Randomized controlled trial of modafinil for the treatment of fatigue in postpolio patients

Muscle Nerve. 2006 Jan;33(1):138-41. doi: 10.1002/mus.20437.


The purpose of this study was to test whether modafinil is effective in alleviating the symptoms of fatigue in postpolio patients, because it has been helpful for such symptoms in other neurologic disorders. Using a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled cross-over design, 14 postpolio patients with moderate to severe fatigue were assigned to receive modafinil or placebo first. Piper Fatigue Scale, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, digit span, and reaction time tests were done at baseline and then at weekly intervals. The Piper Fatigue Scale scores improved by 27 +/- 40% (mean +/- SD) following modafinil and by 43 +/- 36% following placebo. Scores for most of the other tests did not change during the study. Therefore, we conclude that modafinil was not effective in alleviating the symptoms of fatigue in postpolio patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Benzhydryl Compounds / therapeutic use*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatigue / drug therapy*
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Modafinil
  • Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome / complications
  • Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Modafinil