Model of the Sleep-Wake Cycle1

Shift work disorder is a medical condition that can be diagnosed and treated by a doctor1-4

SWD occurs when your work schedule is out of sync with your body's internal sleep-wake clock — your body is telling you to go to sleep when your work schedule needs you to stay awake.

If you work non-traditional hours and struggle to stay awake at work, you may be experiencing excessive sleepiness (ES) due to SWD.

People with ES due to SWD often struggle to stay awake during their waking hours, or have trouble sleeping during their sleeping hours.

How common is shift work disorder?

Approximately 15 million Americans work outside of the traditional 9-to-5 schedule. One in 4 of these workers may have SWD.1,4

Many of these shift workers with ES may suffer from SWD.5

Are you working shifts?

If you work night, early morning, or rotating shifts, your work schedule may be out of sync with your circadian rhythm.
Nonstandard shifts have become very common in today’s workplace.

While NUVIGIL is used to improve wakefulness in patients with ES due to SWD, it is not used to treat SWD itself or its other symptoms or consequences.


Professional and Business Services

such as accountants, stockbrokers, customer service reps, IT support staff, and other people with corporate jobs

Healthcare Professionals

such as emergency room physicians, nurses, and overnight pharmacists

Leisure, Entertainment, and Hospitality

such as bartenders, servers, chefs, casino dealers, performers, radio DJs, concierges, and doormen

Production and Manufacturing

such as steel, textile, and other factory workers

Wholesale and Retail Trade

such as warehouse workers, department store and other retail store workers

Protective Services

such as firefighters, dispatchers, and security guards

NUVIGIL is a prescription medicine used to improve wakefulness in adults who are very sleepy due to one of the following diagnosed sleep disorders:

  • narcolepsy
  • obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). NUVIGIL is used with other medical treatments for this disorder. NUVIGIL does not take the place of using your CPAP machine or other treatments that your doctor has prescribed for this condition. It is important that you continue to use these treatments as prescribed by your doctor.
  • shift work disorder (SWD)

NUVIGIL will not cure these sleep disorders. NUVIGIL may help the sleepiness caused by these conditions, but it may not stop all your sleepiness. NUVIGIL does not take the place of getting enough sleep.

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


What important information should I know about NUVIGIL?

NUVIGIL may cause serious side effects including a serious rash or a serious allergic reaction that may affect parts of your body such as your liver or blood cells. Any of these may need to be treated in a hospital and may be life-threatening.

Stop taking NUVIGIL and call your doctor right away or get emergency help if you have any of these symptoms: skin rash, hives, sores in your mouth, or your skin blisters and peels; swelling of your face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat; trouble swallowing or breathing; or fever, shortness of breath, swelling of the legs, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, or dark urine.

If you have a severe rash with NUVIGIL, stopping the medicine may not keep the rash from becoming life-threatening or causing you to be permanently disabled or disfigured.

NUVIGIL is not approved for use in children for any medical condition. It is not known if NUVIGIL is safe or if it works in children under the age of 17 years.

Who should not take NUVIGIL?

Do not take NUVIGIL if you are allergic to any of its ingredients or have had a rash or allergic reaction to either armodafinil (NUVIGIL) or modafinil (PROVIGIL®). These medicines are very similar.

What should I tell my doctor before taking NUVIGIL?

Tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions including, if you have a history of mental health problems, including psychosis; have heart problems or had a heart attack; have high blood pressure; have liver or kidney problems; have a history of drug or alcohol abuse or addiction; are pregnant or planning to become pregnant; or are breastfeeding.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Hormonal birth control methods may not work while you take NUVIGIL. Women who use one of these methods of birth control may have a higher chance for getting pregnant while taking NUVIGIL, and for one month after stopping NUVIGIL.

What should I avoid while taking NUVIGIL?

  • Do not drive a car or do other dangerous activities until you know how NUVIGIL affects you.
  • You should avoid drinking alcohol.

What are possible side effects of NUVIGIL?

NUVIGIL may cause serious side effects. Stop taking NUVIGIL and call your doctor right away or get emergency help if you get any of the following:

  • a serious rash or serious allergic reaction (see above)
  • mental (psychiatric) symptoms, including: depression; feeling anxious; hearing, seeing, feeling, or sensing things that are not really there (hallucinations); an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania); thoughts of suicide; aggressive behavior, and other mental problems
  • symptoms of a heart problem, including chest pain, abnormal heart beats, and trouble breathing.

Common side effects of NUVIGIL include headache, nausea, dizziness, and trouble sleeping.

Tell your doctor if you get any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away while taking NUVIGIL.

These are not all the side effects of NUVIGIL. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

This information does not take the place of talking with your doctor for medical advice about your condition or treatment.

Please read the Medication Guide for Patients in the Full Prescribing Information for NUVIGIL.

There is a registry for women who become pregnant during treatment with NUVIGIL. The purpose of this registry is to collect information about the safety of NUVIGIL during pregnancy. You or your doctor can get information and enroll you in the registry by calling 1-866-404-4106 or by visiting

  1. American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The International Classification of Sleep Disorders: Diagnostic and Coding Manual. 2nd ed. Westchester, IL: American Academy of Sleep Medicine; 2005.
  2. Czeisler CA, Buxton OM, Khalsa SBR. The human circadian timing system and sleep wake regulation. In: Kryger MH, Roth T, Dement WC, eds. Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2005:384-385.
  3. US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Workers on flexible and shift schedules. Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Available at Accessed January 13, 2012.
  4. Waage S, Moen BE, Pallesen S, et al. Shift work disorder among oil rig workers in the North Sea. Sleep. 2009;32(4):558-565.
  5. Schwartz JRL, Roth T. Shift work sleep disorder: burden of illness and approaches to management. Drugs. 2006;66(18):2357-2370.
  6. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed, text revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2000.