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My Experience Starting Armodafinil (Nuvigil Generic) - Hopeful!

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by oniman7, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. oniman7


    Today was my first day on Armodafinil 150mg and I thought I would start a thread here to document a little bit.

    My Background
    I'm a 23 year old male. I have major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and seasonal affective disorder. I have no other known underlying health problems. I have a healthy weight, healthy diet, rarely drink alcohol, don't smoke or do drugs. I don't exercise like I should but the fatigue has been a huge obstacle to that.

    At this time, I'm not currently diagnosed with ME, CFS, or any other symptom outside of the 3 I mentioned above. I do have Fibromyalgia and Lupus very prevalent in my family history. Between my psychiatrist and the two doctors at my GP, they all agree that I have chronic fatigue that is affecting my life but after bloodwork came out fine they have not been able to attach it to any condition at this time.

    Besides brain fog and low energy, my biggest issue is hypersomnia. I will sleep anywhere from 11 to 14 hours a day, and wake up exhausted. It feels as though I have lead in my limbs and my eyes feel heavy. I start to feel like I'm on a lag reacting to the environment around me and can become confused or unable to focus. I have two jobs (one part-time and one freelance from home) so my life is pretty much going to work and then coming home to sleep. On weekends I'll sleep almost until dark and can usually get in one or two activities but I miss a lot of events that I'd really like to do because they're early in the morning and I have a hard time dragging myself to them.

    Other things I take
    I take Venlafaxine (effexor) 150mg once daily and it's been fantastic for my anxiety and depression. It hasn't touched my chronic fatigue. I also take 2,000 units of Vitamin D3 and occasionally take 500mg of Alpha-GPC and/or 200 mg of L-Theanine

    With that stuff out of the way, today was the first time I was able to take the Armodafinil. The generic version costs $550 or so for 30 days, and I had to wait for my insurance to go back and forth over prior authorization before they would cover 90% of it.

    I woke up today after 12 hours of sleep, groggy as usual, and with a severe headache. On my way out the door late to work (3:30 shift) I grabbed my habitual Dunkin Donuts order of a bagel sandwich and a medium cold brew coffee. This would be a mistake, as I under-estimated the stimulant effect of Armodafinil.

    Within an hour or so, I was feeling much more awake, and all of today I've felt fantastic - at least mentally. For the first time in a while, I've lost this heavy dullness that sits behind my eyes. I feel like I'm more alert, more awake, and more present. I also believe that my mood has been elevated. My thoughts have been going very quickly - but not the racing thoughts that I experienced with anxiety where I was ruminating on things. While I've been able to focus on one topic for long periods of time, it's been very linear thinking where I can actually progress with a thought instead of getting stuck on something.

    I honestly hope all of these effects continue, because I feel like at least for the day I have not been held back by a sense of dullness and apathy.

    Side Effects
    As I mentioned early, I had a pretty good helping of caffeine when I took the pill. I will not be doing this again until I get used to the drug and am able to tolerate small amounts of caffeine again. If today is any indication, I won't need the extreme caffeine boosts that I've grown used to having as part of a functioning day. I did notice some side effects that are common with the medicine.

    -General stomach upset (multiple trips to the bathroom)
    -Heartbeat feeling faster (but my pulse is not noticeably elevated)
    -Dry Mouth
    -Electrical zap feeling. I don't necessarily get this in my brain like some people say. I feel it in my jaws and my teeth, going down my neck, into the sides of my chest. It is actually strongest in my forearms. It ranges from a slight tingle to a full on electrical pulse feeling running through my muscles. These are uncomfortable but I know they're normal and not harmful. I have felt this feeling before when mixing the Venlafaxine with caffeine, L-Theanine, and Alpha-GPC (which is why I no longer take the latter two on a daily basis). I also felt these on the one day that I missed a dose of my Effexor, which is a classic withdrawal symptom of that drug. I have a feeling this is not a direct result of the Armodafinil, but of its interaction with Effexor and I am hoping this diminishes over time. Also occasionally associated with goosebumps and hair standing on end.

