How I Managed To Get A Prescription For Provigil (Modafinil)
Many young people have to work long hours, often during night shifts. This sort of work can be soul-crushing.
I used to work night shifts in college (while studying for exams) and I quickly turned into a zombie. Before long, I began to suspect that I had shift-work sleep disorder.
Back then, I didn’t know much about nootropics. So I started reading.
I kept finding positive reviews of Modafinil (Provigil), and figured it would be the perfect solution to help manage the dual stresses of school and work.
At the time, I was a healthy young man, not taking any serious medications. Granted, my sleep habits were pretty out of whack, but whose aren’t?
Going to the doctor
After reading about Modafinil, my first thought was: How do I convince a doctor to give me a prescription without being hassled?
At the time, I didn’t have a family doctor. For basic checkups, I would visit my local clinic where the doctors usually rush things in order to keep patients moving through the door.
Further, I was worried that my general practitioner wouldn’t know about Modafinil and simply say no.
Boy was I wrong…
Getting a prescription
Eventually, I mustered up the courage to visit my clinic. I knew that technically, Modafinil is approved for shift work sleep disorder and it’s not a controlled substance, so there was no reason I shouldn’t be able to get it if I was honest and straightforward.
That said, I was still pretty nervous walking in, and had the feeling that I was somehow “cheating” by trying to get a Modafinil prescription. I couldn’t grasp that they’d just prescribe me a drug without some kind of medical history, especially since it can have side effects (though rare).
So I looked my doctor in the eye and calmly explained my situation. He then asked a few questions about my job and my life, wanting to understand how the night shifts were affecting my relationships and health.
Again, I answered as honestly as I could. Essentially, my health was deteriorating as were my relationships.
He checked my vitals then left the room. 15 minutes later he came back with a diagnosis of shift work-sleep disorder and a signed prescription for Modafinil.
I felt a mixture of elation and shock, which must have shown on my face. Seeing this, he seemed to gain a sense of empathy and started to tell me about his life in medical school. To my surprise, he’d taken Modafinil in medical school to study for his exams.
What to learn from my experience
Perhaps I got lucky, or perhaps Modafinil has become so popular by now that most professionals have used it at some point (or are using it now).
In any case, the biggest lessons here are:
1) Be honest and open with your doctor.
As best you can, explain your symptoms to your doctor. Be as precise as you can about the onset and severity of your symptoms.
Specify dates and increments of time. Doctors like to know how your symptoms affect your ability to live a normal life.
Don’t lie or fake symptoms to get a prescription. Your doctor will probably realize you are liying and get pissed.
2) If you have a legitimate need for Provigil, chances are you’ll get a prescription.
Let the doctor make his or her own conclusions about your treatment. You may think you know what’s best for you, but the doctor usually knows better.
Having lived and worked with many brilliant doctors in the past, they all share the same complaint: patients coming in with self-diagnosis and preconceived ideas about what medications they “need.”
FYI: doctors do not like being told what medication you think you should take.
Before a doctor can understand the real symptoms, they have to unclog their patients’ brains and get them to speak honestly about what’s actually going on — not what the patient knows is the problem.
Finding a doctor near you
If you’re in a big city, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a family doctor. Often the local ERs will have a list of family docs taking new patients.
If you have doubts about the prescribed drug, that’s the point when you ask about Modafinil.
The doctor at that point will have enough information about your history and symptoms to explain why that drug would work or not. Or, the doctor can explain why she prefers not to prescribe drug X.
The way to be sure about it is to talk to a doctor that you trust. Focus on finding a doctor that you can trust independent of whether you think they’re going to prescribe what you want them to prescribe.
If you don’t have a trusted recommendation, look for doctors who have experience with sleeping disorders.
Chances are you’ll leave the clinic with what you want or need.
Dealing with rejection
You should always be prepared for the doctor to tell you “no, this is not appropriate for you.” That’s their job.
After reading about Modafinil, I thought it was the right solution for me. Yet I was aware that I didn’t know for sure, and that my doctor had the final say.
Give it a shot
Whatever you do, remember that these are just suggestions. Always be discerning when taking nootropic drugs, let alone prescription medications like Modafinil that change the way you think and feel.