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I'm New - Nuvigil Makes Me Anxious. Now What?

Nuvigil Anxiety Brain fog

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#1 SleepyDachshund

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:24 PM

I was recently diagnosed with Narcolepsy without Cataplexy and put on 150 mg of Nuvigil. I had to stop taking it because it was making me anxious. My doctor suggested taking naps for now until our next appointment.
I have really bad mental fog and I'm super tired all the time. I also have muscle aches and headaches most of the time. I also have a hard time with anxiety. I nap which helps a little and I try to go walking daily. I do better when I'm up moving around but it's hard to start moving and as soon as I stop moving I'm fighting sleep again.
My doctor said Nuvigil is the mildest medicine they have so I'm worried about what my options are going to be. I feel like I am barely functioning.
Thoughts? Also, can your period effect your symptoms?

#2 louie

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:42 PM

I also struggle with anxiety. I cope with it and takee nuvigil because the nuvigil helps so much. It took me a month to adjust to nuvigil, and I am glad I stuck with it

#3 ApparentlyNarcoleptic

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:57 AM

I was diagnosed in May of this year.  I have MVP with gurg (really mild heart murmur - I've prob had it my whole life and had no idea) and serious issues with stress and anxiety.  My sleep dr was very hesitant to put me on amphetamines so he gave me Nuvigil 150mg.  I started the first week with half a pill (75mg) and it did absolutely nothing.  The following week I took a whole pill every day.  I didn't make it through the entire week - I went totally *explitive* crazy!  My anxiety was THROUGH THE ROOF - to the point that my jaw hurt because I was clenching my teeth while awake and didn't realize it, I was digging my hands into my thighs, I was totally manic and freaking out.  It gave me a really weird brain fog and did not make me feel awake or alert at all.  The whole thing was a mess.  At my next appt I told him what happened and he said he was still hesitant about amphetamines so he wanted me to try Nuvigil again.  I took 3/4 of a pill at once for three days and went crazy again.  Then I tried breaking it up - half in the morning and a quarter later, or a quarter in the morning and half later - to no avail.  I stopped taking it again.  It got so bad that during an appt with a totally different dr I fell apart in his office and he gave me a prescription for xanax (which I didn't fill or take until I had approval from my sleep dr).  Just saw my sleep dr this past Friday and he put me on Ritalin.  SO MUCH BETTER FOR ME (so far)!  He gave me 10mg twice a day but told me to try 5mg 2x first.  I did, and it wasn't very helpful.  Now I'm taking the 10mg twice a day and I'm still drinking a lot of coffee - but it's definitely helping more than the Nuvigil did.  It's my understanding that Nuvigil has a breaking in period - minimum seems to be 2wks - before side effects subside and it starts working its magic.  It seems to work for a lot of people, but it wasn't right for me.  On the Ritalin I don't find myself needing the Xanax (also, so far).  Trial and error coupled with brutal honestly in talking to your sleep dr will help find what's best for you.  Also, if you can't wait you should make a sooner appt.  I hope you find something that works soon!



#4 Hank

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 10:14 AM

I had a similar experience with Provigil and Nuvigil. Yowza. There are psychiatric side effects from them that include depression, anxiety, derealization and mania. These are not common and most people to not experience them. I did- and it was a disaster. First on Provigil, but I was on sooo much medication I did not know what was causing it. Then on Nuvigil and I was acutally afraid for my life.
The only way I can describe it was I felt like my brain was styrofoam.

So, glad you have found some relief with Ritalin.

Please be very careful with Xanax. It is a benzodiazepine and they are intended for short term use. You can build a tolerance to it and discontinuation can be a drag. Stopping abruptly after regular use can cause a rebound in anxiety and also REM. If you are looking for something long term to help with anxiety, benzo's are not you best choice. Just a word of caution. Short term use is your best exit strategy from benzo's- otherwise it can be a real nightmare from my personal experience.

Be careful with Ritalin and coffee- both cause CNS side effects and jitters. Just be mindful. Also, Xanax is a depressant and Ritalin is a stimulant- when taken together it can be like an internal tug-of-war. Not a good combo for long term use unless you are a rock-star.

#5 ApparentlyNarcoleptic

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 11:07 AM

As always - I thank you Hank for your thoughts and concern :-)  I had started a thread about the xanax when I got the prescription, even though I hadn't filled it yet.  It's really only for the moments if I REALLY need it.  The dr who gave it to me said I had to clear it with my sleep dr first - which I did (and the xyrem people too) - and there are very clear time-frames for taking it.  The Xanax is also the lowest dose possible (0.25) - he gave me 60 pills for 30days and I'm seeing the prescribing dr again this coming Monday with the bottle practically still full.  As for the Ritalin and coffee if I don't have both I may as well be a zombie, though brains for breakfast don't sound particularly appetizing... I'm only on 10mg of R twice a day, and after a week I certainly don't think it's enough.  After appx 3.5hrs I feel the R wear off and the coffee keeps me going (somewhat).  I don't see my sleep dr again until early Sept, and at my last appt where he gave me the R he also upped my xyrem to the max dose.  I would love to not need daytime meds every day - my hope is that I'll only need them for the days where I didn't take my xyrem last night!... Ah, a girl can dream!  Thank you :-)



#6 LuisPuerta

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 10:11 AM

This might sound really lame but have you tried burning off the anxiousness with exercise? I feel like it takes the anxiousness i feel from NuVigil way down, but i don't experience it as bad as you. I usually try to incorporate a lot of cardiovascular exercises and work up a good sweat. I feel like this really does a lot to take that "edge" off. Plus exercise helps tremendously with stress and depression as well. By no means is it a cure but when i do it in conjunction with my NuVigil it really does the trick. Especially if i sit in a sauna or hot tub after and relax for 10-15 mins.

