Armodafinil (Page 4 of 7)

9.3 Dependence

Physical dependence is a state that develops as a result of physiological adaptation in response to repeated drug use, manifested by withdrawal signs and symptoms after abrupt discontinuation or a significant dose reduction of a drug.

Physical dependence can occur in patients treated with armodafinil. Abrupt cessation or dose reduction following chronic use can result in withdrawal symptoms, including shaking, sweating, chills, nausea, vomiting, confusion, aggression, and atrial fibrillation.

Drug withdrawal convulsions, suicidality, fatigue, insomnia, aches, depression and headache have also been observed during the postmarketing period. Also, abrupt withdrawal has caused deterioration of psychiatric symptoms such as depression.

Tolerance is a physiological state characterized by a reduced response to a drug after repeated administration (i.e., a higher dose of a drug is required to produce the same effect that was once obtained at a lower dose).

Multiple cases of development of tolerance to armodafinil have been reported during the postmarketing period.


Fatal overdoses involving modafinil alone or involving armodafinil or modafinil in combination with other drugs have been reported in the postmarketing setting. Symptoms most often accompanying armodafinil or modafinil overdose, alone or in combination with other drugs, have included anxiety, dyspnea, insomnia; central nervous system symptoms such as restlessness, disorientation, confusion, excitation and hallucination; digestive changes such as nausea and diarrhea; and cardiovascular changes such as tachycardia, bradycardia, hypertension, and chest pain.

No specific antidote exists for the toxic effects of an armodafinil overdose. Such overdoses should be managed with primarily supportive care, including cardiovascular monitoring.


Armodafinil tablets are a wakefulness‑promoting agent for oral administration. Armodafinil is the R-enantiomer of modafinil which is a 1:1 mixture of the R- and S-enantiomers. The chemical name for armodafinil is 2‑[(R)-(diphenylmethyl)sulfinyl]acetamide. The molecular formula is C15 H15 NO2 S and the molecular weight is 273.35.

The chemical structure is:

chemical structure

Armodafinil is a white to off-white, crystalline powder that is slightly soluble in water, sparingly soluble in acetone, and soluble in methanol.

Armodafinil tablets contain 50, 150, 200 or 250 mg of armodafinil and the following inactive ingredients: croscarmellose sodium, lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, and pregelatinized starch.


12.1 Mechanism of Action

The mechanism(s) through which armodafinil promotes wakefulness is unknown. Armodafinil (R-modafinil) has pharmacological properties similar to those of modafinil (a mixture of R- and S-modafinil), to the extent tested in animal and in vitro studies. The R- and S-enantiomers have similar pharmacological actions in animals.

Armodafinil and modafinil have wake-promoting actions similar to sympathomimetic agents including amphetamine and methylphenidate, although their pharmacologic profile is not identical to that of the sympathomimetic amines.

Modafinil-induced wakefulness can be attenuated by the α 1-adrenergic receptor antagonist, prazosin; however, modafinil is inactive in other in vitro assay systems known to be responsive to α -adrenergic agonists such as the rat vas deferens preparation.

Armodafinil is an indirect dopamine receptor agonist; both armodafinil and modafinil bind in vitro to the dopamine transporter and inhibit dopamine reuptake. For modafinil, this activity has been associated in vivo with increased extracellular dopamine levels in some brain regions of animals. In genetically engineered mice lacking the dopamine transporter (DAT), modafinil lacked wake-promoting activity, suggesting that this activity was DAT-dependent. However, the wake-promoting effects of modafinil, unlike those of amphetamine, were not antagonized by the dopamine receptor antagonist haloperidol in rats. In addition, alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine, a dopamine synthesis inhibitor, blocks the action of amphetamine, but does not block locomotor activity induced by modafinil.

In addition to its wake-promoting effects and ability to increase locomotor activity in animals, modafinil produces psychoactive and euphoric effects, alterations in mood, perception, thinking, and feelings typical of other CNS stimulants in humans. Modafinil has reinforcing properties, as evidenced by its self-administration in monkeys previously trained to self-administer cocaine; modafinil was also partially discriminated as stimulant-like.

Based on nonclinical studies, two major metabolites, acid and sulfone, of modafinil or armodafinil, do not appear to contribute to the CNS-activating properties of the parent compounds.

