Does Modafinil work for chronic fatigue syndrome?

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Modafinil for chronic fatigue syndromeModafinil is a medicine that promotes wakefulness. It is taken by people who experience excessive sleepiness that could be due to narcolepsy or other sleep disorders. This medicine is thought to work by altering the natural chemicals in the brain known as the neurotransmitters. Modafinil is the generic formulation of its brand counterpart Provigil. People who are in shift works also take Modafinil in order to help them stay awake and alert at work. Even college goers are sometimes dependent on this wakefulness promoting agent as the drug enables them to pay better attention. The med aids in better cognitive functioning, enhances memory capability and also improves their concentration abilities. Lately, a lot of people are known to take this drug for chronic fatigue syndrome as well. If you want to know if Modafinil is effective for chronic fatigue syndrome and if you can take this med to treat this condition, then you can read this blog and do away with your skepticism.

What is chronic fatigue syndrome?

Before we begin to learn about the efficacy of Modafinil in treating chronic fatigue syndrome, it is more important to know what this condition is all about. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS is a condition where the defining symptom is marked by physical and mental fatigue. Treatment for CFS is not successful and only cognitive behavioral therapy i.e. CBT and graded exercise therapy i.e. GET have known to give some significant benefits. There is a urgent need for more effective treatment. Modafinil has been administered in some patients with CFS in order to ascertain the efficacy of the drug in treating this syndrome. Modafinil is a stimulant, used in the treatment of narcolepsy and it works by affecting the central nervous system.

Administration of Modafinil

The effectiveness of this non amphetamine medicine i.e. Modafinil used in the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), characterized by narcolepsy has known to be established in randomized controlled trial. A recent research has found that using Modafinil has the ability to overturn the symptoms of CFS and there is possible benefit of the medicine in the treatment of fatigue related to Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis. A study conducted by few researchers have also established that Modafinil is well tolerated by people. There was only few important problems because of the drug’s usage and some adverse reactions due to the effect of the drug was reported.

Modafinil is an excellent wakefulness promoting agent having the similar behavioral effects as that of the other traditional psychostimulants. Though it is approved by the food and drugs administration for treating narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea or hypopnea syndrome and to treat shift work disorder, Modafinil has been reported to demonstrate clinical effectiveness in being able to treat chronic fatigue syndrome and also attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults. Many scientists have evaluated this drug as a potent treatment option for psychostimulant dependence.

Modafinil clinical study for treating CFS

A study and clinical experimentation was conducted by a group of researchers on about fourteen patients who were known to be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. These patients with CFS were not having concurrent major depression, sleepiness or were not even using any psychoactive medications. They were on complete double blind, placebo-controlled and a cross over study on the effects of selective wakefulness promoting agent in the dosage strengths of 200mg and 400mg per day was conducted. The treatment period was for about 20 days with a wash out period of two weeks. The aim primarily was to determine the cognition and the secondary aim was vested to determine the effects on self-ratings of fatigue and also the quality of life and mood. This drug showed mixed effects in two cognitive tasks. It was ascertained that the treatment with 200mg Modafinil reduced the latency in detecting the sequences correctly. However treatment with 400mg Modafinil increased the number of missed targets. Though Modafinil is known to show some response in treating the chronic fatigue syndrome, it is to be taken only on recommendation from a licensed and experienced medical professional.


 

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