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Old 04-08-2011, 12:13 PM
JennBird JennBird is offline
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Fatigue: Provigil vs. Nuvigil

What's the difference and what side effects have you experienced?

My doc gave me a handfull of Nuvigil samples a while back for mild fatigue I was experiencing. I cut the 250 mgs in half and it worked pretty good. Only took them as needed, which thankfully, wasn't very often.

Now that the fatigue has gone from mild to moderate (if not severe), she wants me to switch to Provigil (pre-authorization from insurance company pending). 250 mgs of the Nuvigil suck! My eye sockets start aching, I can't eat, I feel jittery. 1/2 a pill doesn't work like the used to. (I found a sample pack of 150's, took one about 2 hours ago and I'm ready for a nap).

What's your experience with this stuff? Anyone taken both? Any other suggestions for stupid fatigue??
Dx'd March 2008
Copaxone since April
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:17 PM
rubberlegs rubberlegs is offline
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don;t like Provigil, made me weird.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:31 PM
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Shashi Shashi is offline
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I took Provigil a few times and had horrible chest pain each time. I finally put two and two together and stopped taking it. I didn't really notice much of an improvement in my fatigue levels anyway. I have not tried Nuvigil because I'm afraid the same thing might happen with it.

I, and a lot of folks here, have had success treating fatigue with two anti-oxidant supplements, alpha lipoic acid and acetyl L-carnitine. For me, the results are nothing short of a miracle. Whereas before, just working two hours was exhausting, combing my hair was an effort, and going to the store was next to impossible, since I've been taking these supplements, I can work 14 hour days, go shopping for hours at a time, and do everything I did before the fatigue started.

There are university studies which show they can be very effective in treating MS fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome, fatigue from cancer and it's therapy, and fatigue from aging. Granted, some people may not notice a difference for whatever reason (not taking them regularly, not taking enough, different body chemistry, etc.) but when they work, they work great! Do a search here and on Google and you'll find a lot of great information on these supplements.


Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God.
Cut aspartame from my diet in 2012 and my symptoms have slowly disappeared. Interesting!
Alpha Lipoic Acid (200 mg) + Acetyl L-carnitine (1,000 mg) = No more fatigue for me!
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:28 PM
jankel jankel is offline
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Provigil vs Nuvigil

I'm guessing everyone's body chemistry is different and what works for some doesn't work for others.

For me, I'm currently on Provigil and have been for years. However in the beginning, I thought it was a miracle drug. When I began taking it, wow, it brought me back to almost 100% and working was no problem. Dosage was 1 a day. Worked for years but then my MS progressed and fatigue, heat intolerance etc increased. The dosage was increased to 2 pills a day. Again worked for a couple years. Now I'm taking 2 1/2 pills a day and I can go to sleep after taking it.

My doctor would like me to try Nuvigil to see if it helps. He said it is a new drug out that is suppose to be better than Provigil.

As for side effect with Provigil, for me I have none. I've taken those other amphetamines and did not like them at all. Heart racing, shaking etc. but the Provigil for me appears to only wake up my brain so I'm able to think. My guess is after taking a drug long enough maybe it just stops working. Has anyone else experienced this?

I will be looking into the supplements suggested and will let you know if it helps, thanks for the info.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:38 PM
Ellanor Ellanor is offline
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Provigil is my life saver!! I have taken it for years and I don't know what I would do without it. I do not have any side affects from it at all. Getting it is a pain...but worth it to me. I would ask your DR for samples if possible because they are expensive.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:10 PM
hafford90 hafford90 is offline
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Currently dealing with this!

My doc has me on Provigil started out one at like 6 am and one noon-ish for a total of 200mg. The first few months worked like a charm, felt "normal" The past few weeks I have feel asleep well putting my son to bed (a toddler bed) around 630pm and dont wake up until my alarm goes off at 6pm and I am still DEAD tired.
I do have an underactive thyroid, which is under control with synthoid 200 mcg a day.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:16 PM
Mobile Mobile is offline
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Location: mobile, al
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I have been taking Provigil for about 6 months for MS fatigue. At first, I thought it was a lifesaver. Now, I don't think it's working for me. I wake up as tired as I was when I went to bed. I manage okay as long as I'm moving, but the minute I sit down I'm asleep. I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid about 6 weeks ago. I am taking 200 mg of Synthroid daily. I left a message with my neuro today, begging for help. I am so tired of being tired. This is not me at all and yet, I don't know what to do.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:13 PM
SilverLinings SilverLinings is offline
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I tried Nuvigil but it gave me the worst was worse than the fatigue. My doctor suggested Ritalin which seems to be working well, atleast for now.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:40 PM
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Justsayyes Justsayyes is offline
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In order for provigil to stay effective for me, I had to take a one day break a week. That seemed to help keep from building a tolerance. At one point I took a month break.

