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Modafinil: A Practical Guide to Its Use and Risks

Modafinil: A Practical Guide To Its Use And Risks

Modafinil has been in use for a long time. It was used by US Air Force aircrews to beat fatigue and enhance performance during the Gulf War. However, its extensive potential for medicinal usage is a recent development. Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent having less serious side effects compared with amphetamines which are stimulants commonly used to treat conditions like ADHD or narcolepsy.

Benefits Of Modafinil

Modafinil is a nootropic agent which can improve wakefulness, mood and vigilance. It is used to treat people with narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea or shift work disorder. However, it has become popular as a drug to increase motivation, mental energy, concentration and memory. There is a number of benefits offered by modafinil for example it enhances physical endurance thus allowing the athlete to go longer during workouts. Students who use Provigil also claim that they learn better while using this medication. Modafinil treats ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) because it increases attention span in children suffering from the disease. Athletes like bodybuilders and weightlifters find this medicine beneficial because it increases focus, serotonin levels which are responsible for mood changes.

Modafinil is a prescription medication and has to be used strictly as recommended by the doctor. Some of the major side effects of modafinil are headache, nausea, nervousness, anxiety etc. It should not be used by pregnant women or nursing mothers without consulting the doctor first. The medicine may cause addiction if taken in large doses or for extended periods of time. Therefore, caution needs to be exercised while using this drug to avoid any untoward effects on your health.

Modafinil is one of approximately 200 medications used in the treatment of narcolepsy—a sleep disorder involving sudden attacks of deep sleep during normal waking hours (A Historical Perspective). Modafinil’s ability to promote wakefulness makes it very popular among shift workers who find themselves staying awake long hours at night when they would normally be sleeping. Modafinil is the generic name for the prescription medication Provigil®. Modafinil can be prescribed to treat shift-work sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS), or narcolepsy.

Not only does modafinil help promote wakefulness in individuals whose jobs require them to stay awake all night, but modafinil may also benefit people who suffer from daytime fatigue because of other medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis, depression, or spinal cord injury.

Modafinil has been used successfully around the world since 1998 and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 1998 for treating individuals with narcolepsy (Provigil – Modafinil Information).

While there are many benefits to modafinil, there are also some side effects such as headache, nausea, nervousness and anxiety. People who have taken modafinil should not drive or use heavy equipment until they know how the medication affects them. The way an individual reacts to a medication is not always predictable; therefore, you should consult your physician if you think medicating with modafinil may be right for you (Provigil – Modafinil Information). If your doctor does prescribe this medicine for you, make sure that he or she knows about any other prescription and non-prescription medications and supplements that you take. This will help to ensure that there won’t be any undesirable drug interactions.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that causes extreme fatigue that does not fade with rest or sleep. This condition can be very difficult to live with because there are no medications specifically designed for CFS patients, the only course of treatment available typically involves antidepressants and pain relievers. However, in some cases, modafinil has been shown to significantly improve symptoms associated with CFS most notably the lack of energy. Modafinil may offer relief from fatigue by keeping dopamine at healthy levels which results in an increase in energy. The exact action of modafinil is not fully understood but it is believed that this medication stimulates both norepinephrine and serotonin which helps to keep you awake and alert.

See also Prescription Sleeping Pills Is So Famous, But Why?

Weight Loss With Modafinil

Weight Loss with Modafinil

A randomized, double-blind study was conducted over a 12-week period to assess the effects of modafinil in weight loss among obese or overweight adults. The drug is designed to promote wakefulness and is most often prescribed for patients who have narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome, or shift work disorder. Some people have prescribed modafinil just so that they can function properly throughout the day—they suffer from excessive fatigue. This study focused on only adults that were diagnosed with obesity or being overweight.

Results showed significant increases in average daily metabolic rate (6%–8%) during treatment with either 200 mg/day or 400 mg/day of modafinil extracted from baseline measurements. Patients that took the medication also experienced significant decreases in body mass during the 12-week treatment period—though only 4.4% for those taking 100 mg/day of modafinil, 3.7% for those taking 200 mg/day, and 2.6% for those taking 400 mg/day. Body mass index decreased significantly in all groups, with no significant difference between the three doses.

