Does Provigil & Nuvigil improve Wakefulness in older adults?

Many older people often suffer from physical & mental fatigue. These people often find it difficult to remain awake for longer hours. In technical terms, this condition is obstructive sleep apnea or narcolepsy disorder. These types of patients usually notice a reduction in their cognitive function when working late. This condition can be a real deal-breaker during job promotion, studies, and others. The scientists have developed new smart medicines for this disease, which help older adults remain wakeful for a long duration.

Cognitive enhancers

Cognitive enhancers are not just a stimulant to keep you awake. This type of drug helps to keep the user awake, stimulate cognitive behavior, and alertness. Provigil & Nuvigil are two modern medicines that are approved by the FDA and provide consistent performance for a specific period. It is one of the prime reasons why people with shift-based jobs take Provigil for wakefulness. Let’s take a closer look and see how these medicines work and what the benefits and drawbacks are of these medicines. Remember that this is not a permanent solution for the disorder. This drug provides an ad-hoc solution to keep you awake and alert.

About Provigil

The active element of this drug is a substance called Diphenylmethylsulfinylacetamide. Scientists developed this medicine in late 1970, and as an experimental treatment, they first tested it in France. After verifying successful results in clinical trials, this medicine got approved by the FDA. In the market, you will also find this medicine in various other generic names. However, Provigil is one of the few medications with a robust set of clinical trials and strict quality checks. Even though doctors prescribe Provigil for wakefulness, this medicine also provides relief from nausea, anxiety, and headaches.

About Nuvigil

This medicine is a relatively new type of narcolepsy medicine. The main active chemical of the drug is Armodafinil. Many people also call this medicine, a refined version of Provigil. This medicine got its approval from the FDA in 2007. However, they have classified this medicine as a schedule 4 prescription drug. Thus, it is best to have a doctor’s prescription while purchasing Nuvigil for Wakefulness.

How Provigil & Nuvigil works?

Although the active chemicals are different, the method of working is the same in both the drugs. These medicines work as nerve stimulants and increase the activities of the neurotransmitters. They also raise the level of histamine in the brain. Due to this reason, the brain releases an ample amount of dopamine and helps the user to remain wakeful for a long duration. Many doctors usually recommend these cognitive enhancement meds for older adults. Children below the age of 18 should not take this medicine for cognitive enhancement or other benefits.

Different dosage of Provigil & Nuvigil

Although these two are the same types of medicine, the chemical substance of these medicines is entirely different. Therefore, the dosages of these medicines are different. You can usually order Provigil online as 100 mg and 200 mg tablets. But Nuvigil is available in four different dosages, namely 50 mg, 150 mg, 200 mg, and 250 mg. According to the prescription of the doctor, you can get Nuvigil online quickly.

The user should take these medicines 2 hours before the required wakeful period. A light exercise can increase the effect of the drug. However, there is no concrete proof of the same. A patient should also drink lots of water for quick dilution in the bloodstream.


Alcohol is the one substance that interacts negatively with these medicines. Thus, the doctors advise not to consume alcohol while taking Provigil for wakefulness. Some supplements, pain killers, and other drugs also interact with the effect of these cognitive enhancers. Few common medicines like Diazepam, Phenytoin, Prilosec, Cyclosporine, Steroidal contraceptives deliver adverse side effects when consumed with Provigil & Nuvigil.

Side effects

There are a few side effects that are associated with both of these medicines. After consuming Provigil for wakefulness in extreme sleepiness, an older adult may experience these symptoms:

  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Mood swing
  • Digestive problems
  • Diarrhea

It is best to consult a doctor if these side effects cause discomfort to the patient.

Warnings and Risk

There are few risks associated with these medicines when prescribed to older adults. These medicines are not suitable for those patients who suffer from extreme blood pressure. A patient with renal and cardiovascular disease should avoid taking these medicines. A pregnant woman can take this medicine only after the approval of a licensed physician. In case of an overdose, contact the nearest medical professional for an emergency assistant.

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