Modafinil; which is marketed under several brand names such as Modvigil, ModAlert, and Provigil; is a pharmaceutical drug approved by the FDA to treat various sleep disorders. It generates stronger feelings of alertness and focus, while also keeping you awake. Modafinil has more recently become known as a "nootropic" or "smart drug" given its ability to enhance mental performance and increased concentration throughout the day. Students began using it for long study sessions and to take exams.
This off-label use has proven ideal for numerous other situations, particularly ones that demand working long or awkward hours. Situations that require prolonged periods of alertness and attention benefit greatly from Modafinil. Originally it was designed as a treatment for narcolepsy, and later was applied to other types of sleep difficulties such as shift work sleep disorder and excessive sleepiness from other conditions such as insomnia.
How does Modafinil Work?
There are a variety of proposed theories that aim to explain the exact mechanism behind Modafinil, but the truth is that its precise effect on the body is uncertain. However we do know what it DOESN'T do, namely stimulate the central nervous system directly like amphetamine based medicines. That stimulation is the source of the jitters that typically accompany those drugs. It also is responsible for the spike in blood pressure and increased heart rate, common side effects of stimulants. Modafinil's method of action does not produce these harmful side effects to the same degree as other medicines.
Perhaps instead of focusing on the scientific aspects of it, which are still unclear, we could look at the perceived effects reported by users. Modafinil eliminates or greatly reduces feelings of tiredness, meaning that even after long periods without sleep you can still keep working at a high level. It also sharpens your focus and concentration, allowing you to work on a project without getting easily distracted. Users also comment that it seems to make information flow better. All of these effects make it clear that Modafinil is ideal for anyone who has a lot on their plate.
What about Side Effects?
Modafinil has undergone numerous clinical trials and studies on its way to becoming an FDA approved medicine. In addition, it's been around for decades. As a result the side effects are well known. The most commonly reported ones are mild headache (20% of patients) nausea (11%), and rhinitis (7%). These numbers are based on the clinical trials available. Most users classify the side effects as mild and that they tend to pass after the first few hours after taking Modafinil. There are other side effects that appeared in 2% or less of the trials, which could be attributable to other conditions or rare cases.
Modafinil shows absolutely no signs of withdrawal symptoms, and no rebound effect occurs as the drug wears off. This makes Modafinil great for occasional use.
As a byproduct of the extra concentration, some users find that creativity has been suppressed somewhat with Modafinil. It seems to be more effective when there is a clear list of things to do, rather than a situation that may call for discovering an obscure or abstract solution.
What is the Best Dose of Modafinil?
Modafinil is sold in 200mg pills, however many users find that 100mg is enough to get the desired effects. You may want to try taking 100mg the first time and scale up if necessary. Doses over 200mg are generally not recommended nor are they necessary. Modafinil ideally should not be taken more than once per day so as to allow you to sleep normally.
When Should I Take Modafinil?
Timing is important with Modafinil. A 200mg dose tends to last about 12 hours, with 1-2 hours of come down. 100mg doses last at least 8 hours. Since Modafinil removes the feeling of tiredness, sleep can be difficult if not nearly impossible while on Modafinil. Therefore it’s a good idea to take Modafinil early in the morning, much like you would take your coffee or energy drink. In general try to take Modafinil at least 12 hours before you plan to go to sleep.
Is Modafinil Legal?
In countries such as the UK and Australia, Prescription Only Medicines (POM for short) such as Modafinil permit up to a 6 month supply to be imported provided that the medicine is declared in customs and appropriate taxes are paid.
As always, check with your local laws and do research.
The History of Modafinil
Modafinil surprisingly has a very long history. In short, a French pharmaceutical chemist developed it in the 70s, and later refined it and tested it throughout the 80s. In the 90s it was made available for prescription use in France, and since then has spread throughout the world and is available under a variety of brand names and generic compositions. Since then, Modafinil has been used for its on-label applications, but it has also found niche uses in the military (mainly air force pilots) and of course for many average everyday workers and students. Regardless of the application, Modafinil has proven to be safe, effective, and reliable.
What Brand of Modafinil Should I Buy?
There are quite a lot of different names used to market Modafinil in different countries and regions. Provigil is the brand name sold in the United States. There are many generic formulations available, with Modvigil and Modalert being two of the most common. Users tend to report similar experiences regardless of the brand they choose. Modvigil’s packaging is preferable as pills are less likely to come out of their wrappers, and the company that makes them has a good safety track record.
Should I Try Modafinil?
That question depends largely on your personal circumstances. Do you have a job that requires you to work long hours? Do you have an irregular schedule? Does your job demand a high level of attention and vigilance for a prolonged period of time? Do you rotate shifts? Is your work load currently more than you’re accustomed to? Are you struggling to find time to study for classes and exams? Do you feel like you’re not getting enough done with the time that you do have? Do you have a sleep disorder that keeps you from being at your best during the day?
These are common problems, and sometimes there are solutions to them that only require minor changes in our routine or our behavior. But sometimes there isn’t much we can do to improve our situation on our own. In those cases Modafinil may be the right choice for you. See for yourself and find out why so many people are jumping aboard the Modafinil Express to improve their daily lives and their performance.