I just started ritalin, but am not sure I can stay with it. I'm going to give it a fair try. It has only been 3 days. Wanted to see if I have less headaches, or feel more focused.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:29 PM
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hjames25 hjames25 is offline
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I tried provigil a while ago for extreme fatigue. It didn't work for me. (this was prior to my dx of MS) Found out that I had low testosterone and started weekly shots. That really helped, but still fatigued. Now I found that the fatigue is also from my recent MS diagnosis. I'm taking ritalin and I love it. The doctor is working on getting the doseage right for me. But less tired and can get through the work day!
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Old 04-12-2011, 10:14 PM
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LittleElf LittleElf is offline
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I have been taking Provigil for about 2 weeks. 100 mg in the morn and 100 mg around lunch. I was still exhausted. I didn't really feel awake from it at all.

Also, I was having a bizarre side effect.
okay this is strange but I was smelling scents that were not there.
Double checked with hubby and they were really false scents.

I spoke with my dr about still being tired and strange side effect and he switched me to Nuvigil. 150mg in morn and take another 150mg if tired in the afternoon.

I started it today. I took the first pill in the morning before work and was almost buzzing I was so awake.
I wasn't really speedy but I guess more jumpy/talkative than normal. I have to make sure I don't talk too much when I'm on this stuff.

I was wide awake all day, never took the second pill.

Hopefully this will work for me.

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Old 04-13-2011, 06:47 PM
JennBird JennBird is offline
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Well, the Provigil was approved by the insurance co. but I was FLOORED when I heard how expensive they are. $150 after insurance for 2 months supply ($1050.00 before insurance.... daaaannnngggg!!!). I don't even know if they'll work &/or if I'll be able to handle the potential side effects. I guess that isn't bad compared to some meds (like, say, my Copaxone if I wasn't getting assistance, or my Mom's cancer meds if she wasn't getting assistance). So, I'm getting 5. If they work, I'll look into assistance (and adjusting the budget to afford them). I also have a follow up apt with my neuro next week and plan on discussing the suppliments mentioned above (I can't imagine those cost as much). Thanks for the support. Thanks for the vent. Love you guys! J.
Dx'd March 2008
Copaxone since April
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:08 PM
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ewizabeth ewizabeth is offline
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I prefer Nuvigil, it works much better for me and is less expensive than Provigil. It is time released and lasts longer as well. It seems to increase my appetite, go figure? I've taken it for nearly two years now and still using one pill a day or less at 250 mg.
Take care, Wiz
RRMS Restarted Copaxone 12/09
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Old 04-14-2011, 11:23 PM
Day11 Day11 is offline
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I prefer provigil

I tried both... first Provigil... was good but Nuvigil was offered via free samples and 150.00 copay was Provigil... I took the Nuvigil for about a month and it was not effective for me.

To manage the copay for Provigil I have a 100mg prescription for 4x's daily. I take it 1-4 x's daily and never take it on the weekends (my personal detox). If I am at full dose of 400mg it usually means I am full fatigue. If it doesn't work I can guarantee I am heading into a flare.

Neither are designed to give you "energy" Provigil tells your brain its time to be awake, so often I am still tired and have to manage that through my schedule and some down time to recharge. But its not the I am going to take a 15 minute nap and 15hrs later I wake up. I can relax and not sleep and my body responds well.

Caffeine seems to cause the heart palpitations or anxiety. It also seems to make me more tired. I am a huge coffee drinker, and know that when taking my Provigil no more than 2 cups a day and no soda.

I agree that different things work for different people. I think you need to work with what works for you. I also found that concerta was similar to the Provigil but without the jitters. Good luck!
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:03 PM
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DianeD DianeD is offline
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I have tried nuvigil but cannot recommend it. I had jitters, anxiety and no appetite. As to the help with sleepiness/ makes you feel drugged and is of moderate help.
You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.
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