Nuvigil vs. Provigil Reviews

Which One is the Best Stimulant?

Nuvigil and Provigil are two popular stimulants currently on the market. Find out the unique pros and cons of each pharmaceutical today in our guide.

What Are Provigil and Nuvigil?

Provigil and Nuvigil are two stimulant-like drugs made by the same pharmaceutical company. That company is Cephalon. The two drugs have the same effects and a similar chemical structure, but they work in slightly different ways.

First, Provigil is the brand name of a compound called modafinil, while Nuvigil is the brand name of a compound called armodafinil.

You can buy generic drugs for Provigil (modafinil) but there are no generics available for Nuvigil.

Similarities Between Provigil and Nuvigil

Both Provigil and Nuvigil share the following qualities:

— Analeptic drugs (they stimulate the central nervous system)

— Used to treat narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, and shift work disorder

— Come in the form of a tablet that you take orally

— Manufactured by American biopharmaceutical company Cephalon, which was acquired by Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in 2011

— Withdrawal symptoms include sleepiness, especially in patients with narcolepsy

— Boost the release of monoamines, including catecholamines like norepinephrine and dopamine, while also elevating hypothalamic histamine levels

— Serious side effects include rashes, allergic reactions in the liver or blood cells, hives, mouth sores, swelling of the face, lips, eyes, tongue, legs, or throat, blistering or peeling skin, trouble swallowing or breathing, fever, shortness of breath, yellowing of the skin, dark urine

— Refillable

— Both drugs are considered relatively non-addictive and have “limited potential for large-scale abuse”. However, it’s important to note that Provigil’s addictive properties have been studied much more extensively than Nuvigil’s addictive properties, and it’s possible that Nuvigil could be more or less addictive than Provigil.

— Both drugs are used off-label for ADHD, mood disorders, depersonalization disorder, cognitive enhancement, fatigue, cocaine addiction, post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment, and weight loss

Differences Between Provigil and Nuvigil

— Nuvigil uses armodafinil as its active ingredient, while Provigil uses modafinil (chemically speaking, armodafinil is simply the longer-lived enantiomer of modafinil)

— Nuvigil is classified as a schedule IV drug in the United States and is only available through prescription in America, while Provigil carries the same status in America, but is also available in Australia (S4), Canada (prescription only), and in the UK (POM).

— Nuvigil doses are 150mg/250mg as a single dose in the morning for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and narcolepsy and 150mg taken 1 hour prior to work shift for shift work disorder (SWD); Provigil doses are 200mg as a single dose in the morning for OSA and narcolepsy and 200mg taken 1 hour prior to work shift for SWD.

— Nuvigil goes by the name Nuvigil everywhere it’s sold. Provigil, however, is known by a few different names, including Alertec (in Canada and Ecuador), Carim (Ecuador, Honduras, and Uruguay), Modalert, Provake, Modapro, or Modafil (India), Modasomil (Austria and Switzerland), Modavigil (Australia and New Zealand), Modiodal (France, Denmark, Greece, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden).

— Nuvigil has no available generics, while Provigil does (the generic name is modafinil)

— Provigil is regularly prescribed to treat a wider range of conditions, including ADHD, mood disorders, and poor cognition. Nuvigil has not been approved by the FDA to treat any of these conditions and is not often prescribed.

What Are Provigil and Nuvigil Used For?

Now that you now about the (minor) differences between Provigil and Nuvigil, it’s time to learn how these drugs are typically used.

Both drugs are available by prescription. They’re primarily used to treat sleep disorders like narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and shift work disorder (SWD).

However, more recently, the drugs have been prescribed to treat a wider range of conditions.

Provigil, for example, is commonly prescribed to treat all of the following conditions: ADHD, mood disorders, depersonalization disorder, cognitive enhancement, fatigue, post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment, weight loss, cocaine addiction, athletic doping, and among military and law enforcement professionals.

Nuvigil, on the other hand, is not approved by the FDA to treat any of the above conditions. A few years ago, Nuvigil was being studied for its ability to treat jet lag, schizophrenia, and depression. However, the FDA decided there was not enough evidence to approve Nuvigil for these uses.

