Modafinil is a wake-promoting/cognitive enhancing drug that has been making rounds among CEOs, students, analysts, pilots as well as other professionals whose day-to-day activity requires focus, alertness, and concentration. Though it offers immense benefits, it also poses risks of side effects especially if it’s not used correctly. This article seeks to provide all necessary info on the benefits of modafinil, including its side effects and interactions.
What Is Modafinil Drug?
The term “modafinil” is becoming more and more popular in work environments as well as at schools. But what is modafinil, really?
It is actually a drug used for treating excessive daytime sleepiness that may result from sleep disorders. It is also used covertly by students as an aid for studying because of its memory-enhancing effects as well as by professionals for its ability to increase alertness, focus, and creativity . Though this drug produces a stimulant-like effect, it is not classified as a stimulant.
It may interest you to know that modafinil is not the only “smart drug”, there’s also armodafinil. Just like the former, the latter is also used on-label to treat excessive daytime sleepiness. However, while they are alike in terms of the benefits they offer, and side effects, slight differences exist. First, armodafinil is about 1.33 times stronger than modafinil and offers longer-lasting effects . Also, while they share the same common side effects, some may be more pronounced in one of the drugs than the other.
It is worth noting that modafinil and armodafinil may not completely eradicate daytime sleepiness as they are not cures for sleep disorders. It is not to be used by individuals without sleep disorders to ward off sleep .
What Is It Prescribed For?
Modafinil is so popular for its off-label uses that most people don’t actually know what is it prescribed for. However, it is used for the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness that may result from a shift work sleep disorder or disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), narcolepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and insomnia .
Irrespective of the word that has been going around about how this drug works, the truth is that its actual pharmacology is still quite unclear. However, it is believed to work by influencing the levels of certain special chemical substances and neurotransmitters in the brain that control the sleep/wake cycle. Some of these substances include histamine, dopamine, serotonin, gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), and glutamate .
What If the Drug Doesn’t Work?
Though this drug is highly effective in treating sleep disorders as well as in boosting cognitive function, it may not work the same way for everyone. This may be attributed to certain factors.
The quality of the pills
With the ever-increasing demand for “smart drugs” such as modafinil, it’s normal that fakes will be made. This is why the importance of sourcing it from a trustworthy and reputable seller cannot be overemphasized. At best, low-quality pills will be ineffective, at worst, they’d cause harm to the user.
The right dose to be taken may vary depending on factors such as weight, age, sex, etc. If too little dose is taken, modafinil may yield poor results or nothing at all. Consult your doctor to determine what dose will be perfect for you.
Modafinil may interact with certain other drugs, foods, or supplements. As such, it might not work if an interaction is taking place.
However, unlike as with first time users of this drug, for those who use it long term, the case might be different. If it was previously working but decreased ineffectiveness, it can be a sign of tolerance. If this is the case, one way to go is to switch the drug. It may be time to try armodafinil-based “smart drugs”.
Generally, in the event that Modafinil doesn’t work for you, self-medication should never be an option. It is always better to consult a doctor as it will save you a lot of trouble.
Usage Tips and Safe Dosage
For all those looking for how to increase cognitive function, or treat a sleep-related disorder with modafinil, it is important to use the drug correctly. Doing so will reduce the risks of harmful side effects, as well as make it effective. Here’s how to take it right.
Modafinil is to be taken once every day, either with food or without it. This is because of its half-life which is about 12 hours for a 200 mg dose . Taking more while the drug is still active within the body can result in an overdose.
The time of administration may vary depending on the purpose for which it is being taken as well as the work schedule of the user. When used for shift work sleep disorder treatment, it should be taken 1 hour prior to the work shift. For narcolepsy treatment, it is to be taken in the morning upon rising from bed .
Contrary to popular belief, the effectiveness of this drug does not increase if the dose is raised. Though some people do this, the question to ask is, is it safe? Never take more than the maximum recommended dose as it may increase the risk of side effects. Consult a doctor before starting treatment with modafinil.
Negative Effects of Taking Modafinil
Regardless of what type of drug is taken, there’s always a risk of experiencing adverse reactions, and modafinil is not an exception. Though it offers immense benefits, it also poses risks of side effects. Depending on the factors surrounding its use, as well as the individual taking it, the negative after-effects may range from mild to severe. Some of the common side effects that may result from modafinil’s use include:
- dry mouth;
- excessive thirst;
- muscle aches and/or difficulty moving;
On the one hand, the serious or severe negative effects that may result from this drug’s use include:
- irregular or accelerated heartbeat;
- difficulty swallowing and/or breathing;
- serious itching;
- mouth sores;
- swelling of the throat, face or the extremities of the body.
It is worth noting that these are not all the side effects long term that can result from the use of modafinil. Others not listed here might also surface. Seek medical health immediately, if you notice any severe negative after-effect.
Depending on how often modafinil is taken, it may or may not lead to psychological dependence. This drug should be taken moderately, especially as recommended by a doctor. What’s more, certain users believe that modafinil has some associated sexual side effects. However, there’s no substantial study on the influence it has on sexual function. At the least, there are no safety concerns.
Possible Interactions with Alcohol, Food, and Medications
Modafinil may interact with other medications depending on what they’re made of, alcohol as well as certain foods in ways that can reduce its effectiveness or even cause harm to the user. Due to this fact, it is important to watch what you consume while taking it. Some of the drugs it interacts with include:
- antifungals (ketoconazole (Nizoral), and itraconazole (Sporanox));
- some antidepressants (amoxapine, trimipramine (Surmontil), imipramine (Tofranil), protriptyline (Vivactil), etc.);
- blood thinners or anticoagulants (warfarin);
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – citalopram (Lexapro), sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), citalopram (Celexa), etc.;
- monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (propranolol (Inderal), phenelzine (Nardil), isocarboxazid (Marplan), etc.);
- certain seizure medications (phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), carbamazepine (Tegretol), etc.).
Taking alcohol alongside modafinil may increase the chances of experiencing negative after-effects. Let your doctor know if you take alcohol whether moderately or in large amounts. Though this drug can be taken with or without food, fatty foods should be avoided as they slow down the absorption rate of drugs. Thus, they can increase the time it will take the effects of modafinil to kick in.
Consult a doctor before taking this drug.
How to Buy Cheap Modafinil & Armodafinil Tablets Online?
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- Modafinil: Drug information. Retrieved: March 27, 2020. Medlineplus.gov.
- Armodafinil versus Modafinil in Patients of Excessive Sleepiness Associated with Shift Work Sleep Disorder: A Randomized Double-Blind Multicentric Clinical Trial. Retrieved: March 27, 2020. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
- Modafinil Oral: Uses, Side Effects, and Interactions. Retrieved: March 27, 2020. Webmd.com.
- Modafinil vs Adderall: What’s the difference? Retrieved: March 27, 2020. Drugs.com.
- Stimulant and Wake-Promoting Substances. Published: 2009. Sciencedirect.com.