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10-16-2014, 01:48 PM   #1
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Modafinil for fatigue

I know this med was mentioned in a thread on fatigue somewhere recently, but can't find it. I'd tried it in the past and found it helped with concentration, but not so much with physical energy. I'm trying it again now with 100mg dose, but it didn't seem to do anything other than keep me awake for a little while at night, which was not what I wanted. Has anyone found it helpful? I only feel like I have any energy at all when I take a lot of codeine, so I'm trying to find alternatives.
10-17-2014, 10:07 AM   #2
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I haven't found Nuvigil helpful at all at the 150 mg dose. Maybe I'll try 225mg one day. I didn't feel any different but if it's causing you insomnia or jitters make sure to take it early in the morning.
10-18-2014, 04:34 AM   #3
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Possibly it might help more if I took a bigger dose - 200mg seems to come up a lot on web-pages. I've been taking it first thing. The insomnia wasn't bad at all - my sleep meds took care of most of it. Did you try taking it regularly or as a one-off? I'm not sure if that makes a difference with this med.
10-18-2014, 06:01 AM   #4
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I was on Nuvigil for close to two years. Having suffered from chronic fatigue, and sleep/wake disorder (I don't go into REM cycles) after a traumatic brain injury, Nuvigil changed my life. I had to discontinue it after being diagnosed with Autoimmune Hepatitis.
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10-18-2014, 07:09 AM   #5
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I gave it a 2 week trial but I didn't feel the slightest different.
10-18-2014, 10:08 AM   #6
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I was on Nuvigil for close to two years. Having suffered from chronic fatigue, and sleep/wake disorder (I don't go into REM cycles) after a traumatic brain injury, Nuvigil changed my life. I had to discontinue it after being diagnosed with Autoimmune Hepatitis.
Wow, you've had a lot to deal with! It's such a shame you can't take it anymore. I have some meds that I am dependent on, and I worry about what would happen if I started having problems with, or even if they just stopped manufacturing them.
10-20-2014, 06:12 PM   #7
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I liked it, because it wasn't extremely drastic (meaning I didn't feel high or have shakes/tremors), but gave me enough energy to function throughout the day. I'm a lot less productive now, and have gone back to napping daily, but I miss it!
10-24-2014, 06:03 AM   #8
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I'm trying 200mg today, which I think is the standard dose, when I only took 100mg the other day. I'd had a little trouble sleeping, without the Modafinil - I think it must be from prednisone, so I'm hoping that even with more Modafinil, my sleeping will at least not be any worse. Taking more Amitriptyline still counters the insomnia of prednisone - I've been taking prenisone a few weeks now with this last course, and have slept find on the days I've taken more Amitriptyline.

I think possibly the Modafinial is helping - I wouldn't say I've noticed more physical energy yet, though tiredness is certainly not that bad for me today, but like I found on previous trials of Modafinil, I seem to be concentrating better, it's been easy to get into things I'm reading and pass the time without feeling fatigued, which usually leads to me getting distracted. I'll report back when I've had more time to test the effects.
10-24-2014, 09:43 AM   #9
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I think possibly it is having an effect. Sorry for the really naive question, I know nothing about illegal drugs, but isn't there an illegal drug people take that makes them grind their teeth? And does Modafinil have that as a side-effect, because I seem to be doing that a little bit, and I never do normally.

What does being "high" feel like anyway? I don't feel much different in mood, but I feel a bit of a buzz, does that make sense? Are you supposed to be able to get high from Modafinil?! I bet people must have tried. Does being high feel like having morphine? And am I going to have trouble sleeping tonight?

Last edited by UnXmas; 10-24-2014 at 10:35 AM.
10-24-2014, 05:49 PM   #10
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Hey unxmas, modafinil is a stimulant so it does have some overlapping side effects with illicit stimulants, which includes teeth grinding and the "buzz" feeling. It's a different sort of feeling than morphine, since it keys you up instead of relaxing you. But yeah definitely tell your doctor you're experiencing the buzz and and teeth grinding, these are side effects from the modafinil, the dose might be too high!
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10-25-2014, 03:56 AM   #11
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Thanks Emily. It feels a bit different to morphine; for some reason opiates seem to perk me up even though they're supposed to be sedatives, but I think that's my reaction being abnormal as my doctor told me most people get drowsy on them.

