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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2004 Jan;171(2):133-9. Epub 2003 Nov 25.

Effect of modafinil on fatigue, mood, and health-related quality of life in patients with narcolepsy.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Tex., USA.



In addition to excessive sleepiness, patients with narcolepsy often have significant fatigue, depressed mood, and decreased quality of life.


To determine whether treatment with modafinil for excessive sleepiness improves fatigue, mood, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with narcolepsy.


Outpatients with narcolepsy underwent a 14-day washout of psychostimulants and then were enrolled in this 6-week, open-label, multicenter study. Patients received modafinil starting at 200 mg once daily for week 1, and then 200 or 400 mg daily for weeks 2 through 6. Efficacy was evaluated using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) and the Profile of Mood States (POMS). Safety was assessed by monitoring adverse events (AE).


At baseline, 151 patients had moderate to severe excessive sleepiness (mean Epworth Sleepiness Scale score=17.8+/-4.4). Most patients (> or =70% of 123 who completed the study) received 400 mg modafinil once daily during weeks 2 through 6. Modafinil significantly improved HRQOL, based on SF-36 measures of mental and physical component summary scores and subdomain scores of role-physical, social functioning, and vitality (each P<0.001). Modafinil treatment was also associated with significantly reduced fatigue and significantly improved vigor and cognition as assessed by the POMS (each P<0.001) from weeks 1 through 6. The most frequent AE with modafinil treatment were headache, nausea, and insomnia; most AE were mild or moderate in nature. Only seven patients (5%) withdrew from the study because of AE.


In narcolepsy patients who were switched from psychostimulants, modafinil therapy improved HRQOL and subjective feelings of vigor and cognitive functioning and reduced fatigue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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