By Avera Added at August 18, 2009 Views 4,494 Reviews 19

Provigil is a prescription medicine used to improve wakefulness in adults who experience excessive sleepiness (ES) due to one of the following diagnosed sleep disorders: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), shift work sleep disorder, also known as shift work disorder, or narcolepsy.

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Reviews (19 reviews)

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Sarah1012 February 14, 2017 at 12:01 pm   

Provigil is essential for me to stay awake during the day. I take 400 mg every morning. My case may be unique because I needed Provigil after a Traumatic Brain Injury in 1999. It helps me with excessive daytime sleepiness and Executive Functioning Disorder (much like Attention Deficit Disorder). It does not make me jittery or cause me to have trouble sleeping and does not increase a risk of seizures (which Ritalin would because of my injury), and without it I couldn't function because I slept more than my cat did. I have been taking it for years…since before I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, but I still need it even though I have the sleep therapy now. The only problem I have had with over the years has been getting it covered by insurance, because it is expensive. I had to get "prior authorization" for it every year and every insurance company (I've had a few) would argue with my neurologist for a while before agreeing to pay for it. Last time I went through that, I couldn't take it for almost 2 months and I slept for 18 hours a day.
Today, I am concerned about it because my present insurance formula has a quantity limit that is half of what I take.

cassandroid November 15, 2011 at 1:49 pm   

Provigil does not work at all for me.

Amanda_Leanne April 21, 2011 at 9:53 pm   

I take 50mg of provigil twice a day. First I need to say that in addition to narcolepsy I also have pots, a form of dysautonomia, and the cardiac issues that come with it. Even with the low dose it does make me jittery and causes an occasional flip of the heart, but the benefit outweighs the irritant. However, I agree with sleepynseagrove, I've started xyrem and it's been great for me and I'm about to drop the provigil because of it.

sleepynseagrove March 15, 2011 at 6:18 pm   

I was started out with Provigil back in the 90's, it was a new like drug on the market for my excessive sleepiness. It worked great for a while, I had energy and felt like doing things that normal late 20's people did. Slowly it started to flare up again. They changed the amount that i was taking. No luck, so then they added dextrastat- now i was taking 3 Provigil and 2 dextrastat daily. This worked great on me until I was in my early 40's. Now Provigil doesn't work, Nuvigil doesn't work so whats left. I too, have depression ( Post tramatic stress syndrome) but I was still sleeping 18 /24 hrs daily. They found out that my REM sleep never came even though i was sleeping so much. My dr. put me on xyrem before bedtime and during. I am not sleepy through the day anymore and wake up fresh and energetic more days than not. I feel as if I have a new lease on life. Hope this helps anyone with the same problems that i was having.

tSquare December 16, 2010 at 11:06 am   

I took Provigil for a decade or more. For me the aid of feeling 'normal' awake during a day, with maybe a wee bit hyper when it first kicked into gear and normal thereafter, was FANTASTIC !! For this and other things it would be my medication of choice for my narcolepsy 'forever sleepies' hands down.

However, with body & age changes it switched on me and I learned by sheer accident that it was exacerbating my depression now and no antidepressant could compensate for it. Nuvigil (the newer reformulated version that stays in the system longer) when I tried it was the first time I've EVER have hadl suicidal thoughts. I should note, I do not process medications as quickly as generally done by most people and thus I can end up with an 'overdose' like effect with slow uptake meds, etc. So now I can no longer take Provigil as an everyday medication and will not even touch Nuvigil ever again.

I know for some people Provigil doesn't work so great for their 'sleepies' and for others like me it was the 'bee's knees' of medications. The exacerbation of depression, or even causing it, is a well documented side effect for some people on Provigil, and Nuvigil, now so I think is is a good thing to alert people just starting out on these two meds to be cognicent of this side effect for it is often not mentioned by one's doctors it seems. And, for others who like me 'loved' taking Provigil, be aware when your body has life changing things going on (accidents, depression, perimenapause, middle-age 'crisis' and such) that an old-friend medication may need to be re-evaluated then too. So it was for me.

Don't get me wrong, if all things were equal I would be taking Provigil even now/still as my medication of choice for my narcaleptic 'forever-sleepies'. But, things change and I no longer can. Drat !!

Avera December 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm   

I took this medication for a while last year. Don't really know why I quit taking it, but plan to ask my doctor to let me take it again. It sure did help me when I needed it most.

sleepless in pa
sleepless in pa December 14, 2010 at 11:26 am   

I have taken this med for two years. I find, for me, that if I play with the dosing it throws me for a loop. When I have days off I tried cutting the dose in half but it takes a while to get back into sync with it when I go back on the reg. dose. I take it before 10:00 AM any later would interrupt my sleep at night. Soon after I take it I become very chatty. I have to be aware so I can STOP talking. Without the med. I get very tired, foggy, and sleep all the time. Anyone who can try it should and try to take it for a length of time that you get the benefits from it before you decide.

