Wakefulness Thy Name Is...
Citation: Anon. "Wakefulness Thy Name Is...: An Experience with Armodafinil (exp92909)". Erowid.org. Feb 24, 2012. erowid.org/exp/92909
Now, to start off, I have a legitimate medical reason to be taking this drug. I have an incurable, degenerative disease that causes, among other things, severe, incessant fatigue.
So, about the drug:
Molecules have something called 'handedness'; they can be right- or left-handed. This changes how, or if, they're absorbed into the body. For instance, glucose can only be digested by cells in one form - its natural form, D-glucose. L-glucose, the 'left-handed' version, tastes identical, but it isn't digested by the body.
Nuvigil is just the active half of Provigil. A 200mg dose of Provigil is equal to a 100mg dose of Nuvigil. This is, in effect, useless, except to give Cephalon a way to cling to their dying patent. It's also made Nuvigil easier to get. Provigil needs prior approval from a specialist to be covered by health insurance (mine, at least.) Nuvigil, on the other hand, does not. I had a sleep study done, and when that came back as being useless, my doctor just started giving me samples of Nuvigil. He started right off with their strongest dose, 250mg. After three or four weeks, he just tried writing a prescription, and it worked. Now, I order it in three-month supplies in the mail. They come in a medium-sized pill bottle, packed to the brim.
Go for a diagnosis of hypersomnia. The only other FDA approved uses are for narcolepsy, shift-work sleep disorder, and sleep apnea that isn't fixed by a CPAP machine. Hypersomnia is just being sleepy, all the time. They use a Multiple Sleep Latency Test to diagnose this. I don't feel like writing about them, so, look it up.
Oh, right, I'm writing about my experience. I'll start with physical side effects. Over the first two weeks of taking Nuvigil, I lost ten pounds. I haven't been able to make it back since. I eat over 4,500 calories a day. I can go all day without eating a bite of food, and barely feel hungry at all. Hunger, when it comes, lasts for half an hour or so, and then it just goes away. After 24 hours or so, though, I do start to feel like I need to eat something. This is probably because Nuvigil has a half life of 12-15 hours. After 24 hours, I only have about 1/4 left in my system.
Sometimes, I get physically weak and feel lightheaded and dizzy. This is usually after being awake for too long. It doesn't happen often. The solution: drink a lot of water slowly, eat some bread, and go to bed.
Oh, and the pill tastes awful. Don't let it get stuck in your mouth. And my pee starts to smell like it, too, but I get used to it.
And now, the important part:
Now that I take Nuvigil, I feel better than I have in years. I feel awake when I should. I'm all-around happier. I'm nicer to people; more outgoing, enthusiastic. I'm not so tired that I can't do anything anymore. I have a sex drive now. I have a drive to actually -do- things. It's great. There are no bad side effects that I've found so far, except maybe the weight loss and increased caloric intake. I'm 5'11 and 140lbs. Other than that, it's absolutely great. I feel awesome.
Now, off-label uses...
Sometimes, I take an extra half or full dose when I need to drive for a while. Another writer mentioned that car trips feel like they take no time at all; he's spot on. Well, as long as I'm driving at night. I've taken car trips from 1am until 5. Blast some good music, take a few breaks for snacks, and they're over in no time at all. During the day, not quite so much, and especially when I'm not alone. Overnight, and alone, though? They just fly by.
I tried pulling an all-nighter once. I took a normal dose in the morning, another half around 2am, and then a normal dose the next morning. I felt like crap from noon until I fell asleep the second day. I felt alright overnight, and up until then, but afterward? Don't try it unless you have to.
Trying to only sleep for a few hours at night doesn't work, either. It does once or twice, but it really does catch up after a few nights in a row. Again, I don't do it unless I have to.
So, that's about it. Nuvigil and Provigil are great. Nuvigil is easier to get, and it's distributed in stronger doses. They smell and taste funny, but the only side effects are weight loss, decreased appetite, and occasional weakness. I feel great. I'm awake for the first time in years. After taking it for two or three months, I haven't built up a tolerance. Granted, it's not as much of a, 'Wow, I feel awake!' feeling anymore, but more of a feeling of cruisin' on and feelin' good.
It's a great drug that helps me live a normal life. If you want to take it recreationally, please don't be stupid. Don't make it harder for people who legitimately need it. Don't let your doctor find out. It doesn't give you any kind of a high. You don't need it. Be careful. If you do legitimately need it, it's great. I absolutely endorse taking it. Try it out for a bit, and see how it goes. Most doctor's offices have a few sample packs laying around; nobody uses them. They're free.
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