Various articles show the high prevalence of sleep disorders and especially excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in patients with refractory epilepsy and the importance of personal and social burden of this complication on individuals. Considering the insufficient evidence to draw efficacy and safety of modafinil and methylphenidate to treat EDS in the patient with intractable seizures, we decided to compare the effect of methylphenidate and modafinil with the control group. It is hoped that this study will pave the way for further studies.
This study is a clinical trial (IRCT20171030037093N22) (URL: The study population was patients with refractory epilepsy referred to the neurology clinic of Al-Zahra Hospital, Isfahan, Iran, from 2019 to 2020. The patients were randomly divided into three groups. The first group was treated with methylphenidate, the second group was treated with modafinil, and the third group was not received any medication such as modafinil and methylphenidate. Methylphenidate dosage was 10-20 mg/day. The patients were treated with modafinil at a dose of 200-600 mg/day. EPWORTH sleepiness scale (ESS) and Total Sleep Time (TST) were calculated before and 8 weeks after the intervention for the patients.
47 patients were included and divided into 3 groups, methylphenidate (10 males and 9 females), modafinil (7 males and 13 females), and control (4 males and 4 females). There was no significant difference among the groups based on ESS before and after intervention and TST after the intervention (P>0.05), but the mean of TST was significantly lower in the control group than in methylphenidate and modafinil groups before the intervention (P=0.003). The change of ESS and TST before compared to after intervention in the methylphenidate and modafinil group were significant (P0.05). The frequency of complications (P=0.74) and outcomes (P=0.07) were similar in both groups.
Modafinil and methylphenidate are two effective and safe drugs to increase the quality of sleep in the patients. Additionally, ESS and TST scores are better in the patients who used modafinil and methylphenidate.

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