How Does Provigil Work?
Provigil is the brand name for the drug, Modafinil.
It is a drug that promotes wakefulness and is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe alternative to typical stimulants.
It is also helpful with the treatment of many other sleep-related disorders. These include narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder and daytime fatigue that is associated with sleep apnea.
Provigil is sometimes prescribed for off-label purposes in the treatment of ADHD, certain mood disorders and as a cognitive enhancer or smart drug.
Even though there has been extensive research into the interaction of Modafinil with numerous neurotransmitter systems, the precise mechanisms of action of the drug remain partially unclear.
That being said, we do have a good understanding of how does Provigil works in general.
How does Provigil work?
Provigil helps to elevate levels of hypothalamic histamine.
An analyst has identified this to be a wakefulness-promoting agent, compared to the other amphetamine-type stimulants on the market.
Provigil has the ability to inhibit many of the actions of the dopamine transporter.
This leads to a boost in extracellular, and thus, synaptic concentrations of dopamine.
Another target of studies has been the locus of the monoamine action of Provigil.
This is in hopes of identifying the effects of the drug on dopamine in both the nucleus accumbens and striatum.
Also, the effects of noradrenaline in the hypothalamus and ventrolateral preoptic nucleus, as well as serotonin in the frontal cortex and amygdala.
One of the considered mechanisms of action involved orexins, which are brain peptides and also known as hypocretins. Orexin neurons can be found within the hypothalamus, but also projects to several different parts of the brain. Including many areas that can regulate wakefulness in the body.
Activating these neurons will help to increase the dopamine and norepinephrine levels in those areas and increases histamine levels in the histaminergic tuberomammillary neurons. Studies involving rats have shown that Provigil. Increases the histamine release levels in the brain, which can be a possible mechanism of action in humans as well.
Orexin receptors 1 and 2 are the two orexin receptors in the body. Animals that have defective orexin systems give off signs and symptoms. That is similar to that of narcolepsy, and treatment of which Provigil is approved for by the FDA.
Provigil appears to activate these orexin neurons in the animal models, and they are expected to promote and increase wakefulness.