When it comes to the differences between Provigil and Nuvigil, it is important first to understand what they are designed to do. In many ways, both drugs are similar in that they are created by Cephalon and have the same general effect. In fact, they are even similar in their chemical structure. However, there are differences which need to be explored before recommended one over the other.
What is Provigil and Nuvigil?
Each is a stimulant that is designed to treat excessive drowsiness. Unlike the temporary condition of being sleepy when you did not get a full night’s rest, these are prescription drugs that help keep you alert if you feel drowsy despite being fully rested. Nuvigil is known is an enantiopure drug and chemically similar to Provigil with only a small difference.
It is important to fully understand all the similarities between the drugs as they are often prescribed in a similar fashion. Both drugs are analeptic compounds with affect the central nervous system. Both drugs are used to treat similar conditions including the following:
1. Sleep Apnea
3. Shift Work Disorder
One difference between both of these drugs and traditional prescribed stimulants is that they do not carry the same side effects. Both Provigil and Nuvigil do not raise blood pressure or increase the heart rate. In addition, both drugs increase the level of dopamine that the body produces which helps increase the brain’s ability to be awakened and alert. The overall effect is to help you stay alert during the day and then allow you to sleep peacefully at night.
In addition, both drugs have similar side effects that include headache, nausea, dizziness and trouble falling asleep. Provigil also may cause diarrhea, stuffy nose, and anxiety as well. However, the side effects have been noted in only about 5% of patients that have taken either drug. This means that both are very safe to take especially when compared to Ritalin or Adderall as these drugs may cause more serious side effects. What little information about the serious side effects from Provigil and Nuvigil cause are more along the lines of allergic reactions which are relatively rare.
Finally, Nuvigil has been released more recently than Provigil and is more expensive. However, both drugs are very expensive if you do not have insurance. Nuvigil may cost upwards of $800 for a single month supply while Provigil may reach $600. However, there are generic forms of each drug that cost around $15 per dose which is somewhat less expensive.
The truth is that the differences between these drugs are minimal to say the least. While some patients prefer one to the other, there is really almost no difference between them other than the price and the fact that Provigil may have more minor side effects than Nuvigil if you are one of the 5% of those who take the product that suffer from those conditions. So, you should take your doctor’s advice and select either pill that will work for your needs. However, if you suffer from the side effects of one, then it may happen with the other as well since they are so chemically similar in nature.