How to treat excessive sleepiness or hypersomnia?

How to treat excessive sleepiness or hypersomnia
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What is hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia is a condition in which a person feels excessive sleepiness during the daytime, even after long sleep stretches. It is also called Excessive Daytime Sleepiness or EDS. 

What are the types of Hypersomnia?

Hypersomnia could be either primary or secondary. The former shows excessive fatigue as a symptom and has no prior medical condition. On the flip side, secondary hypersomnia is caused due to medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, sleep apnea, chronic fatigue syndrome, and kidney failure. in secondary hypersomnia, the person feels tired all day due to a poor night’s sleep.

Symptoms of Hypersomnia?

Major symptoms include low energy, loss of appetite, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, slow speech or thinking, difficulty in remembering and focusing.

How to treat excessive sleepiness or hypersomnia with Modafinil?

Modafinil available as a tablet to be taken by mouth has a moderate but significant effect on EDS. It is proven for both children and adults. However, one must consult his doctor before starting to consume this medicine, and must also know the appropriate dosage for the same.

What is Modafinil?

Modafinil, known to be a novel waking drug, is used in the treatment of extreme sleeplessness, caused mainly by narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and shift work sleep disorder. It is used as a cognitive enhancer and is responsible to improve wakefulness. The drug is known to exert antiepileptic effects.

Modafinil is considered a first-line drug and is taken in the form of oral medication. Only people above the age of 17 years, or equivalent must consume this as per the dose consulted by the physician.

What is Modafinil used for?

The active ingredient of Modalert and Modvigil is Modafinil. Both are tablets that are responsible for treating these conditions:


The tablet is efficacious in the treatment of various sleeping disorders. For curing obstructive sleep apnea, shift work sleep disorder, and majorly hypersomnia, Modafinil is the utmost and the most common drug. 


Where hypersomnia deals with daytime sleepiness, narcolepsy could be taken as a potential cause of hypersomnia. In the latter condition, a person faces fatigue even after a long sleep. Modafinil stimulated the brain and is best suited for curing narcolepsy.

It is very important to take up the medicine as per the recommendation of a doctor.

What does Modafinil do?

Consuming Modafinil tablets helps to stay awake essentially during the workday if you are engaged in an improper sleep routine. However, it doesn’t treat sleeping disorders, tiredness, or eliminate sleeplessness conditions. 

Experts suggest that Modafinil works by increasing the number of dopamine chemicals in the brain. This is done by reducing the reuptake of this chemical into the nerves.

What is the most common side effect of Modafinil?

Modafinil might be a habit-forming drug. It could result in a worse medical condition when taken in a larger dose, or taking it often, or for a longer duration. 

One is highly advised to ask their doctor before consuming it or changing its dosage.

Common side-effects:

Below listed are some common side effects that people might face while taking Modafinil:

  • Headache 
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Excessive thirst
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Nervousness 

These side-effects might go away in few days, if they persist then, one must consult a doctor. Till then, it is advised to avoid taking the tablets.

Serious side-effects:

In case anyone faces any type of serious side-effects, he must immediately rush to the nearest hospital, to prevent worsening.

Usually, there are quite rare serious cases. Following are some severe side effect symptoms:

  • Heartburn
  • Tight muscle, having difficulty in moving
  • Skin numbness, tingling, or burning
  • Back Pain

What drugs should not be taken with Modafinil?

Modafinil is a drug that must be consumed only after reviewing the ongoing medications, diseases a person has, and the allergies he faces. 

Some drugs which interact with Modafinil include Adderall, Lexapro, and Xanax. Other drugs may include Cymbalta, Fish oil, Vitamin B12, C, D3 but it is still not confirmed regarding their interaction with Modafinil!

One must also openly tell the doctor about the food supplements, herbs, and additional medical doses they are taking. 

What happens when you stop taking Modafinil?

It is highly important for the patient to judiciously follow the prescribed dosage and take them in a timely way. On missing any dose, the person feels certain withdrawal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, sweating, chills, shaking, and confusion.

