Narcolepsy Drug Being Used by People Without Sleeping Disorders for Energy Boost

The rampant use of prescription drugs among teenagers remains one of the biggest concerns of the law enforcements today. Even government officials couldn’t keep their eyes off the problem. But as prescription drug abuse continues to heat up, ABC News featured a report about healthy Americans using Provigil to improve focus and enhance energy.

Provigil drugProvigil is an FDA-approved drug used to treat narcolepsy, sleep apnea, as well as shift work disorder. ¬†However, there are people without sleeping disorders who use them to do more work in a day and increase their productivity rate. In fact, Provigil gained the nickname “Viagra for the brain” because of its ability to enormously excite the mind. The problem is medical experts don’t really know how the drug could work.

“It’s very tempting, but I think long-term it’s a bad idea,” said Dr. Martha Farah, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania. “We actually know very little about the long term effects.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Joanne Getsy, chief of the Sleep Medicine Section at the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, also expressed alarm over this new phenomenon, saying “Provigil is not a substitute for sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause and worsen heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.”

According to IMS Health, the prescription sales of Provigil has increased by 73 percent in four years, from $832,687,000 in 2007 to $1,440,160,000 in 2011. A few existing websites have been providing information on how to get a doctor to write a prescription or how to get the drug without one.

As of the moment, there is no study that exists about the effects of Provigil on healthy brains. Still, doctors warn people of the drug’s possible effects sleep deprivation and potentially lethal rashes.

In Provigil’s website, it was mentioned that the drug may cause serious side effects including a serious rash or a serious allergic reaction that may affect parts of your body such as your liver or blood cells. Any of these may need to be treated in a hospital and may be life-threatening.

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