When I tried only 100mg, I didn't notice much of an effect; maybe I should try 150mg and cut a pill in half? (My doctors gave me a handy pill cutter with another med.)

But I think this trial of 200mg I can count as a success: I'm looking for an alternative to codeine; codeine wakes me up and gives me the energy to walk and concentrate on things, but I'm addicted to it and don't want the addiction getting out of hand. Yesterday I took only a small amount of codeine to stave off withdrawal, and I had around the same amount of energy I'd have had if I'd taken my usual codeine dose. I'm doing the same today, and might soon even try not taking codeine at all, just Modafinil, and see how it goes.

When I was feeling a bit "high" yesterday, I was worried I wouldn't sleep. The effects of Modafinil seem to last a long time - I took it in the morning, and was still feeling whizzy when I went to bed. But I took my sleep med and had no trouble falling asleep at all, and slept well, which I'm very pleased about; I can't stand not sleeping. I did wake up very early in the morning, but I've been doing that lately even on days I've taken no Modafinil - I think it must be from taking prednisone. But I don't mind waking early like I seem to be doing at the moment - I'm a morning person. These recent early wakings have been nearer five o'clock or six o'clock, when my norm for a long time has been to wake around eight-ish. But what I have now isn't insomnia - I don't lie awake feeling desperate to go to sleep, I'm contented just lying in bed dozing.

I'll see what happens today. And the teeth-grinding is weird! Does it do any harm? Harm to your teeth or anything? I'm seeing the dentist in November, maybe he'll know; I'll ask if I do end up taking Modafinil regularly.
10-25-2014, 09:51 AM   #12
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I'm not sure how far it's working today. I didn't take a second dose of codeine when I normally would have done, to see if the Modafinil would mean I didn't need it. I did need a nap after lunch still, but that's fine; sleep is good. But I didn't have much energy after waking up from the nap - not as much as I would have expected to have if I'd taken the codeine, but then it wasn't the best nap either. Maybe the Modafinil caused a poorer quality nap or maybe I just didn't nap as well. I didn't have much energy to walk this afternoon, but don't feel too bad now, being physically inactive. I have a little bit of the whizzy feeling and tooth-grinding, but very subtle, not even as much as yesterday, and it wasn't that much then. I'm going to try and see if I can get through the rest of the day without any more codeine.
10-26-2014, 05:22 AM   #13
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I managed not to take any codeine yesterday afternoon, evening and night, and relied on the Modafinil instead. I didn't have as much energy as I would have if I'd taken codeine, but I did have more energy than if I'd taken nothing.

So I would say that Modafinil has been useful for me, and I may be able to use it as an alternative to codeine - not a complete alternative, I'd still take codeine, but use Modafinil in place of some codeine in order to keep more control over my codeine addiction.

I don't think the Modafinil has interfered with my sleep at night, which was the side effect I was most worried about (which I did have when taking it in the past), but it suddenly came to me yesterday that perhaps it was the Modafinil making my stomach worse than normal. I've had severe diarrhoea the last couple of days, and haven't wanted to eat, and I can't afford anything that affects my eating right now, because I need to gain weight. Nausea, diarrhoea, etc. are listed as possible side effects of Modafinil, so I'm hoping that now I'm not taking it, my stomach might at least get back to how it normally is. The diarrhoea I had last night was so severe that my stoma bag leaked, which for me happens very rarely. But the reason I didn't suspect the Modafinil as the cause earlier, is that I'd taken it in the past with no digestive side effects.

