Modafinil

Background

Modafinil is a nootropic to increase alertness and energy levels and it was created for relieving of daytime sleep related disorders such as Narcolepsy. It has the benefits for cognition via increasing levels of stimulatory neurotransmitters in the brain, and is used recreationally as a smart drug.[1] Modafinil is the popular version of fladrafinil and it is also sold under the brand names Alertec, Modavigil, and Provigil. An interesting fact about modafinil is that former US President Brack Obama[2] and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton[3] use this smart drug, modafinil or provigil, to relieve of sleepiness and off-label for Parkinson’s disease.

Benefits

Modafinil has commonly been used as a nootropic to enhance cognitive performance especially in individuals who otherwise do not get enough sleep. [4] The most common benefits of modafinil are:

  • Enhances cognitive performance [7]
  • Enhances working memory [8]
  • Increases alertness, attention and motivation [9]
  • Reduces fatigue [10]
  • Diminishes symptoms of ADHD in children [11]
  • Increases wakefulness [12]
  • Improves attention, inhibitory control, and reaction time [13]
  • Improves mood [14]
  • Improves weight loss [15]
  • Increases dopamine [16]

Modafinil is a very effective nootropic smart drug and can be highly beneficial in allowing increased cognition and wakefulness for the people suffering from sleep disorders and narcolepsy. It provides you with a sense of clarity, improved focus and mood. For most of the benefits are associated with wakefulness, many students take this supplement during any competitive and important exam.
Both modafinil and adrafinil have some similar cognitive effects like improving memory and recall speed as well as a possible increase in learning capacity, concentration and focus. You will also find it easier to engage in common tasks like reading, writing, talking, and giving presentation.[6] Some students consider modafinil as a so-called “study drug” they seek to purchase to boost exam scores and a successful academic result.

How it works

Though most research on the wake-promoting mechanism of modafinil has focused on monoaminergic effects showing modafinil stimulates histamine (HA), norepinephrine (NE), serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA), and orexin systems in the brain, the researchers have not been able to isolate a single site of action or locate major receptor binding.[5]
Modafinil activates glutamatergic circuits whilst inhibiting GABA. It is also considered to have a lesser amount of potential for abuse than other stimulants because of the absence of any significant euphoric or pleasurable effects. Modafinil may likely act by a synergistic combination of mechanisms including direct inhibition of dopamine reuptake, indirect inhibition of noradrenalin reuptake in the VLPO and orexin activation. Modafinil has partial alpha 1B-adrenergic agonist effects by directly stimulating the receptors. More research is continually being conducted to better understand the processes. [6]

Considerations

Though modafinil is considered to be a safe and effective drug, it may cause some mild side effects, such as headache, lack of appetite, nausea, nervousness, and hypertension. So, discuss details with your doctor prior to your first dose or if you have any previous health conditions.

Recommendations

The standard recommended dosage for taking modafinil is 200 mg dose per day. It is recommended to take your dosage in the morning (unless you’re involved in shift work), with or without food, due to its long lasting effects. With a total half-life of 15 hours, you are suggested not to take this supplement after midday. It is also possible to start with a 100 mg dose for the first week so that you can become accustomed to the effects.

Sources