Generic Name: Modafinil
Alertec is used for
Improving wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy or other sleep disorders. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor. It is in a class of drugs called nootropics.
Alertec is a wakefulness-promoting agent. Exactly how it works is not known, but it is thought to work by altering the natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.
Do not use Alertec if
you are allergic to any ingredient in Alertec
you have a history of developing a rash after taking Alertec
you have a history of certain heart or heart valve problems (eg, mitral valve prolapse, left ventricular hypertrophy)
you are taking cabazitaxel
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Alertec
Some medical conditions may interact with Alertec.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
if you have liver problems, kidney problems, heart problems (eg, chest pain, heart blood vessel problems, a recent heart attack), or high blood pressure.
if you have a history of mental or mood problems (eg, depression, mania, psychosis), suicidal thoughts or actions, or alcohol or other substance abuse or dependence.
if you are taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) (eg, phenelzine)
Some medicines may interact with Alertec.
Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
Azole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole, itraconazole) because they may increase the risk of Alertec’s side effects
Carbamazepine, phenobarbital, prazosin, or rifampin because they may decrease Alertec’s effectiveness
Amphetamines or other stimulants (eg, methylphenidate), anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), diazepam, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), propranolol, or certain tricyclic antidepressants (eg, clomipramine, desipramine) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Alertec.
Axitinib, certain benzodiazepines (eg, midazolam, triazolam), cabazitaxel, cyclosporine, hormonal products (eg, birth control pills, certain hormone replacements), or ulipristal because their effectiveness may be decreased by Alertec.
How to use Alertec
Use Alertec as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
Take Alertec by mouth with or without food.
Take Alertec in the morning unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
If you miss a dose of Alertec, take it as soon as possible. If you do not remember until late afternoon or evening, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Alertec.
Important safety information when taking Alertec
Alertec may cause dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Alertec with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
Do not drink alcohol while you are using Alertec
Check with your doctor before you use medicines that may cause drowsiness (eg, sleep aids, muscle relaxers) while you are using Alertec; it may add to their effects. Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about which medicines may cause drowsiness.
Do not take more than the recommended dose or take more often than prescribed without check with your doctor.
Alertec cannot cure sleep disorders and it may not stop all of your sleepiness. Do not change your daily habits without first talking to your doctor. Discuss your level of sleepiness with your doctor at each visit.
Do not use Alertec in place of getting enough sleep. Follow your doctor’s instructions for good sleep habits and using other treatments.
Serious and sometimes fatal skin reactions (eg, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis) have been rarely reported with Alertec.
Contact your doctor right away if you develop a rash; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; or blisters on the inside of the eyes, nose, or mouth.
Hormonal birth control (eg, birth control pills) may not work as well while you are using Alertec. To prevent pregnancy, use an extra form of birth control (eg, condoms) while you are taking Alertec and for 1 month after stopping Alertec.
Lab tests, including blood pressure and liver function, may be performed while you use Alertec. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
Use Alertec with caution in the elderly; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
Alertec should not be used in children; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding with Alertec
If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Alertec while you are pregnant. It is not known if Alertec is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Alertec, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Some people who use Alertec for a long time may develop a need to continue taking it. People who take high doses are also at risk. This is known as dependence or addiction. If you stop taking Alertec suddenly, you may have withdrawal symptoms. These may include sleepiness.
Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor or pharmacist.
Possible side effects of Alertec
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects.
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
Back pain; diarrhea; dizziness; headache; nausea; nervousness; stomach upset; stuffy nose; trouble sleeping.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing or swallowing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); blisters on the inside of the eyes, nose, or mouth; chest pain; confusion; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; mental or mood changes (eg, aggression, agitation, anxiety, depression, exaggerated sense of well-being, hallucinations, irritability, nervousness); red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe or persistent headache; shortness of breath; suicidal thoughts or actions; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; symptoms of liver problems (eg, dark urine, loss of appetite, pale stools, stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes); unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual tiredness or weakness.
If an overdose of Alertec is suspected
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include agitation; anxiety; chest pain; confusion; diarrhea; excitation; fast or slow heartbeat; hallucinations; nausea; restlessness; severe or persistent headache or dizziness; sleeplessness; tremor.
Proper storage of Alertec
Store Alertec at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Alertec out of the reach of children and away from pets.
General information on Alertec
If you have any questions about Alertec, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
Alertec is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Alertec or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you.
This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Alertec.
It does not include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Alertec.
This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Alertec.
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