Provigil (Modafinil)

Provigil (Modafinil) Is

a central nervous system stimulant. Approved in 1998 by the FDA Provigil is a new class of wakefulness promoting drugs. It is less likely to cause jitteriness, anxiety or fatigue than traditional stimulants. It is approved to treat narcolepsy (daytime sleepiness) and its effectiveness is being examined in many diseases including multiple sclerosis, cancer-related fatigue and Parkinson’s disease

Provigil May Work in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and FM Because

many patients have symptoms of ADD, such as lack of attention, poor concentration and Provigil can help with this. Provigil is also prescribed for daytime sleepiness, which many chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)patients have, and obstructive sleep apnea, which some do. A 2012 Spanish study found 30% of children and 20% of adults with ME/CFS had been diagnosed with ADHD.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) /Fibromyalgia Studies

One small double-blinded study found Provigil very modestly improved cognition in ME/CFS. The authors suggested that those chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)patients with excessive daytime sleepiness may benefit.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Physicians Report

Dr. Lapp reports Provigil is safe, offers little risk of habituation and improves fatigue, mental clarity, attention deficits and depression. Dr. Teitelbaum recommends Provigil for energy and daytime sleepiness (narcolepsy). Because he is unclear about its long term effects, however, he prefers Dexedrine. Dr. Natelson finds Provigil helps in about a quarter of his patients, another quarter find no improvement and sensitivity issues preclude it from being used in the remaining half. Dr. Podell also reports that Provigil is effective in a ‘significant minority’ of his patients. Dr. Bateman has found Provigil can worsen sleep in patients with disturbed sleep patterns. One drawback is the high cost. of the drug.


The standard recommended dose is 200 mgs./day taken in the morning.

Side Effects

Provigil has been well tolerated in clinical studies with mild to moderate side effects such as headache, nausea, nervousness, etc. in a small percentage of patients. Serious rash or hypersensitivity reactions may occur in a very small percentage of patients. Click here for more.

This summary was put together by a layman with ME/CFS. It is for informational purposes only. Please discuss any information in this website with your physician.


Lucinda Bateman, MD., 2006. “Tips and Travails of Treatment”, An abridged version of a seminar transcript of a Nov. Lecture in Auckland, New Zealand, by Pat Fero and David Thompson. Provigil

Charles Lapp, MD.,2002. HealthWatch Treatment Guide. On the Effective Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. ImmuneSupport

RxList, The Internet Drug Index: Provigil

Jacob Teitelbaum, 2007. From Fatigued to Fantastic 3rd ec., Avery Press.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

elaine May 15, 2013 at 7:16 am

I took this medication for many years as treatment for fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue with wonderful success until my insurance denied coverage. My condition has recently worsened and I would like to start taking provigil again but I can’t get my rheumatologist to even consider it. I was unable to actually speak with her one on one to discuss my previous success with this medication but received only a scripted message from one of her staff. What steps can I take to have my doctor consider this medication for treatment of fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue?


MA September 26, 2013 at 2:34 pm

I had CFS for 15 years – modafinil changed my life – it works.


Joseph A. Stone August 25, 2014 at 10:11 am

The first thought that comes too mind is to call and remind your physician who they work for. The second thought would be to tell the physician you are going to write a letter to the Department of Professional Regulations (in your state) apprising them of the difficulty in getting your Dr. to communicate with over your medical issue.
By doing this you are stating you will be leaving a permanent mark in their medical jacket which will follow them around for the rest of their medical career.
My seem a little ungracious but in retrospect they are not being fair to your condition, are they?


Leave a Comment