Armodafinil in the treatment of excessive sleepiness
Russell Rosenberg1, Richard Bogan2
1NeuroTrials Research, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; 2SleepMed of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Abstract: Excessive sleepiness (ES) is a widespread condition, commonly the result of a sleep/wake disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), shift-work disorder (SWD), or narcolepsy. ES poses significant health and safety concerns in patients. Numerous interventions are available to treat the underlying causes of ES and ES itself, including behavioral measures, mechanical devices, and pharmacologic agents. This review explores the evidence supporting the use of armodafinil to treat ES associated with OSA, SWD, and narcolepsy. Armodafinil is an oral non-amphetamine wake-promoting agent, the R-isomer of racemic modafinil. Armodafinil and modafinil share many clinical and pharmacologic properties and are distinct from central nervous system stimulants; however, the mechanisms of action of modafinil and armodafinil are poorly characterized. Compared with modafinil, the wake-promoting effects of armodafinil persist later in the day. It is for this reason that armodafinil may be a particularly appropriate therapy for patients with persistent ES due to OSA, SWD, or narcolepsy.
Keywords: excessive sleepiness, obstructive sleep apnea, shift-work disorder, narcolepsy, wakefulness-promoting agent
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