I do think Modafinil could prove useful, and it may be that the stomach upset was not from the Modafinil after all, but now isn't the time for me to test that out. I've taken my normal codeine dose today, and feel better.
10-26-2014, 10:38 AM   #14
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Codeine definitely beats Modafinil.
10-26-2014, 08:06 PM   #15
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Yeah if it's causing GI symptoms that's the last thing you want. especially since we already struggle with weight loss the decreased appetite isn't an awesome side effect. Also it definitely is the cause of your poorer sleep quality and shorter sleep.

All I would say is if you are messing around with doses just make sure your MD knows.
10-27-2014, 02:51 PM   #16
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Yeah if it's causing GI symptoms that's the last thing you want. especially since we already struggle with weight loss the decreased appetite isn't an awesome side effect. Also it definitely is the cause of your poorer sleep quality and shorter sleep.

All I would say is if you are messing around with doses just make sure your MD knows.
The sleep issue I've found is prednisone - I was waking very early on days I'd taken no Modafinil, and prednisone disrupted my sleep in the past. It's not bad insomnia though, my sleep meds are still working very well, and I'm still needing daytime naps - I had a good nap this afternoon and felt so much better for it! - so I'm not overly concerned about being awake more yet. It's just odd because I fall asleep very easily, and sleep very well, as I usually do, just started waking up at more like five am than seven am.

But the digestive side effects, I think they may have been from the Modafinil so I'm not taking it again until I see my doctor at least, which is in a few days.
10-27-2014, 03:54 PM   #17
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try a vitamin B complex tablet too? assuming your iron and b12 are ok? codeine is a short term high with long term addiction problems……eventually it will stop working and you will be taking 30+mg a go….not sure how to get off that stuff. good luck.
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10-28-2014, 03:22 AM   #18
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try a vitamin B complex tablet too? assuming your iron and b12 are ok? codeine is a short term high with long term addiction problems……eventually it will stop working and you will be taking 30+mg a go….not sure how to get off that stuff. good luck.
My B12 and iron are fine. Would a B complex help with fatigue even if I've no deficiency?

The codeine's already an addiction - hence why I'm looking for alternatives. I'm already on well over the recommended daily dose. (300mg in a day has been the maximum; at the moment, around 180mg a day, but usually all in a couple of goes rather than individual pills spaced out through the day.) My doctors prescribe it all and I'm open with them about the fact of it being an addiction, but we've yet to come up with a solution. I've come off it completely at various times, but still end up feeling that I'm much better on it, even after all the withdrawal has passed, and so take it again.

I had emergency surgery recently, and they gave me oxycodone through IV with a button, and told me to use the button lots and lots, they kept encouraging me to use it more and more. When they took the button away, the withdrawal was so bad I couldn't stand it. I wished they'd just have let me go through the pain. They told me I couldn't be getting withdrawal from the oxy, because I'd not been on it long enough, but I definitely did. The codeine didn't seem so bad after that, and they were happily giving me well over the recommended daily dose of codeine, as long as I stopped asking for oxycodone! Opiates just do it for me somehow. I don't drink, don't smoke, haven't ever taken an illegal drug. But I was prescribed codeine after a different surgery some years ago, and have been on and off it ever since - and not for pain control.
10-30-2014, 11:07 AM   #19
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I saw my doctor today (GP). We weren't primarily covering Modafinil in the appointment, but I did mention it. It seems 200mg works ok for me, but it doesn't give me the same physical energy boost codeine does, just improves my concentration, which is useful as it makes it easier to do things and stops me getting into that horrible boredom, where I'm not doing anything and bored, not because I don't have things that I (theoretically) want to do, but because doing them feels too exhausting - and I don't mean physically active things necessarily, I mean when reading, socialising, cleaning, etc. I haven't tried Modafinil enough yet to be sure of the duration of the effects, but it certainly has effects for the morning, (if taken first thing), but is not so noticeable by the afternoon. It doesn't interfere with my sleeping - I'm putting that down to the prednisone, and my GP was ok with me increasing my Amitriptyline dose if necessary to sort that. (I know it doesn't sound a big deal, but sleep is very, very important to me!) So maybe if I need it in the afternoon I could take it then.

