Question: I was transferred to the night shift about six months ago and I can’t seem to get used to it. I am drowsy all the time and I have even fallen asleep while operating the machines in my department. My doctor has prescribed NUVIGIL. He didn’t tell me much about it and I haven’t had it filled yet.
Do you think this is a good plan for staying alert?
Larry’s Response: Sleepiness is NOT a disease in itself. It is caused by lack of sleep. That isn’t earth shattering news. However, there must be enough sleepy people in the world that a drug maker has decided to try to capitalize on it by making yet another dangerous substance available.
They clearly realize the dangers inherent with their drug so it is available only by prescription. They are getting the doctors involved in their work. Doctors are too busy and the easiest way to meet the demands on their time is to diagnose quickly and prescribe a treatment – not a cure, but just something to treat the symptoms. I conclude that it is bad medicine and bordering on unethical behavior.
I’ve posted a short article on my website that offers more information about this new drug – designed to treat conditions that don’t actually exist.