12.3 Pharmacokinetics

Armodafinil exhibits linear time-independent kinetics following single and multiple oral dose administration. Increase in systemic exposure is proportional over the dose range of 50 to 400 mg. No time-dependent change in kinetics was observed through 12 weeks of dosing. Apparent steady state for armodafinil was reached within 7 days of dosing. At steady state, the systemic exposure for armodafinil is 1.8 times the exposure observed after a single dose. The concentration-time profiles of the R-enantiomer following administration of a single-dose of 50 mg armodafinil or 100 mg modafinil (a 1:1 mixture of R- and S-enantiomers) are nearly superimposable. However, the Cmax and AUC0-∞ , of armodafinil at steady-state were approximately 37% and 70% higher, respectively, following administration of 200 mg armodafinil than the corresponding values of modafinil following administration of 200 mg modafinil due to the more rapid clearance of the S-enantiomer (elimination half-life approximately 4 hours) as compared to the R-enantiomer.


Armodafinil is readily absorbed after oral administration. The absolute oral bioavailability was not determined due to the aqueous insolubility of armodafinil, which precluded intravenous administration. Peak plasma concentrations are attained at approximately 2 hours in the fasted state. Food effect on the overall bioavailability of armodafinil is considered minimal; however, time to reach peak concentration (tmax ) may be delayed by approximately 2 to 4 hours in the fed state. Since the delay in tmax is also associated with elevated plasma concentrations later in time, food can potentially affect the onset and time course of pharmacologic action for armodafinil.


Armodafinil has an apparent volume of distribution of approximately 42 L. Data specific to armodafinil protein binding are not available. However, modafinil is moderately bound to plasma protein (approximately 60%), mainly to albumin. The potential for interactions of armodafinil with highly protein‑bound drugs is considered to be minimal.


After oral administration of armodafinil, armodafinil exhibits an apparent monoexponential decline from the peak plasma concentration. The apparent terminal t½ is approximately 15 hours. The oral clearance of armodafinil is approximately 33 mL/min.


In vitro and in vivo data show that armodafinil undergoes hydrolytic deamidation, S-oxidation, and aromatic ring hydroxylation, with subsequent glucuronide conjugation of the hydroxylated products. Amide hydrolysis is the single most prominent metabolic pathway, with sulfone formation by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4/5 being next in importance. The other oxidative products are formed too slowly in vitro to enable identification of the enzyme(s) responsible. Only two metabolites reach appreciable concentrations in plasma (i.e., R-modafinil acid and modafinil sulfone).


Data specific to armodafinil disposition are not available. However, modafinil is mainly eliminated via metabolism, predominantly in the liver, with less than 10% of the parent compound excreted in the urine. A total of 81% of the administered radioactivity was recovered in 11 days post-dose, predominantly in the urine (80% vs. 1% in the feces).

Specific Populations


In a clinical study, systemic exposure of armodafinil was approximately 15% higher in elderly subjects (≥65 years of age, N=24), corresponding to approximately 12% lower oral clearance (CL/F), as compared to young subjects (18 to 45 years of age, N=25). Systemic exposure of armodafinil acid (metabolite) was approximately 61% and 73% greater for Cmax and AUC0-τ , respectively, compared to young subjects. Systemic exposure of the sulfone metabolite was approximately 20% lower for elderly subjects compared with young subjects. A subgroup analysis of elderly subjects demonstrated elderly subjects ≥75 and 65 to 74 years of age had approximately 21% and 9% lower oral clearance, respectively, compared to young subjects. Systemic exposure was approximately 10% greater in subjects 65 to 74 years of age (N=17) and 27% greater in subjects ≥75 years of age (N=7), respectively, when compared to young subjects. The change is considered not likely to be clinically significant for elderly patients, however, because some elderly patients have greater exposure to armodafinil, consideration should be given to the use of lower doses.


Population pharmacokinetic analysis suggests no gender effect on the pharmacokinetics of armodafinil.


The influence of race/ethnicity on the pharmacokinetics of armodafinil has not been studied.

Hepatic Impairment

The pharmacokinetics and metabolism of modafinil were examined in patients with cirrhosis of the liver (6 men and 3 women). Three patients had stage B or B+ cirrhosis and 6 patients had stage C or C+ cirrhosis (per the Child-Pugh score criteria). Clinically 8 of 9 patients were icteric and all had ascites. In these patients, the oral clearance of modafinil was decreased by about 60% and the steady state concentration was doubled compared to normal patients [see Dosage and Administration (2.3) and Use in Specific Populations (8.6)].

