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Provigil Side Effect Lawyers Helping Injured Victims

Millions of people around the world suffer from two surprisingly common sleep-related conditions, known as narcolepsy and obstructive sleep apnea. Each of these conditions can be extremely dangerous for different reasons, but for many years the medical world was all but at a loss in regards to how these health problems should be managed.

In response to the growing demand for help with the treatment of these problems, companies began to formulate medications designed to help manage them. One company, Cephalon, Inc., a true giants of the pharmaceutical industry, formulated and ultimately released a drug known as Provigil onto the marketplace.

While Provigil showed early promise in its treatment, reports of serious Provigil side effects eventually began to surface. Below you’ll find information regarding the conditions Provigil is meant to treat, how it works, the Provigil side effects that were reported and how you should proceed if you or someone you love has been harmed by Provigil side effects.

 A Brief Overview of Provigil

Provigil was originally approved for sale and distribution in the United States by the FDA in 1998. It was developed in order to treat the following conditions that had proven to be very difficult to manage for many years:

  • Narcolepsy – Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that presents dangerous symptoms. Those who suffer from this condition are prone to unexpected sleep episodes that can occur at almost any time, and with certain patients these spells arose several times per day. At this point, there is no cure for narcolepsy, and patients must live with the knowledge that a sleep episode that arises at the wrong time could be extremely dangerous.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Obstructive sleep apnea is also a dangerous condition, and it involves a patient who tends to stop breathing for different amounts of time while he or she is asleep. While most patients cannot recall these episodes when they are awake, their symptoms basically involve the feeling of extreme and chronic fatigue due to long-term sleep deprivation and some will be prone to sleeping spells during the day similar to those who suffer from narcolepsy.

Provigil is a medication that provides a dose of the active ingredient of modafinil to the patient’s system. Modafinil is known as a CNS (central nervous system) stimulant. As a result, Provigil provided patients who used it a boost in awareness and a lowering of the risk of unexpected sleep and the effects of chronic fatigue during the day.

Provigil was originally seen as being so beneficial and productive that it began to be used for off-label purposes by those who felt that their jobs would be enhanced by this heightened awareness. Fighter jet pilots, truck drivers and even some athletes began to use Provigil for this purpose even though many of them did not suffer from either of the conditions above.

 Reports of Provigil Side Effects Surface

Unfortunately for many who were using this medication, reports of Provigil side effects eventually began to surface. The most serious Provigil side effect was the tendency for those taking it to develop an otherwise rare and serious skin condition known as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, or SJS.

SJS is a progressive condition that attacks the skin tissue of the body. It generally begins with what seems like a minor symptom or two, including a skin rash or some redness that some patients attributed to other factors. However, as SJS progresses, it proceeds to kill off both the skin tissue it attacks and the underlying mucous membranes.

Ultimately, the tissue that’s destroyed will peel off in sheets, which is extremely painful. In addition, no skin tissue grows behind this dead tissue to replace it. At this point, SJS becomes potentially deadly, as those without the protection provided by skin tissue and the underlying membranes are much more susceptible to infections that can lead to the death of the patient.

In terms of government reaction, the FDA did issue a Public Health Warning in regards to Provigil in 2007. In response to this warning, Cephalon, Inc. began to attach a warning label to the containers of Provigil that described the potential for patients using it to develop SJS. If you have been taking Provigil and you notice any problem whatsoever with your skin, even if it seems minor, seek immediate medical attention.

Provigil Side Effects Lawyers Can Help

If you or someone you love has been harmed as a result of using Provigil, you need to take immediate action. Contact Privett Law today to schedule a free initial consultation, as you need answers regarding your legal rights and options.