Armodafinil is categorized a wakefulness promoting agent very similar to Modafinil. It is prescribed for the treatment and management of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), shift work disorder, and obstructive sleep apnea. Some have also been using Armodafinil off-label to manage the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, and fatigue. Just like Modafinil, Armodafinil is widely used to increase wakefulness and focus even by healthy individuals especially as study or work aids.
Although the structure of Armodafinil is similar to that of Modafinil, the former consists only of just the (−)-(R)-enantiomer of the racemic Modafinil. This produces subtle differences in effects of the drugs, primarily in the area of duration of effect where Armodafinil is observed to have a more delayed peak concentration compared to Modafinil. Having a delayed peak concentrations makes Armodafinil a better treatment option for EDS.
Armodafinil is manufactured by Cephalon Inc., the same pharmaceutical company who developed Modafinil. Cephalon was founded in 1987 with Dr. Frank Baldino, Jr., being one of the co-founders. Dr. Baldino was a former scientist with DuPont. Cephalon specializes in the research and development of drugs for neurodegenerative diseases.
The approval of Armodafinil as a prescription drug was granted by the USFDA in the middle of 2007. The drug is being sold in the United States under the brand Nuvigil. The drug is currently being studied for the treatment of schizophrenia and initial results show that Armodafinil has the ability to decrease the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Cephalon applied for Armodafinil to be approved for the treatment of jet lag but the application was denied by the FDA.
As far as being a wakefulness promoting agent, studies have shown that the effectiveness of Armodafinil is comparable to Modafinil, but with fewer side effects. Both have similar half-lives but Armodafinil takes a longer time to achieve peak concentrations in the blood. This makes it ideal for individuals suffering from EDS who have daytime working hours. Another advantage of Armodafinil is that it does not seem to affect nighttime sleeping patterns, unlike Modafinil, which has been observed to sometimes affect the quality of sleep of some of its users.
For people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, treatment with Armodafinil can be in conjunction with therapy with continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP) therapy. It must be noted however that Armodafinil cannot treat obstructive sleep apnea or any of its underlying causes.
Just like Modafinil, Armodafinil provides an energy boost for the brain that is smoother than the wakefulness provided by ampethamines. It also doesn’t have the unpleasant effects of amphetamine or caffeine stimulation like edginess, fast heartbeat, and racing thoughts. As a cognitive enhancer, Armodafinil may be helpful in warding off mental fatigue and brain fog. Some users reported of experiencing enhanced focus, of being in a better mood, and of having more motivation to accomplish tasks. It is unclear if Armodafinil has any direct effect on other cognitive processes of the brain like memory, learning skills, logical reasoning, and communication skills. Armodafinil has also been used for weight loss, and as part of pre-workout supplements to improve physical performance.
Armodafinil does have some side effects that are similar to that of Modafinil. Some of it include nausea, dizziness, upset stomach, loss of appetite, and insomnia if taken in large doses.
- It is a good wakefulness promoting agent.
- It can ward off mental fatigue and brain fog.
- It helps increase concentration and alertness.
- It has side benefits.
- It does not disrupt sleep patterns.
- It is only available by prescription.
- It has its own share of unpleasant side effects.
- It has no direct effect on other cognitive processes of the brain.
- It can also cause skin rashes and irritation like Modafinil.
The effective dose for Armodafinil is set at 150mg taken in the morning or an hour before your work shift if you plan to stay awake. It is important to follow the directions of your attending physician when taking Armodafinil and it should not be taken continuously for more than 12 weeks.