There are a number of significant differences between Modafinil and traditional cognitive enhancers such as Ritalin and Adderall. Subjectively, it feels a lot smoother and cleaner. It is also much less likely to cause feelings of anxiety, jitteriness or excessive locomotor activity. The instance of hypersomnolent 'rebound effect' is also much lower.
Modafinil is often used to help people stay awake during work for people with work schedules that interfere with a normal sleep routine (shift work sleep disorder). It is also used in the treatment of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy & sleep apnea.
The US military are interested in Modafinil too. It was reportedly used by Allied combat soldiers in both Gulf Wars and Iraq. It was also used by Astronauts on the International Space Station.
Experimentally, Modafinil is used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease; depression; attention-deficit disorder (ADHD); myotonic dystrophy; chronic fatigue; amnesia and jet-lag.
The recommended dose of Modafinil or Modalert is 200 mg given once a day.
Doses up to 400 mg/day, given as a single dose, have been well tolerated, but there is no consistent evidence that a higher dose delivers additional benefit beyond that of the 200 mg dose. Modafinil is non-addictive and the elimination half-life is 12 - 15 hours.
Take Modafinil by mouth with or without food, usually once daily in the morning or the afternoon. If you are using Modafinil for shift work sleep disorder, take it 1 hour before you start your work shift .
The most commonly observed adverse events (less than 5%) associated with the use of Modafinil were headache, nausea, nervousness, rhinitis, diarrhea, back pain, anxiety, insomnia, dizziness, and dyspepsia.
Consult a doctor immediately if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (e.g., agitation, confusion, depression, abnormal thoughts, hallucinations).
Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, fast/pounding/irregular heartbeat, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat).
A very serious allergic reaction to this cognitive enhancing drug are rare. However, stop taking this medication and seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of face/tongue/throat), skin blisters/peeling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Contraindications and warnings
It is important to consult with your physician before using Modafinil, particularly for those with:
- Hypersensitivity to the drug or other constituents of the tablets (wheat gluten),
- Previous cardiovascular problems, particularly while using other stimulants,
- Cardiac conditions, particularly: Left ventricular hypertrophy and Mitral valve prolapse.
Before using Modafinil, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of medications for high blood pressure. For example beta blockers such as: Atenolol or metoprolol, guanabenz, clonidine, methyldopa, prazosin, "blood thinners" (e.g. warfarin), street drugs (e.g. methamphetamine, MDMA-"ecstasy"), alternative central nervous system stimulating study drugs (e.g. ritalin, adderall, dexedrine) drugs that affect liver enzymes that remove Modafinil from the body (e.g., azole antifungals such as itraconazole/ketoconazole, rifamycins such as rifabutin/rifampin, anti-seizure medications such as carbamazepine/phenobarbital).
Modafinil can speed up or slow down the removal of other drugs from your body by affecting certain liver enzymes. These affected drugs may include certain antidepressants (e.g. TCAs such as clomipramine or desipramine, SSRIs such as fluoxetine, fluvoxamine), cyclosporine, diazepam, phenytoin, propranolol, theophylline, triazolam.
Avoid taking MAO inhibitors (e.g., furazolidone, isocarboxazid, linezolid, moclobemide, phenelzine, procarbazine, selegiline, tranylcypromine) within 2 weeks before, during, and after treatment with Modafinil. In some cases a serious (possibly fatal) drug interaction may occur.