Difference Between Nuvigil and Provigil

Nuvigil vs Provigil

Nuvigil and Provigil are drugs that may be prescribed for the treatment of  sleeping disorder or  sleep apnea. There are many people in the world who feel sleepy whole day long. Despite all sorts of diagnosis attempts, it is still not clear as to what are the reasons of excessive sleepiness of some individuals around the world. To treat these symptoms of sleepiness and exhaustion, analeptic drugs are prescribed by doctors. Provigil and Nuvigil (recently announced) are drugs manufactured by Cephalon and approved by FDA for consumption. The main constituent in these drugs is Modafinil which was developed by French company Lafon Laboratories. Cephalon acquired this company in 2001 and has been selling Modafinil by trade name Provigil since then. Provigil has been found to be an effective cure of excessive sleepiness during daytime though it has some side effects such as headache and nausea.


The generic name of Nuvigil is armodafinil and it is being made by major pharmaceutical Cephalon. It is a medication intended to promote wakefulness. Some people are extremely sleepy during daytime which may be caused by sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or shift work sleep disorder. However, doctors may prescribe the drug for some other purposes as well.

As Nuvigil works on central nervous system, it can have impact on your thinking or reactions. If you are prescribed Nuvigil, it is better to tell your healthcare provider if you have angina, liver or kidney disease, heart problem, blood pressure, or a previous history of drug addiction. One needs to be careful if he drives or does something in which he needs to be fully alert as this drug may induce drowsiness.


Provigil has a generic name of Modafinil and is manufactured by Cephalon and is prescribed by doctors in excessive sleepiness that may be caused by narcolepsy or other sleep disorders. It may also be used in some other conditions. Provigil works to promote wakefulness but it is not clear how it works. It is believed that Provigil works by altering neurotransmitters inside the brain.

Do not take Provigil if you have any allergy to any of its constituents or develop rashes upon consuming it. It is also prohibited if you are pregnant, breast feeding or planning to be pregnant. The drug is not to be taken if there is any heart, liver or kidney problem.

Provigil can have side effects such as dizziness, back pain, headache, nausea, stuffy nose or trouble in sleeping.

Difference between Nuvigil and Provigil

Both Nuvigil and Provigil are drugs that are indicated in excessive sleepiness during daytime. Both the drugs have been manufactured by Cephalon and are made with same generic constituent Modafinil. While Proovigil has been selling in the market for quite some time, Nuvigil is still not available in the market and the company plans to start selling it in another two years.

There are experts who say that Nuvigil is nothing new but the same product by a new name. The company is changing the name as it is losing the patent sometime in 2011, and if it makes most of the consumers to switch over to Nuvigil, this strategy would have done its job by the time generic drugs similar to Proviigil arrive on the scene. Thus the company is exploiting the chemistry of the drug to make a new formulation with same effects.

However, scientists say that Armodafinil, the main ingredient in Nuvigil is the enantiomer of Modafinil, which is the main constituent of Provigil.