It is a stimulant drug used to prevent the excessive daytime sleepiness suffered by people with narcolepsy. It may also be used for other conditions, such as depression, fatigue, etc. Much like other stimulants, it has the potential for abuse. It can alter one’s mood, thinking and feelings, providing an artificial "boost" and potentially leading to a certain degree of addiction (although discontinuation of the drug does not produce physical withdrawal symptoms).
- One should not take this drug with alcoholic drinks. It is, as for any drug, perilous doing this.
- If one is allergic to a component of this drug, one should not take it, but the doctor will prescribe an alternative.
- It may reduce the effectiveness of contraceptive pills.
- One should not drive while taking this drug, because it may impair one’s judgment.
- People with certain types of heart disease (such as left ventricular hypertrophy) must not take this drug before consulting a physician.
Research is being conducted to understand more what kind of an effect this drug may have on an individual. So far, numerous side-effects have been discovered, and it is always a good thing to weigh the upsides and downsides before using this kind of drug.
Common side-effects of the medicine include: difficulty sleeping, prickling or tingling feeling, dizziness, nausea, nervousness, dry mouth, lung problems, headache, infection, loss of appetite, anxiety, depression, diarrhea, loss of muscle strength, runny nose, sore throat, etc.
Less common side-effects include joint difficulties, difficulty urinating, dry skin, tense muscles, fainting, fever, thirst, tremor, vision problems, low blood pressure, loss of muscle coordination, mood swings, mouth ulcer, neck pain, nosebleed, stiff neck, vomiting, abnormal ejaculation, amnesia, asthma, chest pain, chills, confusion, difficulty breathing, face muscle spasms, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, etc. Psychiatric side-effects include delusions, mania, etc.
Although rare, there may appear certain ocular side-effects (abnormal vision), musculoskeletal (joint disorders), genitourinary (urinary retention), hematologic (eosinophilia), and others.
Also, there have been cases of multi-organ hypersensitivity, where patients typically experience fever and rash associated with other organ system involvement, that is, hematological abnormalities, hepatitis, liver function test abnormalities, myocarditis, etc. If one suspects of multi-organ hypersensitivity, one must immediately cease with taking this drug.
If one has taken too much of the medication, symptoms such as fluttering heartbeat, insomnia, irritability, agitation, anxiety, nervousness, sleep disturbances, slow blood clotting, tremor, nausea, etc. may occur. In that case, one should seek medical help as soon as possible.