The FDA has declined to approve an application for use of an alertness drug, Nuvigil, to treat jet lag.
Nuvigil is a slightly longer-lasting form of the best-selling sleep apnea and narcolepsy drug, Provigil.
From the NYT:
Cephalon’s clinical trial involved 427 volunteers who were flown from the East Coast of the United States to France, then kept in a sleep lab for three days. As measured by electrodes placed on the scalp, those who took Nuvigil were less sleepy during the French daytime than those who were given a placebo.
In a more subjective test, in which participants were asked how sleepy they felt, the drug also did better than placebo, but not as convincingly.
The FDA does not comment on applications it does not approve. Would you take a drug like this for jet lag? It’s not supposed to sync your body clock or anything — it’s just supposed to keep you awake. Like coffee, with less peeing.