Are Nuvigil and Provigil Effective Brain Drugs?

The nootropic industry is exploding with growth, and Nuvigil and Provigil are two nootropics that have attracted a small following of fans. But are Nuvigil and Provigil really that effective at boosting brain power?

The manufacturer of Provigil actually recommends that you do not use modafinil to enhance cognitive performance. The drug has also not been approved for use as a brain drug.

Nevertheless, several studies have shown that Provigil (modafinil) can boost brain power.

One of the most important studies on modafinil was published in Behavioral Neuroscience in April 2009. In that study, researchers gave mice a high dose of modafinil (75mg/kg) and got them to move through a water maze and other intelligence tests. Researchers found that mice given modafinil who repeatedly passed through the maze would complete it more easily, which suggests that modafinil boosts the formation of new memories.

In any case, if you’ve read about David Osprey and other people using modafinil to “unlock their brain”, then recognize that there’s limited evidence to support the use of modafinil. More studies need to be done (especially with human subjects) to confirm a connection.

How to Use Provigil and Novigil

Provigil and Nuvigil doses vary according to your condition. Here’s how much doctors typically prescribe for certain conditions:


— OSA and Narcolepsy: Take 200mg of Provigil as a single dose in the morning

— Shift Work Disorder: Take one 200mg tablet of Provigil one hour prior to starting your work shift


— OSA and Narcolepsy: Take one 150mg or 250mg single dose tablet in the morning

— Shift Work Disorder: Take one 150mg tablet prior to starting your work shift

Neither Provigil nor Nuvigil have been approved for use in children under the age of 18.

Which One is Stronger?

Numerous studies have shown that Provigil and Nuvigil are significantly more effective than placebos at treating narcolepsy, shift work disorder, and obstructive sleep apnea.

However, in studies comparing the two drugs, there is no significant difference in their strength and effectiveness.

Side Effects of Provigil and Nuvigil

Common Side Effects of Provigil and Nuvigil: Headache, nausea, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping (these side effects affect approximately 12% to 15% of users).

Serious Side Effects of Provigil and Nuvigil: Back pain, stuffy nose, diarrhea, anxiety, upset stomach, rashes, allergic reactions, hives, mouth sores, swollen face, lips, eyes, tongue, legs, or throat, blistering or peeling skin, shortness of breath, fever, trouble swallowing, yellowing of the skin or whites of eyes, and dark urine (these side effects are rarer and affect fewer than 1% of users).

Withdrawal Symptoms of Provigil and Nuvigil

Researchers have not noticed any withdrawal symptoms when stopping the use of Provigil or Nuvigil.

However, researchers have noted that the condition of excessive sleepiness in patients with narcolepsy returned when use of the drugs ceased (i.e. neither Provigil nor Nuvigil was able to permanently cure conditions like narcolepsy).

How Much Do Provigil and Nuvigil Cost?

In America, generic modafinil costs around $300 to $600 for 30x200mg tablets (one month supply). However, it is covered as a tier 1 generic pharmaceutical in most insurance plans, which means you’ll pay your lowest copay.

30x200mg tablets of Provigil can cost as much as $1200. It’s also less likely to be covered by American insurance plans because there is a generic form (modafinil) available. In cases where modafinil is covered, it’s classified as tier 3.

Nuvigil is also an expensive drug, priced at around $500 for 30x150mg or 250mg tablets. You’ll typically find Nuvigil covered under more expensive copay levels, like tiers 2 or 3.

Conclusion: What’s the Difference Between Nuvigil and Provigil?

Nuvigil and Provigil and virtually identical drugs. Key differences between the two include:

— You can buy generic forms of Provigil (under the generic name “modafinil”), but you can’t buy generic forms of Nuvigil

— Scientific studies have indicated no significant difference between the strength and effectiveness of Provigil and Nuvigil when compared against one another

— Provigil (modafinil) tends to be easier to find (and receive a prescription for) in America and around the world

That’s it! Ultimately, modafinil, Provigil, and Nuvigil are drugs that look different at the chemical level but perform identically after entering the body.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here