Waklert or Generic Armodafinil is a medication used for treatment for daytime sleepiness disorders. Armodafinil is an FDA approved drug used in the treatment of sleeping disorders. Waklert being the generic counterpart of Armodafinil shares the same active ingredient, mechanism of action, molecular structure and other properties as Armodafinil but with mild cost and availability differences.
Waklert is essentially a eugeroic or a psychostimulant without addiction potential used to work on the CNS for bringing out its beneficial actions. Its CNS association brings out the benefits with the complications associated with use of the medication. Let’s discuss them one by one.
– Enantiopure status
Enantiomers are molecular pairs existing in 2 forms that are mirror images of each other but cannot be superimposed over. Modafinil is a racemic mixture containing equal amounts of R and S enantiomers. Waklert or generic Armodafinil contains only the R isomer of Modafinil instead of S enantiomer.
This gives it an ‘enantiopure’ status and longer half-life. The S enantiomer has a half-life of 3-4 hours and the R enantiomer a half-life of 12-15 hours. The combination of these enantiomers results in Modafinil and its derivatives having a half-life of 10-12 hours. Because of Waklert containing only R enantiomer, it takes more than 20 hours for it to be completely eliminated from the body. The longer lasting effects increase its efficacy on sleep disorders patients and have made it a popular choice of medication.
– Quicker onset period
Other racemic eugeroics take around 45-60 minutes to start working and 2 hours to reach peak plasma concentrations. Once achieved these concentrations either stay constant or fluctuate on the basis of patient condition and other internal factors. Waklert starts working in comparatively quicker period of time. The effects of Waklert are observed almost immediately within 15-20 minutes of ingestion. It takes Waklert 45-60 minutes to reach peak plasma concentrations that stay constant instead of fluctuating.
In a study conducted to compare dose normalised plasma drug concentrations of Armodafinil/ active ingredient of Waklert with Modafinil, subjects were administered 200mg Waklert once daily for 7 days. The fluctuations swing appeared significantly lower in Armodafinil with higher plasma concentrations in comparison to Modafinil. The study proved that Waklert can produce higher plasma concentration than Modafinil variants when compared on a milligrams to milligram basis.
– Generic status
Waklert is the generic version of Armodafinil that goes by Nuvigil as its brand counterpart. Generic drugs are created to mimic already marketed drugs by factors of dosage, strength, active ingredient, quality and route of administration. The intended use of generic drugs is the same as that of the main drugs. Additionally these drugs are FDA approved before being introduced to the medical market for the safety of the users.
Waklert or generic Armodafinil shares the same mechanism of action, uses, strengths and efficacy as that of Armodafinil. Because of its generic nature, it is available at significantly lower costs than Nuvigil. It is also more readily available in online portals than Nuvigil, enabling easy accessibility to the common people with sleep disorders.
– Mechanism of action with added benefits
Waklert as a part of its mechanism of action binds itself to the dopamine reuptake pump in the central nervous system of the brain. Subsequently it inhibits reuptake of Dopamine or its reabsorption back into the system. This results in an increased production of extracellular dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in motivation, pleasure and learning. Increase in the dopamine levels results in increased awakeness that works on the sleepiness conditions of patients.
Apart from wakefulness the other cognitive advantages observed through Waklert use are:
– Improved memory
Studies and trials have shown that Waklert in comparison to placebo improves memory of the user.
– Alertness and focus
Studies on healthy individuals have proved that Waklert use can result in prolonged phases of alertness and focus in its users
– Improved mood with decision making skills
Dopamine studies have shown that it can improve mood and influence decision making skills. Waklert on improving the dopamine reuptake causes these changes additionally with the awakeness benefits.
– Boosted visual processing
Studies about the use of Armodafinil, the active ingredient of Waklert in SWSD patients have shown that using the medication improves the visual processing skills and motor skills of SWSD patients while driving home.
