Best Modafinil Dosages
Modafinil is a eugeroic, or wakefulness promoting, drug used to treat narcolepsy, excessive daytime sleepiness, and a variety of other sleep and fatigue disorders. It is sold under the brand names Alertec, Modavigil, and Provigil in Western countries, and has seen mass off-label sale as a cognition or memory enhancing agent. It is classified as a Schedule IV drug, as there are possible issues of addiction and abuse for the stimulant properties, which act much like amphetamines in the brain, but these risks are considered relatively low as Modafinil does not induce feelings of euphoria, as large doses of amphetamines can do.
The benefits of Modafinil are not fully known yet, but there is quite a bit of research into the potential stimulant uses for astronauts, soldiers, and emergency personnel who must remain vigilant for long stretches of time. In November of 2012, the United States Air Force approved the use of Modafinil as a “go pill”, or stimulant to be used in the line of duty to promote wakefulness, replacing Dexedrine, which is no longer available. For the average citizen, Modafinil is generally only used to treat severe sleep disorders – other medicines, such as common amphetamines like Adderall or even natural supplements like magnesium are more often used to treat generalized fatigue.
The incidence of poor side effects from subjects taking Modafinil is actually relatively low; some people suffer headaches, gastrointestinal problems such as bloating or diarrhea, nausea, insomnia, or anxiety. In a very small number of people, likely due to allergies, people using Modafinil experience severe skin reactions and other more severe side effects.
Because Modafinil is not widely used, there is no one recommended dosage, but doses of up to 1200 mg/day have been tolerated without negative side effects. Intentional one time overdoses of 4500 mg were also tolerated, but with acute side effects such as extreme nervousness, insomnia, confusion, tremors, and irritability. There have been no deaths associated with Modafinil use.
How does this feel?
Users of Modafinil describe it as similar to the effects of amphetamines – increased heart rate, focus, and energy, primarily – but without the associated euphoria or “feel-good” effect. Most people who tolerate Modafinil well simply say it feels like being very awake and focused long past when your body would naturally be able to achieve such a state, but generally speaking, without the unpleasant side effects that often come with alternative stimulant medications.
Long Term Use
The long term effects of Modafinil are not yet known, as it is usually used for a maximum of 21 days. Its most common usage is for acute fatigue situations and for treating severe sleep disorders in the short term in order to reset a more normal sleep cycle. Although it acts in the brain much like other stimulant drugs, Modafinil has proven to be safer and less addictive than traditional stimulant medications. However, since its effects are not fully known, it is generally only prescribed to those with severe sleep disorders or in acute emergency situations.
Short Term Use
Modafinil is mostly prescribed for short term usage, and has had a lot of success for emergency and military personnel to either correct a deeply disturbed sleep schedule or to allow those in stressful and combat situations to remain alert and vigilant for extended periods of time. The US Air Force has found Modafinil to be extraordinarily effective for this purpose, and it has had great success for patients with narcolepsy in resetting their sleep schedule and allowing them to stay awake during the day. In an off-label capacity, many people have had success with Modafinil as a cognition aid, improving their memory and focus, although there is no official research to this effect.
Most of the research in Modafinil has been in rodents and monkeys, although there have been several large clinical trials with humans. Almost all patients tolerate Modafinil very well, and experience positive results while using the drug. Other militaries are investigating Modafinil for use in combat, and there is continued interest from both the government and private citizens for more research into the possible uses for this drug as a wakefulness aid and as a “smart drug”, or cognition aid. Modafinil is also being researched for possible use for assisting in the treatment of ADHD, depersonalization disorder as well as a variety of other neurodegenerative psychiatric disorders, as well as helping with weight loss, ending cocaine addiction, post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment, and general cognitive enhancement.
Modafinil was invented by French neurophysiologist Michel Jouvet in the late 1970s. It has been commercially available since the mid-1990s in France and the United States, mostly to narcoleptic patients. It was approved for use in the United Kingdom in 2002, and in 2012, generic versions of the drug became available. In the US, it is classified as a Schedule IV drug, a category which includes most benzodiazepines, and other drugs that are considered medically necessary for some patients, but must be carefully monitored due to the risk of addiction or abuse.
Modafinil is a promising drug for everything from emergency personnel and soldiers in the heat of combat to citizens fighting their way through the “brain fog” that clouds much of daily life for many people. Because of the low incidence of addiction and negative side effects, it is possible that Modafinil will be prescribed more widely for more fatigue-based symptoms and even as a doctor-prescribed cognition aid. More human trials will be needed before any affirmative conclusions can be drawn, but so far, Modafinil seems like a viable and safe alternative to other, more addictive stimulant drugs.