Renal Impairment

In a single dose 200 mg modafinil study, severe chronic renal failure (creatinine clearance ≤20 mL/min) did not significantly influence the pharmacokinetics of modafinil, but exposure to modafinil acid (metabolite) was increased 9-fold.

Drug Interactions

In vitro data demonstrated that armodafinil weakly induces CYP1A2 and possibly CYP3A activities in a concentration-related manner and that CYP2C19 activity is reversibly inhibited by armodafinil. Other CYP activities did not appear to be affected by armodafinil. An in vitro study demonstrated that armodafinil is a substrate of P-glycoprotein.

Potential Interactions with Drugs That Inhibit, Induce, or Are Metabolized by Cytochrome P450 Isoenzymes and Other Hepatic Enzymes

The existence of multiple pathways for armodafinil metabolism, as well as the fact that a non-CYP-related pathway is the most rapid in metabolizing armodafinil, suggest that there is a low probability of substantive effects on the overall pharmacokinetic profile of armodafinil due to CYP inhibition by concomitant medications. However, due to the partial involvement of CYP3A enzymes in the metabolic elimination of armodafinil, coadministration of potent inducers of CYP3A4/5 (e.g., carbamazepine, phenobarbital, rifampin) or inhibitors of CYP3A4/5 (e.g., ketoconazole, erythromycin) could alter the plasma concentrations of armodafinil.

The Potential of Armodafinil to Alter the Metabolism of Other Drugs by Enzyme Induction or Inhibition

  • Drugs Metabolized by CYP3A4/5
    In vitro data demonstrated that armodafinil is a weak inducer of CYP3A activity in a concentration-related manner. In a clinical study, concomitant administration of armodafinil 250 mg resulted in a reduction in systemic exposure to midazolam by 32% after a single oral dose (5 mg) and 17% after a single intravenous dose (2 mg). Therefore, the blood levels and effectiveness of drugs that are substrates for CYP3A enzymes (e.g., steroidal contraceptives, cyclosporine, midazolam, and triazolam) may be reduced after initiation of concomitant treatment with armodafinil [see Drug Interactions (7)].
    In a separate clinical study, concomitant administration of armodafinil 250 mg with quetiapine (300 mg to 600 mg daily doses) resulted in a reduction in the mean systemic exposure of quetiapine by approximately 29%. No dose adjustment is required.
  • Drugs Metabolized by CYP1A2
    In vitro data demonstrated that armodafinil is a weak inducer of CYP1A2 in a concentration-related manner. However, in a clinical study using caffeine as a probe substrate, no significant effect on CYP1A2 activity was observed.
  • Drugs Metabolized by CYP2C19
    In vitro data demonstrated that armodafinil is a reversible inhibitor of CYP2C19 activity. In a clinical study, concomitant administration of armodafinil 400 mg resulted in a 40% increase in exposure to omeprazole after a single oral dose (40 mg), as a result of moderate inhibition of CYP2C19 activity [see Drug Interactions (7)].
  • Interactions with CNS Active Drugs
    Concomitant administration of armodafinil with quetiapine reduced the systemic exposure of quetiapine.
    Data specific to armodafinil drug-drug interaction potential with other CNS active drugs are not available. However, the following available drug-drug interaction information on modafinil should be applicable to armodafinil.
    Concomitant administration of modafinil with methylphenidate or dextroamphetamine produced no significant alterations on the pharmacokinetic profile of modafinil or either stimulant, even though the absorption of modafinil was delayed for approximately one hour.
    Concomitant modafinil or clomipramine did not alter the pharmacokinetic profile of either drug; however, one incident of increased levels of clomipramine and its active metabolite desmethylclomipramine was reported in a patient with narcolepsy during treatment with modafinil.
    Data specific to armodafinil or modafinil drug-drug interaction potential with monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors are not available [see Drug Interactions (7)].
  • Interaction with P-Glycoprotein
    An in vitro study demonstrated that armodafinil is a substrate of P-glycoprotein. The impact of inhibition of P-glycoprotein is not known.
  • Interactions with Other Drugs
    Data specific to armodafinil drug-drug interaction potential for additional other drugs are not available. However, the following available drug-drug interaction information on modafinil should be applicable to armodafinil.Warfarin: Concomitant administration of modafinil with warfarin did not produce significant changes in the pharmacokinetic profiles of R- and S-warfarin. However, since only a single dose of warfarin was tested in this study, an interaction cannot be ruled out [see Drug Interactions (7)].

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