How severe does sleep apnea have to be to need modafinil?

Depends. Interestingly the severity of sleep apnea is not well correlated with severity of the sleepiness. Modafinil is only used when patients remain sleepy despite adequate treatment of osa. A sleep specialist may perform a special test to determine the level of sleepiness before prescribing.
Correct the sleep. Apnea first. If you have this, it is not corrected by modafinil. Sleep apnea is not benign, and eradicating fatigue does not undo health issues!
OSAS. It is not the severity of the sleep apnea, but the severity of the symptoms, in this case hypersomnolence, or being sleepy.
Excessive sleepiness. Modafinil is not a treatment for sleep apnea. It is used when CPAP treatment fails to sufficiently resolve excessive daytime sleepiness caused by sleep apnea.

Related Questions

How severe of sleep apnea do you need to get modafinil?

CPAP. The fda approved indications for Modafinil (provigil)or Nuvigil are daytime fatigue with a diagnosis of sleep apnea treated with a CPAP or bipap, shift work disorder, or narcolepsy. So if you are using a CPAP for your sleep apnea typically the level of severity is moderate to severe. Read more...
Just check. Any of severity can get. Just make sure, howevever, that you are treating the apnea. Sometimes the CPAP or other device (like oral appliance, provent) is not taking care of all the apnea. Also there can be other factors waking you up like plmd or pain issues and medications like nuvigil/provigil are just "bandaids" to keep you awake. Read more...

I would like to know more about provigil. I have sleep apnea and stay tired while at work.?

Usually effective. Like all medications Provigil (modafinil) works better for some people than it does for others, and there are some people for whom it may not work at all. However, in my experience, it has been a highly effective medication for most people with excessive fatigue. It is indicated for excessive sleepiness caused by sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and shift work, but it is used off label in many ways. Read more...
Not a cure. Sleep apnea condition requires a titrated oral appliance or a CPAP devise to manage adequate airway obstruction at play with the condition. Provigil is indicated for limited use and is not designed to be a long term treatment in managing sleep apnea. Get to a treatment that will manage this long term and your tiredness symptoms will be much better. Read more...

Is there any significant difference in effectiveness and side effects between armodafinil/ Nuvigil and modafinil/ Provigil for narcolepsy/sleep apnea?

Nuvigil is the right. side of the Provigil molecule. Efficacy & side effects are the same. See http://www.diffen.com/difference/Nuvigil_vs_Provigil. Provigil now comes in a generic form. Nuvigil may last a little longer, causing more risk of insomnia. Both are FDA-approved for narcolepsy, Obstructive Sleep Apnea for the 30% of CPAP or BiPAP users who don't respond optimally to their use alone & shift worker disorder. . Read more...