Jimmyd February 20, 2010 at 10:48 am   

I took this meds for a while and did not care for it. I felt the same. the doc started out at 100 mg and then up to 300 I did not see the need for the price.

pipemaster51 February 13, 2010 at 7:56 pm   

I take the 200mg dose at 4 a.m. and it will last till 8pm then it is time for bed.


I am glad to be able to get the product thru the local hospital program for people with no insurance


the cost for no ins./ out of pocket is a killer, their is NO NEED FOR THE PRICE GOUGEING.

Wickie January 9, 2010 at 3:11 pm   

I started on Provigil and now take Nuvigil instead. Both are good and they help me stay awake during the day.
I had gotten so tired before the Provigil that I was falling asleep when visting the Dr. He sent me to the sleep specialist and she put me on the Nuvigil. It does work well, but now I am having trouble going to sleep at night. I just started trying to take half to see if that will help. I will let you know how it works.


Great to keep you awake and alert during the day.


If the smalles may keep you awake at night.

swalton923 December 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm   

I am taking Provigil for daytime sleepiness. I have sleep apnea and by the time I get home from school (I teach special needs) I can take a 3-4 hour nap, using my CPAP, and still go to bed at my normal time.


It definitely helps me stay alert and awake.


I felt really hyper when I took the prescribed dose (100 mg) so I only take 50 mg.

jack'sgrandma November 20, 2009 at 10:14 pm   

I take Provigil each morning for excessive sleepiness as well. I have tried a sample of the Nuvigil with good results but don't think I will switch. I have not had any problems with my insurance paying for it, not yet anyway. I wonder how long I will need to take it. I have tried going without it but when I do I am back to feeling so sleepy during the day.


I feel great taking it, not sleepy all the time. I have occasional days when I do get a little sleepy driving home from work but haven't taken more as my MD suggested.


Yes, it is expensive but still much better than going without it. Car accidents are expensive too.

Tyronie52 October 13, 2009 at 6:27 pm   

Thank God for Provigil-it is the only medication that addressed my daytime sleepiness without it being an amphetamine based med-you may have difficulty getting your insurance to pay for it, and the price is exorbent but it is well worth it if you have ever experienced falling asleep at the most inappropriate times. It is habit forming but that is why it has to be monitored by the following-neurologist, psychiatrist with feedback and input by your primary.


It works!!!!-Not an amphetamine-Very little negative interactions with other medications-ix daily dosing!


EXPENSIVE-Insurance companies are very resistant to approving it-???as to how long it takes to build a tolerance.

Preskittgirl September 25, 2009 at 11:10 am   

I just started taking Provigil and I had to cut my dose from 200mg to 100 mg a day. I have a very low tolerance for drugs. But I have noticed a difference, am awake more during the day. It took me almost a year to get my insurance to approve it. Had to take all the other drugs that they wanted me to take and was fighting to stay awake. With Sleep Apnea, Narcoplepsy and being over weight is real difficult. All of this with a thyroid problem.


Is quite expensive, if my insurance didn't pay it would be $850.00 a month. other wise it works great.


I find one problem with it, makes me hungry. So now I have to find a way to not eat all the time.

lipsie September 19, 2009 at 9:09 pm   

I was on this for sleep apnea but also signs of narcolepsy. I moved to another state and have had trouble getting a doctor to put me back on it.


I loved this! It helped me stay awake and keep working at my job, and not falling asleep into my plate of fool. lol


Was not prescribed after 2 pm I believe and I would crash in a sense late afternoon, feel I needed just a small dose in afternoon otherwise no complaints!

aulnbkr September 8, 2009 at 10:10 pm   

There is a new product on the market named Nuvigil that is made from the parent drug provigil and seems to last longer and with less side effects. And believe it or not it is less expensive. Still expensive but about 20-30% less even for cash pay patients.

donpat September 3, 2009 at 1:43 pm   

I have taken Provigil for several years. I had samples for a while and insurance paid for awhile.
Insurance started denying my claims. I went through a tough battle to get it accepted. It is still
quite expensive, even with insurance helping pay.

It seems to have lost a considerable amount of its effectiveness. I currently take two of the
200 mg. a day. The is a Nuvigil on the market,
and doing insurance battle again.

Petrea August 30, 2009 at 2:49 am   

I take Provigil for Narcolepsy. While most people take this medication in the morning or during the day, I take it at night just before bedtime. I take 600 MG per day.


I can tell if I forget to take it at night so it must be helping me stay awake during the day.


It is way too expensive. I am lucky to have the Medicare Part D. If I didn't it would cost me $1,300 /mo.

Avera August 18, 2009 at 9:40 pm   

It took a few days for me to adjust to this medication, but when I did it proved to be a great medication to help me stay awake especially in the early mornings when first at work.

I took this medication with breakfast and I could tell when driving to work that I was more alert.


As of most prescription medications, it costs more than it should.

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