Single-dose pharmacokinetics of modafinil and methylphenidate given alone or in combination in healthy male volunteers

J Clin Pharmacol. 1998 Mar;38(3):276-82. doi: 10.1002/j.1552-4604.1998.tb04425.x.


Modafinil is a novel wake-promoting agent being developed for treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness associated with narcolepsy. An open, 3 x 3 Latin square, randomized, cross-over study was performed in healthy males to compare the pharmacokinetics of single-dose oral modafinil (200 mg) and methylphenidate (40 mg) administered alone or in combination. Blood samples were obtained for analysis of d- and l-threo-methylphenidate and modafinil and its acid and sulfone metabolites. Pharmacokinetic parameters were determined by noncompartmental methods, but could not be evaluated for modafinil sulfone due to plasma levels that were close to the assay quantitation limit. Although sporadic differences in plasma concentrations were observed between treatments, coadministration of modafinil and methylphenidate did not significantly alter the plasma concentrations of modafinil, modafinil acid, modafinil sulfone, or methylphenidate enantiomers compared with administration of these agents alone. Half-life (t1/2), maximum concentration (Cmax), area under the concentration-time curve (AUC0-infinity), total clearance (Cl/F), and apparent volume of distribution (Vd/F) for modafinil and t1/2, Cmax, and AUC0-infinity for modafinil acid were not affected by concomitant administration of methylphenidate. Small but statistically significant increases in time to Cmax (tmax) were observed for modafinil and modafinil acid after methylphenidate coadministration compared with modafinil alone. Modafinil coadministration did not significantly alter the pharmacokinetics of d- or l-threo-methylphenidate, except for a small decrease in Vd/F of l-threo-methylphenidate. Concomitant methylphenidate may cause a delay in the oral absorption of modafinil, but this delay might not be relevant clinically. Coadministration did not alter the extent of oral absorption and disposition of either agent. Therefore, a pharmacokinetic interaction between modafinil and methylphenidate would be unlikely.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenergic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Adrenergic Agents / adverse effects
  • Adrenergic Agents / pharmacokinetics*
  • Adrenergic Agents / pharmacology
  • Adult
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / adverse effects
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / pharmacokinetics*
  • Benzhydryl Compounds / pharmacology
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / administration & dosage
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacokinetics*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Interactions
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / administration & dosage
  • Methylphenidate / adverse effects
  • Methylphenidate / pharmacokinetics*
  • Methylphenidate / pharmacology
  • Middle Aged
  • Modafinil


  • Adrenergic Agents
  • Benzhydryl Compounds
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Methylphenidate
  • Modafinil