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- Modafinil is an oral medication used to improve awakening in patients with excessive sleep. Modafinil is a vacation-promoting stimulant drug commonly used to treat symptoms of sleep/wake disorders. Like amphetamine, modafinil promotes waking by stimulating the brain. Modafinil has been FDA-approved for the treatment of chronic fatigue, excessive daytime sleepiness (narcolepsy), obstructive sleep apnea, and shift-work sleep disorder. In December 1998, Modafinil was approved by the FDA.