So the only thing is whether or not the Modafinil was the cause of my stomach being worse than normal. The doctor suggested some side effects may subside with further use. She's ok with me possibly inducing worse symptoms now so long as I eat as much as I would have without them. So it's up to me whether I want to risk it now when my weight is low, knowing it means I'll have to force myself to eat through it whatever happens. I think I want to try it. I have so much weight to gain, it will be months and months, minimum, to get my weight anywhere near normal, and I'm not the most patient person in the world. Obviously if it does cause stomach problems and they show no signs of diminishing, I can not take the Modafinil, or more likely have some days on and some not, depending on how I feel and what I want to get done each day.

Also, has anyone heard of or tried Armodafinil? I was reading about it and it seems it's Modafinil but in another form which may mean differences in the duration, etc. of its effects.
10-31-2014, 06:28 AM   #20
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It's helping. I've had no codeine at all yet today, just the Modafinil, and although it doesn't feel the same as codeine, it is better than going without codeine and without anything else by a long way. I'll see how the rest of the day goes. The Modafinil won't do anything about the withdrawal symptoms from going without codeine, so when they start I may take some.
10-31-2014, 02:11 PM   #21
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Gone ok today with Modafinil instead of codeine. Still getting the teeth grinding thing! I took 100mg early afternoon today to have energy later in the day, so I'll see if I sleep ok tonight. And my stomach seems no worse than usual today, so it may not have been the cause of the symptoms I got the other days, or maybe the side effects do ease as you get used to it. Or maybe I'll feel worse again next time!
11-01-2014, 05:45 AM   #22
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I slept well: fell asleep easily, stayed asleep all night. I did wake up very early - around half five I think, but it wasn't insomnia where you're desperate to sleep but can't, I was fine just dozing for a couple more hours. But I did have a minor panic in a half-asleep state when I first woke, which I've done often since the time when I had such severe insomnia; now anytime I wake in the night I think I'm having problems sleeping and I panic. I think I already mentioned that this early wakening has been occurring even on days when I've taken no Modafinil, so it's probably from the prednisone.

I think it's possible that the prednisone is helping with energy levels as well as the Modafinil. I've had far less codeine than usual the past couple of days and it's been ok.

Last edited by UnXmas; 11-01-2014 at 07:19 AM.
11-02-2014, 11:05 AM   #23
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Why can't meds be more consistent? I know people build tolerance to some meds, but does anyone else find meds just vary in their effects from one day to the next, or one course of a med to the next? Both Amitriptyline and Codeine have been good for me, and I've taken them for a long time and still get good benefits from them, but the strength of those effects does seem to vary wildly. Though the plus side is that sometimes, like today, I've had very little codeine but no withdrawal symptoms, when just the other week I had terrible withdrawal on a day when then chemist was late getting my prescription to me.

Anyway, today, no stomach side effects from Modafinil, no teeth-grinding or "high" either. I haven't noticed my concentration as being that improved today though... but my energy level has been good despite taking minimal codeine, so perhaps that is the Modafinil helping? I was also reading anecdotal accounts of building up tolerance to Modafinil, though with no clear conclusions, and it really was mostly anecdotal. Even if it were known whether or not, and to what extent, people become tolerant to Modafinil's benefits with time/increased usage, I know that with other meds I've sometimes found I have reactions completely at odds with known information - even when that information is from reliable resources and drawn from extensive research. So I'm pretty much down to trial and error anyway.

I've also read that while Modafinil helps reduce sleepiness in people with narcolepsy, chronic fatigue, etc., and is used by students and others when they need to get a specific task done, it helps them concentrate and keep focused. But it may not be so good with helping with more creative things, it doesn't help you be content with doing nothing and relaxing. You might not be so good at switching between different things, and might find some things just don't capture your attention. So you have to learn in what circumstances it will help you. (The other day, for some reason, it really helped me concentrate on online shopping - which is something I like doing anyway, but with the Modafinil I was going on ages comparing prices, etc. and kept very interested in that for a long time.)

