Modafinil: What You Need To Know

What is modafinil?

Modafinil is an effective CNS (central nervous system) stimulant. It’s one of the popular nootropics (smart drugs) as it is well-known as one of the most hyped cognitive enhancers. Modafinil is in the group of so-called eugeroics or wakefulness promoting agents.

It is nicknamed “moda,” and some users know it for the brand’s name “Provigil” or “Alertec.” This particular medication is used for treating narcolepsy (excessive daytime sleepiness) and sleep disorder caused by rotating or night work shifts when normal sleep rhythm is disturbed.

It is also used against obstructive sleep apnea where patients have interrupted sleep because of dangerous pauses in breathing. Modafinil was developed in the 1980’s and approved in the USA in 1998. The exciting fact – USA Air Force approved its use for sleep deprivation for their employees.

Also, astronauts have been using it to fight against sleep disorders, fatigue, etc. Some researchers say it can be successfully used for treating ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), but this fact is not proven yet. Modafinil has also been even used for fighting against cocaine and opiate dependence.

According to many users reviews, modafinil works best in improving wakefulness in case of shift-work sleep disorder.

What does modafinil do with our bodies/brains?

Well, it is not well known how does it work. Some believe that It works by changing the amount of specific natural substances in the area of the brain that controls both sleep and wakefulness. According to some opinions, it might be increasing blood flow to brain areas for attention and learning.

Some studies show that it is altering chemicals in the part of the brain responsible for sleep. Some of the experts say it stimulates dopamine, histamine, serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitters. However, this field is still under the research and future will bring all the answers.

Uses for modafinil?


Although it is primarily used in the field of medicine, it is not the only purpose. There are more off-label uses. People often use it simply to be better focused and more productive at work. As we said, it is an effective cognitive enhancer so users can work harder and longer under its effect.

It enhances attention capacity, motivation, reaction time, etc. Those who take modafinil say it can help them to stay highly competitive and proactive at work which is very important in today’s business world. They claim it significantly improves their decision-making and problem-solving skills. It can be used for improving working and episodic memory as well.

Modafinil is very popular especially among young people, and some students use for exam preparations because it improves executive function, learning, and creativity. It has no license for this particular function, and it is often obtained illegally.

Side effects?

One of the most positive characteristics of this drug is that it is usually well tolerated. It has less negative effects than other similar stimulants such as methamphetamine or cocaine. But, of course, no medication can work without at least few side effects.

Some of the side effects of using modafinil are nausea, trouble sleeping, anxiety, and headache.

Allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing, swelling of throat, lips, tongue or entire face are rare. Some users claimed they felt muscle weakness, nervousness, numbness, fever, vomiting, easy bruising, hallucinations, dizziness, constipation, diarrhea, flushing, sweating, back or chest pain, confusion, heartburn, loss of appetite, depression, and anxiety.

Blistered or peeling skin as well as skin rash are some of the serious and painful side effects, but they don’t often appear at all. Some of the side effects can be reduced by pairing modafinil with high-quality choline supplement.

Just like many other medications, modafinil is not recommended to use for some kinds of patients. People who suffer from arrhythmia or severe hypertension are not allowed to take it. It should be taken in lower doses in cases of hepatic dysfunction. Additionally, caution is needed when there is severe renal insufficiency.

This medication is only for adult patients, as it’s still not approved for use in children. Consider taking a heart test before starting with modafinil and avoid drinking alcohol while taking it. Also, you should limit the use of caffeine and chocolate as those substances can worsen some of the side effects.

Don’t share modafinil with others, even if they have the same symptoms as you because it can be harmful to their health. Have in mind that this drug can’t replace getting enough of good sleep. Don’t kick your brain into overdrive because it will wear you out mentally.

This is why you shouldn’t forget about high-quality nutrition – it is necessary for great brain work. In the end, try to do everything possible to eliminate sleep disorders naturally before taking any medications – this is the best option.


Modafinil comes in the form of tablets of 100 mg and 200 mg. The Recommended dose for narcolepsy is usually 200 mg taken orally once a day in the morning or afternoon. Doses up to 400 mg daily are possible (this is the maximum!), but there is no evidence that this dose can bring more benefits to the patient, which means there is no need to risk with this high amount.

The same dose of 200 mg once a day is recommended to those with shift work sleep disorder. They should take it in a single dose. The best time is one hour before starting the work. If you are using it for medical purposes, it is recommended to do this at the same time every day and not to change the schedule before consulting with a physician.

If you forget to take the dose on time, wait for the next day according to your schedule. Don’t ever take the double one to replace the missed one. If you use it for being more productive at studying or work, you may take it when needed.

But, remember to start with a low dosage (50 mg or less) and increase it is not sufficient for your needs. Maybe you can split the 100mg dosage and take half in the morning and another half in the afternoon. It is individual – some people find it very convenient, and others don’t like it at all.

Modafinil is rapidly absorbed but slowly cleared. Although it has a low potential for abuse, it may be habit-forming with long-term use. That’s why you should carefully think about using it regularly for an extended period.

Read more: How much powerful is modafinil?

You may also like: precautions to take before buying modafinil online.