What is Modafinil?
Modafinil is a drug that belongs to a class of drugs called “nootropics”( it is a specific category of drugs that prevents excessive somnolence such as narcolepsy by targeting sleep mechanisms in the brain). It is also called “eugeroic” as it promotes alertness and wakefulness and prevents you from feeling tired. It was discovered in mid-1970 in France and introduced as a pharmacological drug in 1994.
It was introduced to treat sleep-related problems like narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and shift work sleep disorder. It is also used by people who do very demanding jobs and they have to stay awake for a longer period. It is sold under many brand names like Modactive, Modafresh, Vilafinil, Modalert etc.
Narcolepsy is a condition in which you experience severe sleep attacks during the daytime or you fall asleep in inappropriate situations because you lose control. Similarly, in shift work sleep disorder people who do night shifts or rotating shifts feel sleepy during working hours and are unable to sleep during sleeping hours. Modafinil pills help in such conditions.
It is the most widely used smart drug as its benefits range beyond its primary functions. Some off-label uses of Modafinil are as follows: enhance mental alertness, wakefulness, boost your energy level and improve your memory and cognitive functioning of your brain, etc. Modafinil enhances your concentration and alertness during working hours. It improves your focus and also spikes up alertness. Such benefits of this drug make it an ideal drug for people who have a hard time concentrating on tasks. It is also very helpful for students as it helps them in staying up during exams or submissions. It also helps to cope up with fatigue and make you active. Moreover, this drug is very cost-effective and also easily accessible.
Modafinil is also known as:
- Stimulant drug
- Wakefulness Promoting Agent
- Cognitive enhancer
- Brain booster
- Psychoanaleptic drug
- Alertness Drug
- Smart drug
- Study drug
How do Modafinil works?
Pharmacotherapeutic group: Psychoanaleptics, centrally acting sympathomimetics
Despite extensive research and studies, the exact mechanism of action of Modafinil is still not known. The drug crosses the blood-brain barrier and reaches the CNS.
It increases the concentration of dopamine in the brain and enhances your motivation and mental focus. It also enhances the level of serotonin and histamine, which helps control mood and also the sleep-wake cycle.
Who should use Modafinil?
Modafinil is prescribed to people who are suffering from narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and shift work sleep disorder. But people who want to enhance their Cognitive abilities, Memory, Focus, Concentration, Stamina, Productivity, and Problem-solving skills can also take Modafinil.
When you take modafinil you will experience:
- The enhanced focus for more than 12 hours
- Improved cognition power of brain
- Better memory retention
- Enhanced productivity
- Inability to get tired for hours
Therefore this drug is highly popular among students, high achievers, entrepreneurs, CEOs, etc.
What do you need to know before taking Modafinil Tablet?
Do not take Modafinil tablet:
- If you are allergic to modafinil or any other excipient used in the formulation
- If you have hypertension i.e., high blood pressure
- If you are experiencing irregular heartbeats
Warnings are precautions
You must consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking the Modafinil tablet:
- If you have cardiac issues or suffering from high blood pressure as in this case regular screening of heart performance and check on blood pressure would be required
- If you have severe renal or hepatic issues as dose adjustment is required in this case
- If you ever suffered from depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder, etc as this medicine exaggerate the situation or reoccurrence of the disease happen
- If you have a history of drug abuse or alcoholism
- Modafinil decreases the activity of hormonal contraceptives therefore, you should choose some other contraceptives while using Modafinil
You must immediately contact your doctor or pharmacist if you experience suicidal thoughts, aggressive behavior or depression, upon using this medicine.
If you use this medicine for a longer duration of time then you may develop dependency.
Children and adolescents
Modafinil tablet is not meant for children less than 18 years of age.
Other medicines and Modafinil tablet
Do not take Modafinil tablet with omeprazole, antiviral medicines that are used to treat HIV infection, ciclosporins, antiepileptic medicines, anti-depressants, anxiolytics, blood thinners (eg; Warfarin), hormonal contraceptives, antifungal medications, calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, or statins.
Modafinil and food interaction
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking Modafinil. It can be taken with or without food.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
It is suspected that Modafinil can cause congenital malformations when administered during pregnancy. Therefore it must not be used during pregnancy.
It should also be not used during breastfeeding as it is excreted in breast milk.
Effect on the ability to drive or operate machines
It is reported that the use of the Modafinil tablet can cause blurred vision or dizziness. If you feel dizziness or blurred vision or you still feel sleepy after taking the Modafinil tablet, then do not drive or operate machinery.
How to take Modafinil (Modafinil) tablet?
Always take this medicine exactly the way your doctor or pharmacist has told you.
Take this medicine orally with a glass of water.
The recommended adult dose is 200mg a day. This can be taken as a single dose of 200mg or the dose can be split into two doses, 100mg in the morning and 100mg in the evening.
The recommended maximum dose of Modafinil is 400mg per day.
