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Provigil vs. Ritalin

Reviewed on 4/14/2021

Are Provigil and Ritalin the Same Thing?

Provigil (modafinil) and Ritalin (methylphenidate) are stimulants prescribed to increase wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness related to narcolepsy.

Provigil is also used to increase wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness related to shiftwork sleep disorder, and obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome.

Ritalin is also used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Side effects of Provigil and Ritalin that are similar include headache, dizziness, nausea, nervousness, anxiety, agitation, sleep problems (insomnia),

Side effects of Provigil that are different from Ritalin include upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhea, and dry mouth.

Side effects of Ritalin that are different from Provigil include stomach pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, palpitations, vision problems, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, sweating, skin rash, psychosis, and numbness, tingling, and cold feeling in your hands or feet.

Both Provigil and Ritalin may interact with blood thinners and seizure medicines.

Provigil may also interact with cyclosporine, theophylline, hormonal contraceptives, diazepam, propranolol, imipramine, desipramine, rifampin, ketoconazole, and itraconazole.

Ritalin may also interact with clonidine, dobutamine, epinephrine, isoproterenol, cold/allergy medicine that contains phenylephrine (a decongestant), potassium citrate, sodium acetate, sodium bicarbonate, citric acid and potassium citrate, sodium citrate and citric acid, medications to treat high or low blood pressure, stimulants, diet pills, and antidepressants.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Provigil?

Common side effects of Provigil include:

  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • upper respiratory tract infection,
  • nausea,
  • diarrhea,
  • nervousness,
  • anxiety,
  • agitation,
  • dry mouth, and
  • trouble sleeping (insomnia).

Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Provigil including:

  • fever,
  • easy bruising or bleeding,
  • hallucinations,
  • depression,
  • chest pain,
  • fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, or
  • mental/mood changes (such as confusion, depression, hallucinations, rare thoughts of suicide).

What Are Possible Side Effects of Ritalin?

Common side effects of Ritalin include:

  • nervousness
  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • sleep problems (insomnia)
  • stomach pain
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dizziness
  • palpitations
  • headache
  • vision problems
  • increased heart rate
  • increased blood pressure
  • sweating
  • skin rash
  • psychosis, and
  • numbness
  • tingling
  • or
  • cold feeling in your hands or feet.

QUESTION

Why do we sleep? See Answer

What Is Provigil?

Provigil (modafinil) is a stimulant prescribed to increase wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness related to narcolepsy, shiftwork sleep disorder, and obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome.

What Is Ritalin?

Ritalin is a central nervous system stimulant prescription medicine. It is used for the treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Ritalin may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in patients with ADHD.

Ritalin should be used as a part of a total treatment program for ADHD that may include counseling or other therapies.

Ritalin is also used in the treatment of a sleep disorder called narcolepsy. is a central nervous system stimulant prescription medicine. It is used for the treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Ritalin may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in patients with ADHD.

Ritalin should be used as a part of a total treatment program for ADHD that may include counseling or other therapies.

Ritalin is also used in the treatment of a sleep disorder called narcolepsy.

Riltalin is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep Ritalin in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away Ritalin may harm others, and is against the law.

Tell your doctor if you or your child have (or have a family history of) ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines or street drugs.

What Drugs Interact With Provigil?

Provigil drug interactions include cyclosporine (Sandimmune), theophylline (Theo-24), hormonal contraceptives (for example, Micronor), warfarin (Coumadin), diazepam (Valium), propranolol (Inderal), imipramine (Tofranil), desipramine (Norpramin), phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), rifampin (Rifadin), Ketoconazole (Nizoral) and itraconazole (Sporanox). Provigil has not been adequately studied in pregnant women and it is unknown if it is excreted in breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

What Drugs Interact With Ritalin?

Tell your doctor about all of the medicines that you or your child takes including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Ritalin and some medicines may interact with each other and cause serious side effects. Sometimes the doses of other medicines will need to be adjusted while taking Ritalin.

Your doctor will decide whether Ritalin can be taken with other medicines.

Ritalin should not be used in patients being treated (currently or within the proceeding two weeks) with MAO Inhibitors (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors). Because of possible effects on blood pressure, Ritalin should be used cautiously with pressor agents.

Methylphenidate may decrease the effectiveness of drugs used to treat hypertension. Methylphenidate is metabolized primarily to ritalinic acid by de-esterification and not through oxidative pathways.

Human pharmacologic studies have shown that racemic methylphenidate may inhibit the metabolism of coumarin anticoagulants, anticonvulsants (e.g., phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone), and tricyclic drugs (e.g., imipramine, clomipramine, desipramine). Downward dose adjustments of these drugs may be required when given concomitantly with methylphenidate. It may be necessary to adjust the dosage and monitor plasma drug concentration (or, in case of coumarin, coagulation times), when initiating or discontinuing methylphenidate.

How Should Provigil be Taken?

Provigil dosage is 200 or 400 mg daily.

How Should Ritalin be Taken?

  • Take Ritalin exactly as prescribed. Your doctor may adjust the dose until it is right for you or your child.
  • Ritalin is usually taken 2 to 3 times a day.
  • Take Ritalin 30 to 45 minutes before a meal.
  • From time to time, your doctor may stop Ritalin treatment for a while to check ADHD symptoms.
  • Your doctor may do regular checks of the blood, heart, and blood pressure while taking Ritalin. Children should have their height and weight checked often while taking Ritalin. Ritalin treatment may be stopped if a problem is found during these check-ups.
  • If you or your child takes too much Ritalin or overdoses, call your doctor or poison control center right away, or get emergency treatment.

SLIDESHOW

Sleep Disorders: Foods That Help Sleep or Keep You Awake See Slideshow
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References
Teva Pharmaceuticals. Provigil Production Information.

https://www.provigil.com/

Novartis. Ritalin Product Information.

https://www.novartis.us/sites/www.novartis.us/files/ritalin_ritalin-sr.pdf

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