A 22-year-old male asked:
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i am prescribed nuvigil for adhd but it is extremely expensive. should i try provigil? what's the difference?

5 doctor answers
Dr. Alan Ali
Dr. Alan Ali answered
31 years experience Psychiatry
Nuvigil: Nuvigil is armodafinil, Provigil is modafinil. To best of my knowledge, both are expensive & need pre-authorization from your insurance co. Best to talk to your doctor about assistance programs for medication coverage.
Answered on Jun 30, 2014
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Dr. Glen Elliott
42 years experience Child Psychiatry
Possibly: Many meds have mirror-image versions called isomers. Provigil is a 50:50 blend of l- and d-modafanil, while Nuvigil is pure d-modafanile, the active isomer. Mostly that means 50 mg of Nuvigil is about the same potency as 100 mg of provigil. Provigil was studied for adhd with excellent results but was not approved by the fda--nor is nuvigil. Check with your doctor; Provigil is off patent.
Answered on Apr 13, 2016
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Dr. Samuel Miles
46 years experience Psychiatry
Ask doctor: Neither Nuvigil or Provigil is demonstrably effective for adhd. Generic Provigil is less expensive than nuvigil, and equally effective (or ineffective) for most people.
Answered on Jun 10, 2015
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1 comment
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Dr. Glen Elliott
42 years experience Child Psychiatry
Dr. Miles may have meant that neither of these medications has FDA endorsement for ADHD, but extensive studies of modafanil in ADHD showed efficacy comparable to that of stimulants, with the advantage of have 24-hour coverage. It also had a rare possible serious side effect called Stephen's Johnson Syndrome that led the FDA with withdraw its original approvable letter.
Jul 23, 2012
Dr. Mark Reynolds
32 years experience Psychiatry
Maybe worth a try: Provigil, or Modafinil is what is called a racemic mixture as it contain both mirror images of the chemical (when a chemical is made 1/2 will fold left and 1/2 right). Since the receptors are three dimensional the left and right sided images do not bind the same and can differ in effect. Nuvigil (armodafinil) the right isomer may be more potent and last longer. Some prefer one, some the other.
Answered on Oct 3, 2016
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Dr. Chevies Newman
21 years experience Obstetrics and Gynecology
Yes: Nuvigil is a repacked isomer, like Lexapro to Celexa or Nexium (esomeprazole) to prilosec. You need about 400mg Provigil to get the results of 250 mg nuvigil. How sun pharmaceutical can sell the same drug, they call it modalert, for 1.59 and Provigil is 14 is beyond me. It will be generic soon and the price on Provigil may be decreasing already; Nuvigil lasts a bit longer, less headaches, but some prefer prov.
Answered on Dec 8, 2014
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