If you have certain types of sleep problems, your doctor might suggest Provigil as a treatment option for you. It’s a prescription drug used to relieve excessive sleepiness in adults due to the following conditions:
The active ingredient in Provigil is modafinil. An active ingredient is what makes a drug work. It is part of a group of drugs called stimulants.
Provigil comes as a tablet that you swallow.
This article describes the dosages of Provigil, as well as its strengths and how to take it. To learn more about Provigil, see this in-depth article.
Note: This article covers Provigil’s usual dosages, which are provided by the drugmaker. But when using Provigil, always take the dosage that your doctor prescribes.
* Provigil treatment helps manage sleepiness in people with obstructive sleep apnea. It doesn’t treat the root cause of obstructive sleep apnea.
You can read about the usual recommended dosages of Provigil below.
Note: This chart highlights the basics of Provigil’s dosage in milligrams (mg). Be sure to read on for more detail.
|tablet||• 100 mg|
• 200 mg
|200 mg per day|
What is Provigil’s form?
Provigil comes as a tablet that you swallow.
What strengths does Provigil come in?
Provigil tablets come in the following strengths:
- 100 mg
- 200 mg
What are the usual dosages of Provigil?
Your doctor will likely start by prescribing you a low dose of Provigil. This is your starting dose. They may adjust your dose and dosing instructions over time. They’ll ultimately prescribe the smallest dosage that provides the desired effect.
The information below describes dosages that are commonly recommended. But be sure to take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. They’ll determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Dosage for narcolepsy and obstructive sleep apnea
For relief of excessive sleepiness due to narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea, the recommended dosage is 200 mg per day. You’ll usually take it in the morning.
The maximum daily dose of Provigil is 400 mg. But your doctor will choose the dose that best fits your needs.
Note there’s no normal dosage of Provigil because dosage depends on different factors. (For details, see the “What factors can affect my dosage?” section below.)
Dosage for shift work sleep disorder
For relief of excessive sleepiness due to shift work sleep disorder, the recommended dosage is 200 mg per day.
To increase wakefulness, you’ll take your dose about 1 hour before your work shift begins.
Provigil’s drugmaker hasn’t provided a maximum dose of the drug for this use. Your doctor will choose the dose that best fits your needs.
Is Provigil used long term?
Yes, Provigil is usually taken as a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for your condition, you’ll likely take it long term.
Your doctor may prescribe a lower dose of Provigil if you have liver problems or if you’re an older adult.
The liver removes Provigil from the body. So if your liver is not working as well as it should, Provigil may build up in your system. This can increase your risk of side effects from the drug. A lower Provigil dosage may decrease the risk of side effects.
Liver function also tends to be lower in older adults compared with younger people. So if you’re age 65 years or older, your doctor may recommend a lower dose of Provigil. They may also monitor you more closely for side effects.
To learn about Provigil’s side effects, read this article.
The Provigil dosage you’re prescribed may depend on several factors. These include:
- the type and severity of the condition you’re taking the drug to treat
- your age
- other conditions you may have (see “Dosage adjustments” just above)
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Provigil’s dosage.
What is Provigil’s dosage for ADHD?
Several Provigil dosages for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been
Provigil is sometimes prescribed off-label to treat ADHD. (With off-label use, doctors prescribe a drug for a purpose other than what it’s approved for.) If your doctor recommends Provigil as part of your ADHD treatment, they’ll determine the dosage that’s right for you.
Doctors may prescribe Provigil off-label for multiple sclerosis, depression, cancer-related fatigue, and anxiety.
To learn more about Provigil and ADHD, talk with your doctor.
Is there a dosage of Provigil for weight loss?
No, there’s not a dosage of Provigil for weight loss. The drug isn’t approved for this use. But it’s possible to lose weight during Provigil treatment. This could be due to loss of appetite, a possible side effect of Provigil. (To learn more about Provigil side effects, see this article.)
If you notice that you’re not as hungry as usual during Provigil treatment, tell your doctor. They can check your symptoms and recommend next steps. They can also offer tips for increasing your appetite.
To learn more about Provigil and weight loss, talk with your doctor.
Should I change my Provigil dosage if I take birth control pills?
No, your Provigil dose usually won’t change if you take birth control pills. But this is a drug interaction to watch out for. (To learn about Provigil’s interactions, read this article.)
Your birth control pills may be less effective while you’re taking Provigil. And this effect may last for a month after you stop taking the drug. So your doctor may recommend using a backup birth control method during Provigil treatment. Talk with your doctor to learn more.