It is important to note that this study was not designed to discover how Modafinil works; it was designed merely to see if it would be effective in promoting weight loss among obese or overweight patients when combined with a moderate diet and exercise plan. As mentioned earlier, most patients suffer from excessive fatigue and therefore, this medication is prescribed so that they can function better throughout the day. The researchers note that more studies should be conducted in order to assess whether modafinil is effective when combined with other weight loss products or programs.

Side Effects Of Modafinil        

The majority of Modafinil side effects are psychological. 

These include:

  • anxiety
  • nervousness
  • dizziness
  • Black, tarry stools.
  • blurred vision or other vision changes.
  • chest pain.
  • chills or fever.
  • clumsiness or unsteadiness.
  • dizziness or fainting.
  • increased thirst and urination.
  • mental depression
  • and difficulty sleeping.

These side effects occur when someone takes too much Modafinil or misuses it. That is to say that the individual took more than was medically necessary or ingested the substance in a way other than directed (e.g., by swallowing tablets whole rather than allowing them time to dissolve under the tongue).

Modafinil has not been shown to pose any serious health risks, even among those with underlying heart conditions. This medication has also been used successfully for years as an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome (OSAHS), frequently in place of prescription stimulants.

Modafinil is safe for the majority of patients to use, but side effects are still possible. If you experience some of the milder Modafinil side effects while taking this medication (e.g., headache, nausea), you might be able to alleviate them by taking the drug with food or by reducing your dosage. However, if these symptoms do not go away or become increasingly problematic (and especially if they appear suddenly in conjunction with any of the more serious side effects), contact your healthcare provider right away. You should also seek immediate medical care if you notice signs of serious allergic reactions such as rash; hives; itching; swelling; trouble breathing; tightness in the chest; of face, lips and tongue; severe diarrhea; seizure; swelling of eyes or mouth.

This is because Modafinil side effects could be signs that the drug isn’t working properly and your body may need to reset itself to normal functioning, which can take some time.

Modafinil is generally well-tolerated in most people. The most common form of mild side effects caused by this medication is headache, nausea, nervousness or dizziness. The more serious possible negative reactions include allergic reactions (urticaria, skin rash), mental changes (anxiety, hallucinations), heart palpitations and disturbances in sleep patterns (insomnia). If you experience any unusual symptoms while using this medication, inform your doctor as soon as possible. 

Modafinil Alternatives

Modafinil is a smart drug often prescribed to narcolepsy patients and people who suffer from related sleep disorders. It is also used by healthy adults as a brain booster or productivity enhancer. As such, it promotes wakefulness and alertness while helping you stay calm, focused and motivated.

The big downside of modafinil is that it has a high potential for abuse. In fact, the way it works in your brain closely resembles cocaine with most users finding both drugs equally addictive. Sooner or later an increased dose is needed to get the same effect which puts you at high risk of severe side effects if not addiction itself. This is why many have been seeking for an effective modafinil alternative. Many alternatives do exist and some even come with cognitive benefits of their own.

Here we review the best five non-prescription modafinil alternatives and explain how they work and what effects to expect from them:

Adrafinil is a prodrug for modafinil which means that when converted into modafinil in your liver it will produce the same results as taking straight up modafinil. In fact, adrafinil underwent clinical trials in France before hitting the market as a prescribed narcolepsy drug where it showed to be effective in improving wakefulness in night shift workers. It works by promoting the release of orexin, a neurotransmitter associated with alertness, in your brain.

This is why adrafinil has become a popular nootropic that can be bought for both cognitive enhancement and productivity purposes. Users report feeling more alert, focused and energetic after taking adrafinil with many also experiencing mild but noticeable nootropic effects such as increased memory, creativity and improved abstract thinking. Many studies have shown adrafinil to increase motivation which is likely why it’s considered an effective social enhancer by many users.

Most Frequently Asked Questions About Modafinil

How Do I Get Modafinil?

How to get Modafinil

They offer a product called Modvigil which contains 100mg of the active ingredient. They also offer a generic version for 60 rupees less per pill (so almost 50% cheaper).  They claim that the 100mg pills contain only 70mg of the active ingredient and 30mg of filler.  I did some research online to find out what might make up this filler, and basically, all I could find were claims that it was an inert substance.  In any case, it seems that if you’re only looking to get the active ingredient of modafinil, then this may be a viable option.