– Approved and off label benefits
Waklert is FDA approved for the treatment of daytime sleepiness in cases of
Narcolepsy – a neurological problem caused by deficiency of orexin hormone
SWSD – Shift Work Sleep Disorder caused by people working night shifts unable to adapt their circadian rhythms with their work schedules.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea – A situation in which the throat muscles voluntarily close mid sleep and block the air passage.
Off label clinical studies have shown it to have the potential to be useful in
– Treatment of ADHD patients (paediatric patients and adults )
– Treatment of chronic depression symptoms
– For use in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
– For improving cognitive stimulation in patients after a traumatic brain injury
With all its advantages and benefits, there are a number of complications associated with its injudicious use, overuse or misuse that can seriously impact the health and safety of the patient.
Complications associated with Waklert
Common side effects associated with the use of Waklert are headaches, gastrointestinal problems, dizziness, nausea and frequent urination. Sometimes these problems can get intense giving rise to dry mouth, numbing sensation in hands or feet with uncontrolled shaking of those regions.
Rarely life threatening problems can occur with Waklert use resulting in breathing problems, drastic mood swings, suicidal tendencies with aggravated insomnia. Side-effects are important complications associated with Waklert use that should be avoided or when started dealt with as effectively as possible.
Allergic reactions can either be due to the inactive ingredients of Waklert or be associated with Waklert as a unit. Hives and skin rashes requiring hospitalization are some of the common allergic reactions associated with Waklert. Occasionally they can be accompanied by symptoms of sore throat, burning of eyes and feeling of pain.
Though uncommon, life threatening allergic reactions like swelling on face and throat with difficulty in breathing have also been observed to occur. Discussing with your general practitioner about your allergy history prior to starting the medication can prevent the majority of complications. But if you notice any signs of allergic reactions, discontinue the medication immediately and get emergency help.
Despite the benefits associated with Waklert use, not all are eligible for Waklert use. The use of Waklert is strictly contraindicated in
– Pregnant or breastfeeding ladies as the safety of Waklert in these cases is still undergoing research.
– People with CAD, COPD or who have recently undergone heart surgery.
– People with a history of drug abuse or those on antidepressants.
– People with a history of dermatological reactions or who have had a prior episode of Steven Johnson’s Syndrome.
– Patients with suspected or diagnosed Multiorgan Hypersensitivity Reactions
Using Waklert in these conditions can result in severe complications to the effect of creating lifelong implications.
– Drug interactions
Waklert when used concomitantly with other medications can result in drug interactions. These drug reactions can be mild resulting in metabolism issues of either medication. Sometimes the drug interactions can be rare and endanger the life of the patient. The intensity of drug interactions associated with Waklert is slightly less than that of Modalert/Modvigil/Modafinil. But Waklert should not be used concomitantly with
- Anti -cancerous medication
- Heart medications
- Other psychostimulants like Modafinil
- Antibiotics, antivirals
Waklert overdose and Waklert withdrawal
Using increased strengths of Waklert without the physician’s advice or for prolonged periods can result in overdosing symptoms. Some of the overdosing symptoms are
- Feeling of restlessness
- Aggravated anxiety/ depression
- Trouble sleeping
- Impaired thinking
Similarly, suddenly discontinuing the use of Waklert after a period of time can result in withdrawal symptoms. The common withdrawal symptoms associated with Waklert are shaking sensation, chills throughout the body, uncontrolled sweating, nausea, vomiting with feeling of confusion. To prevent these problems it is better to
- Use Waklert judiciously
- Taper the medication use instead of abruptly discontinuing it
Take home factor
Waklert has a lot of proven benefits and potential benefits associated with its use. Because of its cost efficiency and improved wakefulness effects have further added to its beneficial effects. But the use has to be done in consultation with a physician who can verify your sleeping problems and advise the correct way of using Waklert without complications. Further studies need to be conducted using Waklert to be aware of its effectiveness and associated complications.