Armodafinil is a stimulant available for people who experience daytime sleepiness or sleepiness at inappropriate times, in the case of shift workers who may have an abnormal sleep schedule. A doctor may prescribe this medication to help a patient stay alert and aware. It can be combined with other treatments and may be habit forming, making it important to follow dosage directions carefully while on armodafinil to reduce the risks of developing a dependency.
This drug can be used in the management of several medical issues. One is daytime sleepiness caused by narcolepsy or sleep apnea. In patients with sleep apnea, breathing treatments and changes of sleeping position to help the patient breathe more easily at night are part of the treatment plan, with the goal of avoiding daytime sleepiness. As the apnea is brought under control, the patient may be able to stop taking armodafinil. This drug can also be helpful for a patient with disordered sleeping caused by shift work.
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The armodafinil pill is taken once a day, at or near the same time each day. For people with changing sleep schedules, the dosage and timing may require adjustment under the supervision of a doctor. Certain medications can interact with armodafinil, and it is important for patients to review their medical and pharmaceutical histories with a doctor before accepting a prescription for this medication. If a drug poses a potential conflict, a doctor can consider alternatives and other methods for managing the conflict.
Common side effects of armodafinil can include difficulty sleeping, dizziness, and headache. Some patients have gastrointestinal problems like heart burn, stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea. Severe side effects like tremors, an altered level of consciousness, and insomnia are causes for concern. Patients who experience these should contact a doctor. It may be possible to treat them with adjustments to the medication or an alternative drug to address the sleepiness may be necessary.
Armodafinil should be kept out of the reach of children and pets. Patients who miss a dose can go ahead and take it, unless it is close to the time for the next dose or near bed time, in which case they should wait. Taking more pills than recommended can cause severe side effects. As a prescription starts to run low, patients can discuss the need to continue the drug with a doctor to determine if they should start to taper down to wean off the medication. Quitting abruptly is not advisable.