nuvigil vs provigil

If you’re one of the many people who struggle to keep their eyes open due to shift work disorder (SWD) or if sleep apnea and other sleep disorders are causing you to have daytime sleepiness, you may find relief in medications such as Provigil and Nuvigil.

However, although similar, these two medications have some important differences which you should be aware of in order to make a better-informed choice as to which is the best one for your specific needs.

In this article, we take a look at how these two drugs are different, how they work, and which one is better for helping you feel more alert, and more. 

What is Nuvigil and What is it Prescribed For?

Nuvigil is a first-line treatment for excessive daytime sleepiness caused by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or hypopnea syndrome. It’s also prescribed for shift work disorder and narcolepsy. This drug may also be used for other purposes that aren’t listed in this guide.

Nuvigil (generic Armodafinil) is a non-stimulant medication which works by boosting brain activity in order to stimulate the specific brain areas involved in wakefulness. The active ingredient in this drug, Armodafinil, is the longer-lived enantiomer of the active ingredient in Provigil (Modafinil). It has been proven to be extremely effective in treating sleepiness in the majority of individuals. 

provigil 200mg

What is Provigil and What is it Prescribed For?

Provigil is prescribed for the same disorders as Nuvigil. It effectively treats excessive daytime sleepiness resulting from obstructive sleep apnea and has been a first-line treatment for narcolepsy and shift work disorder. There may be other uses of Provigil (generic Modafinil) that aren’t listed here.

 This drug is also not a stimulant, and it works in a very similar way to Nuvigil. In fact, the two drugs are alike in many aspects except for some small differences in the chemical structure. 

Here is a quick comparison of the two drugs:

Drugs Nuvigil Provigil
Type of drug Analeptic Analeptic
Used for Treating Narcolepsy, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Shift Work Disorder Narcolepsy, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Shift Work Disorder
Active Ingredient Armodafinil Modafinil
Legal Status Schedule IV - Prescription Only Schedule IV - Prescription Only
Dosage 150mg - 250mg single daily dose 200mg single daily dose
Forms Available Tablets Tablets
Off-Label Uses ADHD, depersonalization disorder, mood disorders, weight loss, etc. ADHD, depersonalization disorder, mood disorders, weight loss, etc.
Routes and Restrictions Oral - No restrictions Oral - No restrictions
Addictive Not studied, although likely to be similar to effects of Modafinil The drug has limited potential for abuse on large scale
Withdrawal Symptoms Increased sleepiness in narcoleptic individuals Increased sleepiness in narcoleptic individuals
Effects Elevates levels of hypothalamic histamine and increases monoamine release (dopamine and norepinephrine) from synaptic terminals. Elevates levels of hypothalamic histamine and increases monoamine release (dopamine and norepinephrine) from synaptic terminals.

As you can see, these two drugs manufactured by the same pharmaceutical are extremely similar, but since they aren’t chemically identical, their patents were filed separately. Now that both patents have expired, there are generics available for both medications.

In terms of the drugs’ chemical composition, since Armodafinil is the enantiomer of modafinil, it’s possible that it binds differently to the receptors in the body, which would result in different effects. 

Nuvigil vs Provigil

Nuvigil vs Provigil: Common and Serious Side Effects

The common side effects of Nuvigil include headache, dizziness, nausea, and trouble sleeping, while the most commonly reported side effects of Provigil include headache, nausea, back pain, nervousness, diarrhea, anxiety, upset stomach, and trouble sleeping.

 The serious side effects of Nuvigil and Provigil include the following: 


      Allergic reaction


      Mouth sores

      Peeling or blistering skin

      Swelling of face, lips, tongue, throat, or eyes

      Trouble breathing or swallowing


      Shortness of breath

      Yellowing of the skin

  • Dark urine
provigil vs nuvigil

Also, when considering their use with other health conditions, both Nuvigil and Provigil have similar warnings. No matter which drug you ultimately choose to go with, make sure that you discuss any other health conditions you may suffer from with your doctor. These include liver problems, kidney issues, heart conditions, high blood pressure, and mental health conditions, among others. 

Drug Interactions

Both Nuvigil and Provigil may interact with various other drugs that you are taking. It’s vital to ensure that your doctor is aware of all the other medications you’re currently on before he prescribes either one of these drugs for you. Your doctor will be able to safely manage all your medications for you.

 Examples of drugs that might interact with Provigil or Nuvigil include:


      Birth control pills








Cost and Availability

A major difference between these two medications is in their price. Both are brand name drugs which are also available in generic form. Generic drugs contain the same active ingredients as their brand name counterparts, but they come at a significantly lower price in the majority of cases.

Seeing as the price is an important factor for many people when deciding on which drug is better for you, click the link below to compare prices of Nuvigil 250mg and Provigil 200mg right now. Just keep in mind that your cost will also vary depending on your dosage. 

The Final Verdict

As you can see, there aren’t many differences in the way Provigil and Nuvigil work. Also, according to reviews from users, the side effects produced are very similar. The main differences between the two lie in their strengths, dosage, and price.

 Bear in mind that each of these drugs is a schedule IV controlled substance. They have a lower potential for abuse when compared to amphetamines such as Ritalin or Adderall (both of which are schedule II).

 Since you may have to take this medication for a long time, the difference in price can really add up over time. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you buy your medication from a reliable online pharmacy that offers high-quality medications at extremely affordable prices. Click the link below to buy Nuvigil or Provigil online right now. 

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