 

I remember the first few days there was a ton of anxiousness and i felt like "oh god here we go again" but i held out and it really wore off. I take 125 mg in the morning. I really don't want to beat a dead horse about exercising, but this is what i found works for me in taking away that anxiousness. Best of luck to you :)



#7 ApparentlyNarcoleptic

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 01:58 PM

I do exercise and I have a very physically active job.  My regular anxiety is one thing, and I agree that exercise can be very helpful with that.  What I experienced on Nuvigil was just unbelievable and it was taking a toll on not just my mind and body but on the people in my life as well.  Different meds work for different people and after trying Nuvigil at 3 different doses in 4 different ways we've determined that it is just not the right medicine for me.  I appreciate your advice and hope that others trying Nuvigil will try exercising to burn off the added anxiety.



#8 LuisPuerta

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 02:21 PM

:( i sincerely hope you do find something that works



#9 RedBadge

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 09:23 PM

ApparentlyNarcoleptic:  I was amazed to find someone else who suffers from Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) and Narcolepsy.  Maybe this is for another thread, but I would love to learn more about how you cope with it.  I am 36 and have had Narcolepsy for many years however the MVP issues are a new development.  Before the MVP issues began I was taking Vyvanse during the day plus drinking the occasional coffee.  Now since the MVP flared up I cannot take the Vyvanse or even have a sip of caffeine without a full blown anxiety attack, numbness in my extremities, palpitations, etc.  I am now taking a beta-blocker and also Plavix (until we rule out any risk of stroke).  I was surprised and very hopeful when I read that you are able to take Ritalin and coffee.  Do you have any suggestions on how to accomplish this?  Do you take any other medications for the MVP?  Please anything you can share would be very much appreciated!

 

SleepyDachshund:  I have read that anxiety can sometimes be related to low magnesium levels.  It might not be a bad idea to get it checked.  For AppNarcoleptic and I, low magnesium is very common with MVP.  If you decide to try supplements, don't get the magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate from the drug stores, it will only cause you to run to the bathroom and the absorption rate is too low.  I am planning to try 100% chelated magnesium supplements that I ordered online.  It is supposed to be a big help (we'll see).

 

Cheers



#10 ApparentlyNarcoleptic

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 04:15 PM

RedBadge - unfortunately I don't have any advice to offer you.  My PCP accidentally discovered the MVP w/G last year and said that it's so mild I probably never would have even known about it had he not done the echocardiogram.  I told him that I do occasionally feel my heart flutter, like it skips a beat or beats irregularly, and he insisted that my MVP is so mild I wouldn't feel it.  I've probably had it my whole life (upon discovering mine I was told my grandfather had it, and my father may have it too) and had no idea.  I've been living on a lot of coffee for years and now knowing about the N w/C I'm still living on coffee with the addition of Ritalin.  My sleep dr is aware of the MVP, which was part of the reason he was hesitant to put me on amphetamines.  So far so good with the Ritalin - though I am seeing a new sleep dr in Sept for a second opinion/option (not too happy with my current dr).  I'm sorry that you're having so much trouble with it - I wish I could be of more help.



#11 IdiopathicHypersomniac

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:03 PM

You can try sublingual Ativan 0.5mg tablets to negate the anxiety as needed, or switch to a very low dose of Adderall XR, say 5mg, to start.  The Ativan sublingual works almost instantly.  That's what I do sometimes.  Or Vyvanse 20mg -- that would be the equivalent of about 6mg of Dexedrine spread across 14 hours.  Lots of options out there -- good luck and don't give up!  You need a combo of drugs.



#12 Faklam

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 06:28 PM

In order to avoid anxiety I started using the new antidepressant agomelatin, that started the effect after 2 weeks. before it, I stopped with caffee, lowered the dose of ritalin to 30mg/day (in 3X) and used Ativan sublingual for less than 2 weeks (0,75mg/day).



#13 willers

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 03:53 PM

excercise, focusing on my work by channeling the energy, sex is what helps relieve anxiety try that first.

#14 b.chrissie@yahoo.com

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 12:42 PM

 

 

SleepyDachshund, on 06 Aug 2013 - 8:24 PM, said:

I was recently diagnosed with Narcolepsy without Cataplexy and put on 150 mg of Nuvigil. I had to stop taking it because it was making me anxious. My doctor suggested taking naps for now until our next appointment.
I have really bad mental fog and I'm super tired all the time. I also have muscle aches and headaches most of the time. I also have a hard time with anxiety. I nap which helps a little and I try to go walking daily. I do better when I'm up moving around but it's hard to start moving and as soon as I stop moving I'm fighting sleep again.
My doctor said Nuvigil is the mildest medicine they have so I'm worried about what my options are going to be. I feel like I am barely functioning.
Thoughts? Also, can your period effect your symptoms?

I have been going through the very same experience. My doctor salso choose Nuvigil because it was the cleanest drug option and I am also treating for anxiety as well. The Nuvigil really took me down. First I was on the highest dose and then the lowest dose and they both had adverse effects on me. I became uncontrollable anxious and angry and both times my impulse control was extremely affected. We are still looking for the right fix for me. I am on my third week of Xyrem, which is the exact opposite of a stimulant, and I am hopeful. We haven't found the right dose for me yet but so far I have seen the most positive reaction from this drug. I was terrified of taking it too, but I haven't had any negative side effects. Just waiting for it to work more often than not. Good luck and don't lose hope. But pay close attention to your anxiety; it is really difficult to balance these two disorders. It can be done but it takes copious amounts of patience.







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