Pillhead, Jezebel's resident pharmaceutical expert, has been wanting to review the wonder drug Provigil for some time now. It makes you smart! And happy! And thin! But it's not yet generic. And...it didn't really seem to be working for Britney Spears. In fact, it could have gotten her pregnant. After the jump, a very special "Pillhead."
If today's reports are true and Britney Spears really is pregnant, again, it might not be her fault (sort of.) Recently, the fertile one has been photographed toting around a bottle of Provigil. Provigil is a prescription-only drug that has gained popularity in the past few years as a "smart drug." Like Adderall, Ritalin and the whole raft of stimulants powering today's attention-starved youths and conquering the hungover fatigue of certain bloggers I know, Provigil increases alertness. Like a certain over-the-counter drug I made Moe try for me, it helps with weight loss. It has apparently been proven to have "certain cognitive-enhancing effects" — that's where the "smart drug" part comes in. And unlike Adderall, it does all this without making you want to stab everyone less competent than you!
(You know when a pharmaceutical salesman visits the pharmaceutical rep message boards to congratulate a competing company on the drug they're peddling that you're on to something)
I took a Provigil this morning about 8:00AM and fuck sakes- I have not felt this GREAT in a LONG time!!! I'm your typical type A early 40s white male who generally spends a good amount of time being pissed off about nothing, really... Today I had FUN in every account, was laid back and really enjoyed my day.
But there was a problem: my insurance wouldn't cover it. Because it was six hundred dollars. What?! See, there's no generic version — and there won't be for the next five years.
But you can generally get insurance to cover it if you have a proven sleep disorder, and obvious jokes aside, that's probably how Britney got ahold of it — not for "cocaine addiction" as speculated, though small studies have suggested it can be effective for that. Britney allegedly sleeps for most of the day and even slept through several court-ordered drug tests and at least one widely-viewed live MTV appearance. Her insurance probably even pays for it! But there's a catch:
"Women who use hormonal contraceptives such as birth control pills, shots, implants, intrauterine devices (IUDs), or patches may have a higher chance of getting pregnant while taking Provigil and for one month after discontinuing the use of Provigil."
Even worse, if Britney did become pregnant while taking Provigil, the risks of birth defects are unknown:
"...it is not known whether it will be harmful to an unborn baby. There are no adequate studies that assess effects of Provigil in pregnant women or nursing mothers."
(Of course, Britney has recently been accused of being addicted to drugs and alcohol, which are proven to cause birth defects, so Provigil might be the least of her problems.)
Think about it: if you were Britney Spears, wouldn't you be on birth control? And if you were Britney Spears, wouldn't you probably not obsessively educate yourself about the contra-indications of your new "smart drug"? I don't think anyone hopes Britney is pregnant, but if she is, let's hope she stopped taking (any) drugs in time.
And if she isn't, maybe she should switch to a stronger drug. Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta probably won't do it for her, but I've been cruising the ADD forums and there's a drug called Desoxyn that's getting a lot of good reviews. Desoxyn has been around for awhile, but it's been stigmatized for the past few years because its generic name is "methamphetamine." But if one prospective patient could give meth heads a bad name, I think we all know who that is...