Thursday, October 14, 2010

Modafinil Follies

In which I play the part of a laboratory rat who once believed his human keepers were benefactors but discovers otherwise:

On July 22, the European Medicines Agency recommended restricting the use of modafinil. Doctors and patients should be advised to use the drug only for the treatment of narcolepsy and all other indications should be withdrawn from market authorization, the press release said.

In addition to the brand name, Provigil, marketed by Cephalon in the US, modafinil is also sold as Alertec, Modalert, Modavigil, Modiodal, Provake, and Vigil.

A review by the Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), began in May 2009, because of safety concerns relating to psychiatric disorders, such as suicidal thoughts, depression, and psychotic episodes, and life threatening skin reactions, as well as significant off-label use and potential for abuse.
Oh, so that explains my suicidal thoughts, depression, assorted psychotic episodes, and life-threatening skin reactions -- it's because I have been prescribed modafinil to treat my narcolepsy. Neat!

I was not aware of the life-threatening skin reactions, but rest assured I am hyper-alert for them now. I believe I feel one coming on .... now.

An unsettling thought: what explains the instances of all of the above that predate my use of modafinil?

A second unsettling thought: if modafinil can create new psychological problems and make your skin kill you, why would it still be a good prescription for narcolepsy? Narcolepsy is a hindrance, sometimes a living nightmare (quite literally), but it's better than being killed by your skin.

I should thank my lucky asteroid(s) that when I am declared insane and thrown in a padded room, bespeckled with life-threatening skin conditions, that it was all done for a good cause: it came to pass for the sake of an aggressive marketing push.

Also, since modafinil doesn't particularly, you know, work, not even in the obscene horse-doses I've been prescribed, I'm going to go take a brief nap now. I would like to think I will be better able to deal with this after that. I would like to think a lot of things.

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