Compare dexamethasone vs. Provigil

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Decadron
(dexamethasone)

Provigil
(modafinil)

Calms down your immune system. Decadron (dexamethasone) is a long-acting oral corticosteroid that is very effective in treating allergic reactions and immune conditions, however, if you're taking Decadron (dexamethasone) for a long time, there can be serious side effects.Improves alertness. Provigil (Modafinil) is effective in improving alertness, but it can interact with other medicines and shouldn't be used long-term.
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Coupons for dexamethasone
Best available price for 30 (50mg) capsules of cyclophosphamide
Coupons for Provigil
Best available price for 30 (200mg) tablets of provigil
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Decadron (dexamethasone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Provigil
82%
+8% better vs. dexamethasone
71%
+19% better vs. dexamethasone
4%
+4% better vs. dexamethasone
Have you used Provigil (modafinil)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
dexamethasoneProvigil

The dexamethasone FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about dexamethasone side effects »
  • Headache 11%
  • Nausea 8%
  • Any side effect 5%
  • Inflammation inside the nose 1%
  • Nervousness 4%
  • Back pain 1%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Sleep difficulty 4%
  • Indigestion 1%
More Provigil side effects »
How it works
dexamethasoneProvigil
Decadron (dexamethasone) is a corticosteroid that is similar to what your body naturally makes. It reduces swelling and other immune responses that can cause you pain, discomfort, or harm.Provigil (Modafinil) is a stimulant that helps you feel awake. Researchers don't know exactly how Provigil (Modafinil) works, but it probably affects chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.
Type of medication
dexamethasoneProvigil
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
dexamethasoneProvigil
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Used for
dexamethasoneProvigil
  • Allergies
Risk factors for serious side effects
dexamethasoneProvigil
  • Lowering dose or stopping too quickly especially after long-term treatment
  • Stress such as trauma, surgery or infection
  • Taking other immunosuppressants
  • Long-term treatment
  • Not vaccinated against viral diseases
Detailed Decadron (dexamethasone) risks & warnings »
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Current kidney problems
  • Current liver problems
  • History of heart problems
Detailed Provigil (modafinil) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Price
dexamethasoneProvigil
  • Can control immune responses that are causing you discomfort and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, and pain.
No price related info.
Interactions
dexamethasoneProvigil
No interactions related info.
  • Interacts with many other medications.
Alcohol
dexamethasoneProvigil
No alcohol related info.
  • Don't drink alcohol with Provigil (Modafinil).
Food
dexamethasoneProvigil
  • Take Decadron (dexamethasone) in the morning with food to minimize stomach upset. If taking an evening dose, take 2-3 hours before bedtime to help you sleep better at night.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
dexamethasoneProvigil
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can cause high blood pressure, increased salt retention and increased processing of electrolytes by your kidneys. If you have heart failure, high blood pressure, or kidney damage, talk to your doctor.
  • Provigil (Modafinil) is broken down by the kidney and liver. If you have kidney or liver problems, you may need to use a lower dose to prevent more side effects.
  • Not a good choice if you have liver or kidney problems.
Pain
dexamethasoneProvigil
  • Taking Decadron (dexamethasone) increases the risk of injury to the lining of your stomach and intestine including irritation and tears. You should avoid alcohol/alcoholic beverages because it can worsen stomach irritation. Tell your doctor and get medical care right away if you have stomach pain or bloody/dark stools when you go to the bathroom.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can increase your chance of infection. Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, flu-like signs, cough, pain with passing urine, or a wound that will not heal.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
dexamethasoneProvigil
  • Effective in treating many conditions.
  • Can improve energy and appetite.
  • Can control immune responses that are causing you discomfort and works quickly to relieve symptoms like swelling, rash, asthma attacks, and pain.
  • Has long-term benefit in calming down the immune system and keeping it from causing your body harm, such as in autoimmune conditions.
  • Available in generic form.
  • It's a non-amphetamine medicine that helps improve alertness.
  • Available in a generic version.
  • Effective in reducing excessive sleepiness in Shift-work Sleep Disorder.
  • Doesn't negatively affect daytime sleep.
Downsides and risks
dexamethasoneProvigil
  • Many side effects, particularly with long term use.
  • Side effects include mood changes, trouble sleeping and increase in blood pressure and blood sugar at higher doses.
  • Long-term use can cause problems with skin, bone, eye health and put you at a higher risk for infections.
  • If you've been using corticosteroids for more than 2 weeks, you will need to work with a doctor to get off the medicine slowly.
  • Limited studies conducted with use of steroids during pregnancy or breastfeeding - potential harm to unborn baby.
  • Provigil (Modafinil) can be habit-forming, so it's typically not used for long-term treatment.
  • Interacts with many other medications.
  • Taking Provigil (Modafinil) will make hormonal birth control less effective. You should definitely use additional forms of non-hormonal contraception.
  • Not a good choice if you have liver or kidney problems.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
dexamethasoneProvigil
  • The dose and how long you need to take the medicine for depends on your specific condition and response.
  • Take Decadron (dexamethasone) in the morning with food to minimize stomach upset. If taking an evening dose, take 2-3 hours before bedtime to help you sleep better at night.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can cause an increase in appetite and water retention, as well as changes in mood.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can increase blood pressure and blood sugar with higher doses. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, it is important that you check your blood pressure and blood sugar regularly while taking this medicine.
  • If you need to take Decadron (dexamethasone) for longer than 2 weeks, you may need to gradually stop taking this medication. Take it exactly as your doctor prescribed and do not stop suddenly.
  • Decadron (dexamethasone) can increase your chance of infection. Call your doctor right away if you have a fever, chills, flu-like signs, cough, pain with passing urine, or a wound that will not heal.
  • Take Provigil (Modafinil) about an hour before you need to be fully alert.
  • Taking caffeine with Provigil (Modafinil) can cause you to feel nervous, shaky, and have a faster heartbeat. Try limiting your caffeine intake.
  • Until you know how Provigil (Modafinil) makes you feel, don't drive or perform any tasks that need you to be alert.
  • You can experience withdrawal symptoms if you suddenly stop taking Provigil (Modafinil). Talk to your doctor before making any changes.
  • Tell your doctor right away if you break out in a rash.
  • Don't drink alcohol with Provigil (Modafinil).
Learn more
More about dexamethasoneSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Decadron (dexamethasone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ProvigilSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Provigil (modafinil)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it