Since I'm not getting any digestive side effects now, and it's not affecting my sleep, which I had worried it would, I'm going to keep trying with the Modafinil, but may have to consider taking breaks to keep down my tolerance levels.

Last edited by UnXmas; 11-02-2014 at 11:45 AM.
11-02-2014, 04:04 PM   #24
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will take a while to get off the teeth grinding, from codeine. been there, done that. I need to look into this Modafinil stuff, never heard of it….anything beats redbull!
11-04-2014, 06:09 AM   #25
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It seems I did build a tolerance to the Modafinil pretty quickly. I can still notice it having an effect, but very little. It might be useful to use occasionally though, and certainly during times when I want to take less codeine.
11-04-2014, 12:03 PM   #26
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Well now I really don't know. I took another dose of Modafinil early afternoon. Its effects last a while, so this was probably adding to the dose I'd already taken in the morning (which I didn't think had done much). Then I was really tired, so I gave up on the idea of the Modafinil helping, took the codeine that I'd normally take but which I'd hoped the Modafinil would stop the need for, and had a nap.

I've been reading on other forums that apparently many people find sleep impossible after taking Modafinil, but I certainly needed a nap! But I woke up feeling so much better - I always feel better after codeine and a nap! I went for a little walk, energy was ok. But since then I've been doing things online the rest of the afternoon, and my concentration is definitely being enhanced by the Modafinil now - I wouldn't have got this effect from the codeine. I've been very into what I'm doing, but it's very hard to focus on anything else. I got annoyed when I had to stop what I was doing to do other things, like eat. So the really important thing with getting benefits from Modafinil does seem to be that you have to find the right activity to focus on when you've taken it. When I've taken it but haven't found something that's captured my interest, I don't notice it having any effects.

I've no idea why I could still sleep after taking it though - it is supposed to keep people awake and stop them wanting/needing sleep, which is why it's used for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and narcolepsy. The enhanced focus is why is used for ADHD and by students or people with a deadline to meet. It's not supposed to give a boost in mood or a "high", and it's not supposed to be addictive - the tolerance issue I can find no good data on.

So I'm back to not being sure if this will be of use for me. It doesn't seem to stop me napping or stop me wanting codeine for the physical energy, but if I can find out how to reliably find something that it will keep me focused on, perhaps I wouldn't need the codeine so much. I took the codeine before I was focused on anything and wanted the energy to go for a walk. If I'd gone online and done the things I needed to get done then, perhaps once I'd become focused on that I wouldn't have missed not having the energy from codeine. But I like going for walks, so maybe I'd still have missed it for that.

Sorry for the confused post. This is mainly for me to have a record of effects and side effects to refer back to, I don't really have questions about it. If anyone reads this to get an idea of how Modafinil may affect them, I'd advise caution because it seems different people have very different experiences, and most likely you will not get the same reactions I'm getting.
11-05-2014, 04:31 AM   #27
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I slept very, very well, despite having taken Modafinil in the afternoon. I didn't even wake up that early today - around 7:00am rather than 5:00am.
11-06-2014, 03:13 PM   #28
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Again today, I've been very tired and sleepy despite taking Modafinil. But I've taken a lot less codeine and I'm tapering prednisone, so either of those could be increasing my tiredness. This is why it's so hard for people to carry out research and trials of medications - too many other factors to account for. But Modafinil is obviously not capable of curing all tiredness, regardless of causes.
11-07-2014, 07:39 AM   #29
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I slept so well and deeply last night despite having taken Modafinil in the afternoon. From reading online, that doesn't happen for most people taking it! I think it must be because I'm taking Amitriptyline.
11-08-2014, 10:39 AM   #30
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Fyi for anyone who did or will do 23andme there is an SNP to check for mutation which can predict how well this drug may work for you. It didn't work for me but I didn't check the genes but maybe I'll have a look. It's not guaranteed but can prove helpful info.
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