I was given Nuvigil to help me with the fatigue that is causing me to have to nap pretty much every afternoon. The prescription is for 250 mg, but the neuro said I could probably take a half a pill and be fine. The first day I took it I was fine. The second day I was wide awake until 1 am, so the next day I took it at about 9 am. All of those days I only took a 1/2 dose. The third time I was having rapid heartbeat and hand tingling off and on throughout the day. I didn't take any of the medicine for a few days, but then I had a day where I just really had a lot to do and I wanted to try to make it through the day without napping. I decided to take a 1/4 dose in the morning. It seemed better, but I still had some mild rapid heartbeat throughout the day. I took a 1/4 dose this morning, and the rapid heartbeat and hand numbness is happening off and on. It isn't horrible, but it is enough where I've decided that the Nuvigil must not be the right medicine for me to use.
I am lucky that I am a stay-at-home-mom, so 9 times out of 10 I do have the ability to lay down for a nap if I need to. The difficulty is that I'm also a full-time college student (online state university) and the only time I get a solid block of quiet to work on school is in the afternoon when my youngest is in nap and my older kids are at school. By dinnertime my brain is fried and I can't concentrate on anything beyond textbook reading, so working on school after the kids are in bed isn't really an option.
Is there any other option for helping with afternoon fatigue? I usually have 2 cups of coffee in the morning, and another cup in the afternoon, but even that doesn't seem to be enough to keep me awake.
Thanks for the help!
Amantadine is a good alternative. So is Ritalin. Provigil is, too, though like wildcat said, insurance may balk. If you can get your doc to write "for shiftwork" on the prescription, insurance is more likely to pay for it, as that's an accepted use.
Mayo did a study a few years ago putting Amantadine up against Acetyl L-Carnitine, and the Acetyl L-Carnitine compared favorably. According to my MSologist, it gives the mitochondria in our cells a little something more than glucose or sucrose to work with and give us more energy. I don't notice a big difference, but I take it anyway.
I do take 100 mg of Nuvigil at noon on days that I work a PM shift. It doesn't make me any more alert or energetic, but it does help keep me from falling asleep at the wheel on my 1 1/2 hr drive home.
Bottom line - there are various drugs out there to combat fatigue. What works for one may not work for another. Keep trying until you find something that works for you.
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