The recommended daily dose for elderly patients (>65 years of age) and patients with kidney or liver problems is 100mg or as advised by your doctor or pharmacist.
You can take this medicine with or without food as food does not affect the bioavailability of modafinil. However, the absorption of the drug may be delayed for about an hour if taken with food.
What if you take more Modafinil tablets than you should?
If you take more Modafinil tablets than you are prescribed by your doctor, you will experience side effects associated with modafinil that are sporadic, difficulty to fall asleep, hallucinations, restlessness, ataxia, diarrhoea, anxious or excited behaviour, etc. You must immediately contact your doctor or visit the nearby hospital if you take an overdose of Modafinil.
What if you missed a dose of Modafinil tablet?
If you forget to take your dose of Modafinil (Modafinil) tablet, take it as soon as you remind it, or can take the next dose at its right time. But do not take a double dose to make up for your missed dose.
Side effects associated with the use of Modafinil tablet
Modafinil is considered a safe drug to use. However, hypersensitivity to the drug or misuse of the drug can cause some side effects. Such effects are usually after-effects of CNS stimulation, e.g. anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, trembling, euphoric feeling. Some other side effects are vomiting, headaches, nausea, abdominal pain, taste alteration, dry mouth, etc. If you experience hallucinations, aggression, or suicidal thoughts you must immediately stop using the medication and consult your doctor or pharmacist.
How to prevent side effects of Modafinil?
It is reported that people who were using choline do not experience side effects associated with modafinil. Keep yourself hydrated while using modafinil, which helps to combat headaches, dry mouth, and dry throat. Its off-label use should not be on daily basis but it should be used 1 to 2 times a week to reduce the side effects and dependence on the drug.
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorization of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
How to use Modafinil effectively?
Use the perfect dose
The ideal dose of modafinil is 100-200 mg per day. If you are new to the drug then you should take the minimum dose of 100 mg and you can eventually go to 200 mg when you feel 100 mg is not working best for you.
Some people do microdosing of modafinil as they take only 100 mg of modafinil. But some people need 200 mg to get the desired results. Every human is different and so is their body so take the appropriate dose of modafinil as per your need.
Split the dose
It is found that the best way to take modafinil is to split the dose throughout the day. As take 50-100mg at the start of the day (at breakfast) and the same can be taken at lunch and so on, only if you feel the need. Dose splitting makes the effects of modafinil more stable and predictable.
Plan the things rightly
The elimination half-life of modafinil is almost 15 hours therefore its effects last longer (up to 15 hours). So, if you take one tablet of modafinil at the start of the day you can perform well throughout the day. It is better to take modafinil early in the morning or one hour before your performance.
Modafinil and sleep
If you take modafinil keep in mind that it can affect your normal sleep pattern. If you want to take modafinil to try to take early like 7.00 am so that you can sleep well during the night. Some people can sleep well after several hours of taking modafinil but some found it difficult as it is a wakefulness-promoting agent. However, It also depends upon modafinil tolerance, the dosage, and also your sleep pattern.
Don’t forget to eat
Modafinil is a hunger suppressant so it is important to eat during the day after taking modafinil. You have to stick to your normal eating pattern even if you don’t feel hungry. Eating properly throughout the day after taking modafinil help to reduce side effects such as headache and nausea.
People who do not eat well after taking modafinil usually complain of stomach issues and nausea.
People after taking modafinil become so focused that they forget to drink and eat. Their mouth gets dry by the day and then they realize how dehydrated they have become and eventually they get uncomfortable and feel headaches. Keep a gallon of water along your side and drink water after every 30-60 minutes. Pedialyte is a great source of hydration so try to take it with your final meal of the day.
People who take modafinil on daily basis develop tolerance with time. Modafinil is a non-addictive medication but you can develop tolerance with time if you use this every single day for the sake to enhance your cognitive functioning, for extended periods. It is recommended to take modafinil 1-3 days per week.
Don’t hit the gym
If you are taking modafinil you must not go to the gym to work out. Modafinil won’t allow your muscle to get feel tired and also improve your focus, therefore there are chances you might get a muscle injury if you do the gym after taking modafinil. In a study, it is found that acute ingestion of modafinil prolonged exercise time to exhaustion.
Modafinil is an ideal drug to stay productive even after a hangover but it is not recommended to take modafinil while you are drunk as both alcohol and modafinil put extra stress on the liver as the liver metabolizes both alcohol and modafinil.
Combining coffee with modafinil
Coffee is a powerful performance enhancer and so is modafinil and if they both are used together the effect is synergistic. It is found that caffeine pairs exceptionally well with smart drugs such as modafinil.
Don’t mix smart drugs
Mixing modafinil with coffee is a smart choice but mixing modafinil with other smart drugs can be harmful.
Always follow all directions on your prescription label. Read the patient information leaflet, medication guide, or instruction sheet provided to you by your doctor. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Always remember to keep such medications and all other medications out of the reach of children.