On forgetting any dose, contacting the doctor is the first thing one must do. Most importantly, one must not double the dose if he misses it!

Frequently Asked Question for Modafinil

What are some disease interactions with Modafinil?

Experts have confirmed the nine disease interactions which Modafinil has. They are namely cardiovascular problems, hypertension, psychiatric disorders, cardiac diseases, seizure disorders, psychotic disorders, liver disease, renal dysfunction, and bipolar disease.

Could it be taken with compound painkillers?

Yes, Modafinil could be taken with compound painkillers like paracetamol, Ibuprofen, etc. They give no side effects when consumed along with Modafinil.

Is Modafinil expected to increase seizures?

For patients with epilepsy, Modafinil is nowhere responsible to increase seizures. 

When must you not take Modafinil?

If a person is allergic to Modafinil or any of its ingredients, then he must not continue its dosage.

Can alcohol consumption have any negative effect on the Modafinil dose?

Alcohol consumers are advised to avoid taking alcoholic beverages with Modafinil. Alcohol may cause it to be less effective, and side effects majorly include drowsiness.

Does this medicine suit people with hypertension?

People with irregular heartbeats, usually uncontrolled or moderate to extremely high blood pressure must avoid taking Modafinil.

Could it be taken with normal food items?

One can consume Modafinil with or without most food items. However, consuming Grapefruit juice, or Grapefruit along with this, may cause side effects like headache, vomiting, nausea, etc.

Does Modafinil support Caffeine-containing foodstuffs? 

One must limit the excessive caffeine intake while consuming Modafinil. Avoiding medicines having high caffeine content, and food items like coffee, colas, tea, and chocolate, etc. is important to avoid harmful side effects like rapid heartbeat, nausea, sleep-related problems, etc.

Does Modafinil treatment affect pregnancy?

Pregnant women or women who are planning for pregnancy must avoid taking Modafinil. Also, normal birth control pills may not work while a person is on a Modafinil dose. They may have a higher chance of getting pregnant in that case!

What happens in Modafinil overdose?

Overdose of this drug results in serious symptoms such as trouble breathing, and heartburn. One must never take doses more than the prescribed ones. 

Is Modafinil a narcotic drug?

As per the International Narcotics Control Board, Modafinil is not considered to be a narcotic drug. It is also not treated as a psychotropic substance.

How long does Modafinil take to work?

Modafinil starts to work within 30 to 60 minutes of duration after consumption. This time may certainly be delayed in case a person takes it with food.

How much duration does it take for Modafinil to peak?

Generally, the drug is said to be well-absorbed with the peak plasma concentration. This is attained in approximately 2 to 3 hours after administration.

How much Modafinil one must take?

One must leave it up to the physician to decide the dosage, but generally, it is recommended that 200mg must be the starting daily dose. It must be taken in the morning or noon, but this too must be first consulted by the physician!

Does consuming Modafinil lead to hair loss?

While men face a major loss of thickness and shininess of hair, promoted by hair loss, women majorly face excessive hair loss especially of 50-55 years of age. Hence, people who consume Modafinil within a duration of 6-12 months, often face hair fall problems.

How long can you stay for Modafinil?

It is suggested by the experts that Modafinil lasts up to 15 hours generally, having a half-life of 10 to 12 hours on average.

Can Modafinil be taken after surgery?

People who are in the recovering stages of surgery can benefit from Modafinil consumption. The drug significantly reduces fatigue and helps in improving the energy and alertness of postoperative patients being treated with anesthesia. 

Does Modafinil consumption increase cholesterol?

Yes! It is seen in people that there was a significant increase in Fasting Serum Cholesterol. 

Does it affect the weight of a person?

Dosage of Modafinil often results in a significant weight loss in the patients. This is certainly due to reducing clozapine-associated fatigue in the person’s body.

Can it cause stomach-related digestive problems?

There may be a chance for you to face stomach problems while taking Modafinil. Related symptoms of any such side effects include chest pain, dark urine, diarrhea, rash, headaches, fever, and chills. If this occurs, consumption must be stopped and the person must seek a doctor.