On February 15, 1999, the first new treatment for narcolepsy in forty years—Modafinil—became available to patients. Previously, patients with narcolepsy—a debilitating disorder characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness and the ability to fall asleep in inappropriate situations—had to use prescription amphetamines to control their sleepiness. Ritalin was the most commonly prescribed treatment for narcolepsy.
Modafinil will be sold under the brand name PROVIGIL, an acronym which stands for promoting vigilance. Unlike other central nervous system stimulants—which are Schedule II drugs—PROVIGIL is a wake-promoting drug that is not an amphetamine. Manufacture CEPHALON hopes that this will reduce the drug’s potential for addiction, and also reduce complaints of anxiety, gastro-intestinal upset, irritability, and cardiac complications.
Doctors can telephone Cephalon Professional Services (1-800-896-5855) for further information. Patients can call Cephalon at 1-888-41-AWAKE. More information is also available at the Cephalon website, located at www.provigil.com.
For more information about Narcolepsy, be sure to visit the Narcolepsy Network website.
Back to Narcolepsy page