified from an international competition for testing positive for Modafinil.  That being said, I’ve never felt any overt “stimulant” effects from Modafinil, and it doesn’t make me jittery or jumpy the way caffeine does.  I don’t think I’d ever take it in conjunction with caffeine though—I’ve tried to cut all caffeine out of my life because of the “jitter” factor, and Modafinil might exacerbate the effects of caffeine.  I don’t want to find out.

I take anywhere from 50 to 100 mg of Modafinil on days when I need to be able to focus, for example, on a day when I’m attending a seminar.  Anecdotal evidence says that Modafinil can lose its efficacy if used on a daily basis, so I avoid doing that, and limit taking it to just one or two days a week, at most.  The days when I do take it end up being very productive, and I can gets lots of “mental work” accomplished because my mind isn’t wandering or sluggish.  It’s especially helpful if I’m doing work on the computer and am trying to learn to use a new type of program, or am doing detailed work on the server where mistakes could be costly.  Modafinil has been called a “smart drug”, and it really does seem to make the process of thinking and learning more efficient.

Just a decade ago, I was taking a full course-load at university and had no problems keeping up in class or doing my homework.  Modafinil isn’t a shortcut to avoid good work habits, but it seems to help the brain stay on track if it’s been hit with “mental fog” problems.  I think this medication could help me go back to school full-time, except I worry that it might stop working if I take it long-term.

Here are a few fibromyalgia / Modafinil articles if you’re interested in reading more:

Modafinil in Fibromyalgia Treatment

Study Shows Modafinil Reduces Fibromyalgia Fatigue

Modafinil Reduces Fatigue in Patients With Fibromyalgia

I buy my Modafinil / Provigil from Anti-aging Systems, where I’ve purchased some thyroid medications as well.  They’re based in the UK and I feel comfortable with their medication safely and quality.  To buy Provigil here in the US, without prescription health insurance, would leave me completely and utterly broke.


Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/06 at 07:51 PM
  1. Huh. Interesting, and that sounds like an utter drag…(wow, what a 70’s term, I’m showing my vintage.)
    Ever since menopause, I’ve been stricken with the mental fog too, and occasional “crashing fatigue” it’s awful. Either hormones, or decades of chronic depression and meds. Or something. So I empathise. Glad you found a med that helps.

    Posted by Carina  on  08/07  at  02:50 AM
  2. Carina, lately it’s seemed as if you and I have been sharing a brain, so I’m disappointed to know that on my “brain fog” days, you haven’t been awash in mental clarity! 

    I really do like the Modafinil for occasional use, but it gives Flippy the jitters.  I think it must be a personal preference issue.  I’d take it every day if I wasn’t worried it would stop working.

    Posted by Leigh-Ann  on  08/07  at  05:41 AM
  3. Provigil is actually a great medication, it also did wonders for me.

    Posted by Sharon  on  08/06  at  04:21 AM
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