    I ended up leaving work a few hours early today because of some of these effects. I am hoping tomorrow is a little gentler on these.

    First Impressions
    I'm very hopeful about this treatment in the long run. Not only is it known to be good for hypersomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness, it's also been clinically shown to be a very effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder when combined with Effexor.

    I am very happy with the way I feel today and I am hoping that things even out to a very good place for me. I will have to see how this effects my sleep schedule. My plan going forward is to set an alarm for roughly 8 hours of sleep, wake up, and immediately take the Armodafinil (my doctor simply instructed to take in the mornings). Not only do I feel more alert, more aware, and more productive, I also feel that I didn't struggle with my usual feelings of SAD and my depression with the short days. In fact, I really don't feel depressed at all. I feel like I couldn't slow down enough to be depressed. I worry about the opposite reaction, anxiety (I have been enjoying my life without panic attacks), but so far I don't feel manic or overly anxious.

    The physical effects came on a little strong. I will definitely try without the caffeine (or a gentle caffeine like green tea if I have caffeine withdrawal issues) but I think ultimately I might come down on the dose a little bit. I have read that it is common for people to reduce to 100mg immediately as 150 is strong for some people. At 130 lbs and little body fat, my personal dosage tends to be low anyways. I may request to cut my pills in half (or be prescribed 75mg) and take one in the morning with the other one taken in the afternoon only as needed.

    I'm sorry if this post is overly long, I'm hoping to create not only a living journal for myself (to keep track of the effects as they happen) but also to create kind of an in-depth experience for people who will search for armodafinil and its effects.

    Thanks again for having me here and giving a place to talk about all of this!
    RebeccaRe and alkt like this.
  2. alkt

    alkt Senior Member

    hope you see continuing improvement and a speedy reduction in adverse effects as your body gets used to the new med.
    oniman7 likes this.
  3. oniman7


    Little update:

    I took my first dose at about 3:45 in the afternoon yesterday, shortly before I went to work. It is now clear to me that that was too late in the day.

    I briefly was drowsy and laid down last night, but laid there to no avail. I was hyper aware of my heart palpitations in my chest, hands and neck. Not a rapid or racing heart, just a feeling that my heart was pumping strong. Unfortunately it kept me from sleeping. I put on some quiet music in my headphones and a mask over my face for another couple hours, but nothing happened for sleep for me. So, an hour or so after the sun came up I got out of bed.

    I'll be taking the medicine again today but avoiding caffeine and taking the medicine early in the day. I think I'll also try half a dose. My doctor is closed today so I can't call them and confirm, but I got such a reaction from 150 that I think it's a good idea to try 75 and see how I feel.

    For what it's worth, I don't feel bad. I still have energy and focus. Clearly puling all-nighters isn't healthy, but I've read elsewhere online that this is common on the first couple of days and should taper off back to normal sleep in the next couple of weeks.

    EDIT: I ended up staying awake for 36 straight hours before I was finally able to sleep. I was still struggling with the hyper-aware heartbeat issue when I started feeling tired about midnight. I decided to take 400mg L-Theanine and lay down and I was asleep pretty shortly. I slept for a solid 12 hours and woke up pretty groggy, but I think that's not too unusual after being awake for 36 hours.

    I can see the attraction to Armodafinil as a smart drug. I free-lance write from home and I was able to bust out over 30 pages of articles yesterday. I have a client I've been sitting on for 3 months because I haven't been able to do it with all of the other stuff going on, but yesterday I did half of their work order in a few hours.

    If the first day I felt the way that I imagine one feels on speed, the next day I just felt awake... for a very long period of time. As though a block was lifted and I was closer to being who I think I could be.

    Ever since the first day, I've been taking 75mg in the morning instead of 150.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
    alkt likes this.

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