If you become pregnant during Provigil treatment, tell your doctor. They may recommend a different drug for you. Also, Provigil has a pregnancy registry. The registry helps healthcare professionals continue to learn about Provigil’s effects in pregnancy. (For details, see this article.)
If you have more questions about your Provigil dosage and birth control pills, talk with your doctor.
You’ll take your Provigil tablet by swallowing it. You can take it with or without food.
The exact time you’ll take your Provigil dose depends on the condition you’re taking it to treat. For excessive sleepiness due to obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy, you’ll usually take Provigil in the morning. For shift work sleep disorder, you’ll take it 1 hour before you start work.
Be sure to avoid taking Provigil too close to bedtime because it may cause trouble sleeping as a side effect. To learn more about Provigil side effects, see this article.
Provigil may cause certain side effects, such as dizziness, that affect your ability to think clearly. When you start Provigil treatment, avoid tasks that may be affected by these side effects, such as driving. Wait until you see how the drug affects you.
If you have trouble swallowing tablets, see this article for tips on how to take this form of medication.
For information on the expiration, storage, and disposal of Provigil, see this article.
Accessible drug containers and labels
If you find it hard to read the prescription label on your medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist. Some pharmacies provide medication labels that:
- have large print or use braille
- feature a code you can scan with a smartphone to change the text to audio
Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to recommend pharmacies that offer these accessibility features if your current pharmacy doesn’t.
If you have trouble opening medication bottles, let your pharmacist know. They may be able to supply Provigil in an easy-open container. They may also have tips to help make it simpler to open the drug’s container.
If you miss a Provigil dose, ask your doctor whether you should take it when you remember or skip it.
Your doctor’s recommendation may depend on how much time has passed. For example, if it’s a different time of day than your usual dose, taking the missed dose could disrupt your sleep. In this case, your doctor may recommend skipping the missed dose and taking your next dose at the regularly scheduled time.
Talk with your doctor about your sleep and work schedules before you take a missed dose. Do not take two doses to make up for a missed dose.
If you need help remembering to take your dose of Provigil on time, try using a medication reminder. This can include setting an alarm or downloading a reminder app on your phone.
Yes, there’s risk of misuse with Provigil, making it a controlled substance. A controlled substance is a drug the federal government regulates due to the risk of misuse. With misuse, a drug is taken in a way other than how it was prescribed.
- taking a different Provigil dose than you were prescribed
- selling or giving the drug to another person
- taking Provigil without a prescription
Be sure you’re taking Provigil exactly as your doctor prescribes. Do not share the drug with anyone else. It’s also recommended that you store Provigil in a safe place away from children.
If you have questions or concerns about Provigil misuse, talk with your doctor.
Do not take more Provigil than your doctor prescribes as this can lead to serious side effects.
Symptoms of overdose
Provigil overdose symptoms can include:
- increased blood pressure
- chest pain
- changes in heart rate
- trouble sleeping
- hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren’t there)
What to do in case you take too much Provigil
Call your doctor right away if you think you’ve taken too much Provigil. You can also call 800-222-1222 to reach the American Association of Poison Control Centers or use its online resource. But if you have severe symptoms, immediately call 911 (or your local emergency number) or go to the nearest emergency room.
During Provigil treatment, your body may become dependent on the drug. With dependence, your body needs the drug to feel like you usually do.
Dependence can lead to withdrawal symptoms. These are side effects that can occur when you stop taking a drug that your body has become dependent on. If you stop taking Provigil, your symptoms of sleepiness may return. Studies of Provigil didn’t report additional withdrawal symptoms.
Still, if you’re interested in stopping Provigil, talk with your doctor first. They’ll explain how to do it safely. Your doctor may give you a taper schedule. This is a slow reduction in your dose over time. If you’ve been taking a stimulant drug, such as Provigil, for a long time, a taper schedule may help prevent a return of symptoms.
The sections above describe the usual dosages provided by the drugmaker. If your doctor recommends Provigil for you, they’ll prescribe the dosage that’s right for you.
Remember, you should not change your dosage of Provigil without your doctor’s recommendation. Only take Provigil exactly as prescribed. Talk with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about your current dosage. (To review the recommended dosages, see the “What is Provigil’s dosage?” section above.)
Here are some examples of questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- Should I take a lower Provigil dosage if I am older than age 65 years?
- Am I less likely to experience nervousness as a side effect if I take a lower Provigil dosage?
- Will you need to change my Provigil dosage if I start taking warfarin (Jantoven)?
- What should I do if I miss a dose?
- Will a higher dosage of Provigil work better for me?
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Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.