In order for this to work, they require a prescription from an Indian doctor.  You can’t get away with claiming that you have insomnia or something similar because they ask for details about your condition and will likely Google it themselves.

After placing my order, I received tracking information in less than 24 hours, and after another week my package arrived well packaged and intact.  They sent me the generic version by mistake (which was actually better since it worked out cheaper), but after sending them an email they immediately responded saying no problem sending me the right item ASAP.  Their customer service is top-notch!

I can’t say that my experience was perfect.  They don’t give you the most information about what exactly they’re sending to you, just pictures of the outside and inside of the box.  The product itself doesn’t even seem to have a lot of extra packaging around it.  All I know is that it worked perfectly for me on a 200mg dosage (two 100mg pills).

Also, some countries may be able to order modafinil online without a prescription if they are getting it from India or another country where there are no regulations regarding the distribution of modafinil over the counter. 

Where Can I Get Modafinil Online?

Many online pharmacies also carry brand-name Provigil [2], even though it’s “off-patent,” which means that you should not have to pay a premium for it: there is no difference between the various brands of modafinil besides price and branding. Many reputable overseas pharmacies are known to ship everywhere in the world, including the USA, UK, EU countries, Australia/New Zealand etc., always guaranteeing an online prescription.

Most people worldwide believe that Modafinil is a scheduled drug and can only be obtained with a prescription from a doctor, but the reality is quite different: it does not appear on any list of scheduled drugs in any country under any circumstances, and could theoretically be sold over the counter at stores like CVS and Walgreens without violating any law. Canada seems to have slightly stricter rules regarding importation than the USA; for this reason, Canadians should go through Canadian online pharmacies if they want to get Modafinil or Armodafinil (brand-name “Nuvigil”).

It’s very easy to get modafinil online without having an actual prescription. All you need is an online medical questionnaire that determines whether you have a condition or not, and then they offer you a prescription. There is just one catch: there are many online pharmacies selling modafinil without requiring a prescription but most of them still ask for your medical history, even though it’s irrelevant to the matter at hand. That means you’ll have to wait several days before they give you any drugs, which can be inconvenient if you need to buy some ASAP. Many people would rather have an actual doctor diagnose them and provide them with a legal scrip so that they can use their insurance to cover most of the cost (or get free pills). 

See also What exactly is a central nervous system stimulant?

Does Modafinil Make You Happy?

Studies have shown that rewarding and reinforcing stimuli increase dopamine levels in the brain’s mesocorticolimbic system. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with reward and reinforcement, so it would make sense that increasing its activity should correlate to increased happiness. There are no studies proving this one way or another, but anecdotally many users of modafinil report an increase in their mood while taking the medication (over normal circumstances). This may be due to modafinil allowing users to perform tasks that they previously found tedious and unenjoyable; I would consider this effect certainly not “happiness” per se, but more likely an alleviation of the depression of having to work.

The increase in motivation is thought to be caused by an enhanced mesolimbic response; specifically, dopamine has been shown to enhance the attractiveness of rewarding stimuli, which could explain why modafinil users enjoy performing tasks that they find boring. This may potentially account for some increased happiness while taking modafinil (although certainly not all).

Does Modafinil Give You A High?

Modafinil gives you a mild high insofar as it provides a stimulant effect somewhat similar to amphetamines. However, many people find modafinil’s stimulating effects manageable and less intense than that of more powerful drugs. If you’re interested in trying modafinil, then I recommend doing so with your doctor’s prescription or consulting with some experienced friends who have already tried it. Modafinil is available through online pharmacies such as Cephalon Inc., however the price may be prohibitively expensive for some users. In general, if you get prescribed modafinil from your doctor, this would be the most affordable way to obtain the drug. As a student without medical insurance, I’ve also ordered modafinil online – this tends to be the cheapest option. I found the generic manufacturer Sun Pharma to provide good quality modafinil, although it’s possible that other companies may offer similar pricing and/or better deals.

