Psycho-Babble Medication | about biological treatments | Framed
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Re: Provigil for mental fatigue? Bob

Posted by Racer on September 9, 2008, at 17:08:56

In reply to Re: Provigil for mental fatigue? Racer, posted by Bob on September 9, 2008, at 12:01:23

> Racer,
> What do you mean when you say that Provigil is an odd drug?
> - Bob

Mostly that it's a drug which is appealing to those without any underlying pathology ==> lots of people want to take it, even if they don't have any disorder at all. It's what's being referred to as a "lifestyle drug," because those who are chronically over-stretched in their lives -- don't get enough sleep because they're out playing late at night, etc -- and those who just want a little more mental alertness want to take modafinil, because it's seen as safe, effective, etc. Think of most of the other drugs we take here -- the downside to them is usually pretty obvious, especially since they really don't help people who don't have a disorder to treat. Modafinil is different, because it can give those people a boost, and it seems a safer alternative to conventional psychostimulants.

Even the military is investigating it for use by pilots, since it doesn't cause the sorts of adverse effects that amphetamines do, such as shaky hands.

As a result, insurance companies are very, very hard to convince to cover it. They want a documented sleep disorder -- narcolepsy, which requires testing, or something like "shift work related sleep disorder." Otherwise the insurance company won't cover it. Also, if they do cover it, they'll almost certainly cover it at the highest tier copay. Again, in my case that's $125, and since there's a cap on dosage, my doctor can't just double the number of tablets for me, so I pay that EVERY month. (Or will, if it continues working for me...)

So, not because it has some strange mechanism -- although I understand that it does -- I say it's "odd" because of the practical issues surrounding it.

By the way, my $125 copay covers a prescription which would otherwise cost something over $700. The medication really is priced out of reach for most of us, if we had to pay out of pocket.

Good luck, and I hope you'll let us know what your doctor has to say.




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