Over the past few months several board participants have noted that their hormonal therapy caused fatigue. I just learned about a drug that may help when exercise or the caffeine in coffee or tea does not do the job.
Dr. Charles "Snuffy" Myers just gave a review of several options for fatigue, such as the fatigue experienced by some of us on hormonal therapy or chemotherapy. He first looked at several wide-awake products available to all consumers, noting their effectiveness but also that they can make users jittery and possibly have adverse effects on the cardiovascular system.
He then looked at a prescription drug, Modafinil, sold under the brand name Provigil. He found the drug effective and safe, noting that it had been widely studied by medical researchers.
I just checked PubMed and got 935 hits with a search for Provigil! It is not FDA approved for fatigue from hormonal blockade or chemotherapy, but it is available as an "off-label" prescription, and Dr. Myers' experience is that insurers will often cover it for prostate cancer patients for fatigue stemming from hormonal therapy or chemotherapy.
I have been on hormonal blockade intermittently since late 1999. The fatigue I experienced was quite minor, and I did not need drugs. In fact I really did not experience fatigue except in the early months of the first of the three blockade cycles I completed. In part I believe I've done well because of aerobic and strength exercise and activities, and those are well known to counter fatigue. However, for some of us Modafinil may bring needed relief.
Has anyone used Modafinil?
I am a fellow survivor with no enrolled medical education, and I'm passing on what I've heard in hopes that it will be helpful to some of us.
Take care all,