Modafinil is a very popular cognitive enhancer available on the market for years without major detriments of use. More research is required to determine whether modafinil is an efficacious treatment in the case of sleep disorders, however evidence of its efficacy and safety seems convincing enough to use it as a cognitive enhancer. The exact mechanism of action continues to be unknown but has been associated with various neurotransmitters that affect mood, anxiety and motivation – dopamine and serotonin being two of them. Side effects are non-existent or mild and include digestive issues, headaches and potentially causing skin dryness if not hydrated properly when in direct sunlight (a common issue with any stimulant).

Modafinil Is Prescribed By What Type Of Doctor?

Modafinil doctor prescription

A psychiatrist prescribes Modafinil to patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anorexia nervosa, and depression. A psychiatrist prescribes Modafinil to patients with narcolepsy and other sleep disorders such as shift work disorder and obstructive sleep apnea. An internist or family doctor prescribes Modafinil to patients who have excessive daytime sleepiness associated with Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis. An orthopedic surgeon prescribes Modafinil to patients who have shift-work disorder. None of the above types of doctors prescribes Modafinil as there is no medical condition for which Modafinil has been approved.

(H2) Product Reviews:

  • Colby Garret (Dec. 15, 2021): “I finally found a sleep specialist who scheduled three two-night studies and one daytime study for me. I suffer from narcolepsy (without cataplaxy). It was good to know for certain. I take 400 mg in two doses of 400 mg. Most of the time, 200 in the morning and 200 around 1 or 2 p.m. I don’t always need the second dose.”
  • Sylvan Rivers (Dec. 17, 2021): “I had suffered from severe narcolepsy since early morning for many years, and nothing could help. I had to quit driving, and I had been fired from multiple jobs owing to drowsiness on the job. This drug revolutionized my life from the first day. I am simply awake, not irritated or restless.”
  • Brendan Stainthorpe (Dec. 22, 2021): “I had a sleeping condition for approximately 6 months as a result of my shifting shifts; I am suffering from too many problems as a result of this; I sleep in my office during the day and am unable to spend time with my family. So, I went to my doctor, and he prescribed me modafinil. I ordered and it arrived two days later. I’ve been using modafinil for a month and I’m feeling lot better; I definitely suggest it if you have the same problem as I have.”
  • Brandi Brasher (Dec. 26, 2021): “As a recovering methamphetamine addict, this has been a life-saving answer. I was able to acquire the required benefits with Modafinil. It is not intended for daily usage, but at the recommended amount, it has alleviated my withdrawal, sadness, and anxiety symptoms.”
  • Jerrold West (Jan. 08, 2022): “I started as once a day and had to advance to twice a day. Once when I wake up and once around midday. All I can do without it is sleep. I now get approximately 8 hours of sleep at night and rarely take naps during the day. Insurance once suggested I try Adderall, but it didn’t work. I’ve been using Modafinil for several years now, and it’s been a lifeline for me.”
  • Gaye Cullen (Jan. 10, 2022): “Modafinil was recommended by my endocrinologist. I am a 19-year-old boy who has been fatigued for the past two years for no apparent cause. My favorite pastime is napping. I do not suffer from depression. I’m simply fatigued. After years of hearing this, my doctor offered Modafinil at the conclusion of my yearly visit. It’s been two years. In the beginning, I was quite cautious with it and felt awful for having to do so. But it was a game changer. When I need to, I take 1/2 of a 200mg pill. I feel NORMAL for the 5 or so hours that it works.”
  • Arleen Tuff (Jan. 13, 2022): “I’d be unable to function without this medication. My weariness and cognitive fog get so severe that I am unable to leave the house alone. With this medication, I am able to operate as an adult, compete, and be a mother. I have enough of energy without needing to consume a lot of energy drinks. I’m also not consuming as much coffee as I used to! This drug rescued my career and my sanity. There were no side effects and no crazy energy surges. It was the finest medicine hands down.”
  • Joshua Barnet (Jan. 15, 2022): “I needed a review aid before examinations, and this came in helpful; it completed almost 6 hours of work in 2.5 hours, which is excellent. 8 hours later, I experienced a little headache.”
  • Alvin Foster (Jan. 29, 2022): “makes me feel better without nervousness, more aware, and less exhausted”
  • John Paul Moore (Feb. 02, 2022): “It both concentrates and keeps me alert. It has kept me from falling asleep behind the wheel.”

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