The Efficacy and Safety of Armodafinil as Treatment for Adults with Excessive Sleepiness Associated with Narcolepsy

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OBJECTIVE: This study assessed the efficacy and safety of armodafinil, the longer half-life enantiomer of modafinil, for the treatment of excessive sleepiness in patients with narcolepsy. 

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This was a multicenter double-blind study with 196 patients (aged 18-65 years) randomized to receive armodafinil 150 mg (n = 65), armodafinil 250 mg (n = 67), or placebo (n = 64) once daily for 12 weeks. 

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Efficacy was assessed using the Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT) (six 20-min subtests across the day), the Clinical Global Impression of Change (CGI-C), subjective measures of sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale), patient diaries, and evaluations of cognitive performance (Cognitive Drug Research) and fatigue (Brief Fatigue Inventory). 

RESULTS: Armodafinil significantly increased MWT mean sleep latency (at 0900-1500) compared with placebo. The mean change from baseline at final visit for armodafinil was an increase of 1.3, 2.6, and 1.9 min in the 150-mg, 250-mg, and combined groups, respectively, compared with a decrease of 1.9 min for placebo (p < 0.01 for all three comparisons). Mean late-day MWT latency (1500-1900) was also significantly improved (difference of armodafinil combined group relative to placebo at final visit: 2.8 min, p = 0.0358). The proportions of patients who showed at least minimal improvement in the CGIC rating from baseline to final visit in the armodafinil 150-mg, 250-mg, and combined groups were 69%, 73%, and 71%, respectively, compared with 33% for placebo (p < 0.0001). Both doses were associated with statistically significant improvements in memory, attention, and fatigue (p < 0.05). The most common adverse events in patients receiving armodafinil were headache, nausea, and dizziness. 

CONCLUSIONS: Armodafinil significantly improved ability to sustain wakefulness throughout the day in patients with narcolepsy. Armodafinil also significantly improved overall clinical condition, memory, attention, and fatigue when compared with placebo.

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