Prescription narcolepsy drug Provigil has gained popular use among many who don’t actually need it, according a report by ABC News. The medication for adults has been referred to as “Viagra for the mind” by users who have fallen in love with its grey matter-boosting properties.
Provigil is for patients with narcolepsy, sleep apnea or those who work irregular hours. The drug is also said to increase brain performance for those who have demanding jobs with little to no side effects. In it’s stage of distribution, Provigil now has a generic pill called Modafinil.
Provigil’s sales have jumped 73 percent, from $832 million to $1.4 billion, over the last four years, according to IMS Health. Part of the jump traces back to Silicon Valley professionals who reportedly have been taking the drug for work marathons. Provigil was welcomed with open arms as a replacement for stimulants originally used to fight narcolepsy.
The National Institutes of Health lists the drug’s side effects, and it may offer an argument that the cure is worse than the ailment. Headaches, nausea, severe rashes and hives are just some of the nastier aspects of Provigil. Worst of all, Provigil subdues the very natural and normal urge to sleep, masking someone’s ability to tell when it’s time to check out for the night.