Which one is better and why?
In this article we’ll compare Modafinil (Provigil) vs Ritalin. But at first, let’s talk about these two medications in details.
Modafinil, or Provigil (it’s a brand name), was first prescribed in 1994, and the first American patient bought this pill in 1998. At that time, it was a medication that could help with sleep problems, such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, excessive sleepiness during daytime, as well as with problems, caused by shifting schedules. Now Modafinil has a reputation of the best, the most effective and the safest smart drug. Such drugs are also called nootropics and cognitive functions enhancers, and that’s actually what they do — improve your cognitive functions. Modafinil, as the best of them, can improve a patient’s memory, make him or her more concentrated, focused and motivated, give energy boost and improve the general mood. But it’s also very good at its initial role, as a wakefulness promoting agent — it makes you awake, so it’s recommended to take one pill in the early morning, and you won’t have any troubles staying awake during the whole day.
This can be said about Ritalin, too. This drug is actually a stimulant, and lots of people with sleep problems (or, more accurately, with difficulties staying awake) use it. The reason is simple — it helps and it’s good at it, just like Modafinil. But all in all, it isn’t as good as Modafinil. Let’s go deeper.
So, Modafinil vs Ritalin. What is better?
Long story short, Modafinil is much better, but why is it so?
Well, in order to understand it, you should first understand what actually Ritalin is. As it was mentioned, that’s a stimulant, and it’s widely used to promote wakefulness and to treat such problems as narcolepsy. Talking about Provigil vs Ritalin, the first thing to be mentioned is their mechanisms of action. So, we still don’t know how exactly Modafinil works. It influences the level of a chemical, called dopamine in the brain, and that’s why you can feel all these effects like increased concentration, energy boost and improved memory. What we do know is that Modafinil acts “gently” and natural — in other words, your brain doesn’t understand the artificial nature of this effect. You become more intelligent, focused and motivated in almost natural way. And by the way, that’s another reason why this drug isn’t addictive at all.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about Ritalin. This medication is extremely good as a stimulant, of course, but its mechanism of action is rather disturbing. Ritalin creates spikes of energy, and this is exactly why this medication is addictive. It’s one of the most common problems of Ritalin, actually — lots of people have felt that they were unable to stop taking this drug. It’s caused by a chemical structure and the mechanism of action of Ritalin, and well, it’s one the most serious disadvantages of it. In the 21st century it’s not enough for a smart drug to work well, it should also be very safe — like Modafinil, for example.
Comparing Provigil vs Concerta (Provigil is the same as Modafinil, and Concerta is, in general, a brand name of Ritalin) one shouldn’t forget about the side effects of both drugs. Here Modafinil is a winner, without any doubts — it’s side effects are not common and dangerous (headache, dry mouth and eyes, pain in the neck, possible depression). Ritalin, in its turn, can lead to anxiety, problems with sleep, aggressive behavior, nausea, dizziness, etc. This medication can also raise the blood pressure of a patient, but we can say the same about Modafinil. What we can’t say about Modafinil is that it can cause heart problems and heart attacks, like Ritalin. Be careful if you have heart problems and talk to your doctor about it.
Now let’s conclude our Modafinil vs Concerta comparison. It would be a little difficult, because both these drugs are good, but it still seems like we have a winner.
All in all, Modafinil is a smart drug, and Ritalin is a stimulant. They both are extremely good at treating sleep problems and ADHD, but when it comes to the side effects, addiction and long-term effects, Modafinil is much better. The same can be said about the “smart” functions of these two medications. Modafinil is what we can call a perfect nootropic — extremely safe, very good at improving memory, focus and concentration, exactly what you need before your exam week. Ritalin is a little bit different. It can be addictive, overdose is possible, you shouldn’t take it for a long time and some bad effects can happen, but it’s still good when it comes to making you alert and aware. The only question is: should you put yourself at risk taking Ritalin? Come on, we’ve got a new and safe drug with the same (and even better) effects. The choice is obvious, isn’t it?