Let’s talk about what is Modafinil at first. What is it and how it works?
This is a very interesting subject that needs to be analyzed deeply. If you want to get the quick answer — there are very few side effects caused by Modafinil. They are not serious and they are very rare, so you will probably not feel any of them. Read more and you’ll know everything about this drug, its dangers and side effects!
But before talking about Modafinil side effects we should talk about the medication itself. What is it? How does it work and what does it treat?
Well, Modafinil is a medication with a variety of functions. The list of Modafinil effects is very long, so we’ll tell you about the most important ones. So, it can:
Promote wakefulness. Modafinil (or Provigil, it’s the same, but Provigil is a brand name while Modafinil is an active substance) was originally designed as an eugeroic (medication that promotes wakefulness). It can help with excessive sleepiness and with narcolepsy by regulating the sleep-wake cycles.
Treat sleep apnea. This sleep disorder is characterized by pauses in breathing during the night, and it may lead to reduction of oxygen in the blood. This disorder can be dangerous, but Modafinil treats it successfully.
Treat shift work sleep disorder. This is another sleep disorder, actually — it’s characterized by excessive sleepiness and insomnia, but the main difference from sleep problems listed before is that shift work sleep disorder is usually caused by night shifts (or rotating ones). When a person works during nights or on a rotating schedule, it’s possible that he or she will get this disorder because of problems with wake-sleep schedule. Modafinil is usually used to treat this disorder without any difficulties. The only thing you should know about treating this problem with Provigil is that you shouldn’t take a pill in the morning (like all other patients do) — it has to be taken one hour before you have to start your work.
Modafinil is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the disorders and problems listed before. One can’t deny that it really helps with sleeping problems, but Modafinil is very popular because of its off-label uses. Thus, it can be used as a:
- Medicine for treating people with multiple sclerosis who suffer from fatigue. Clinical trials showed that low doses of Modafinil can help such patients to cope with neurological fatigue.
- Anti-depression drug.
- Medicine that can treat fatigue caused by fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and Parkinson’s disease even.
- It’s also good for those who have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
- And (the majority of patients take Modafinil for this purpose) it’s a very good nootropic. It increases the level of dopamine in your body, and dopamine is a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) that is responsible for memory, attention, mood and learning. That is why Modafinil is an ideal “smart drug”. Modafinil gives an energy boost, makes a patient more productive and alert (that’s how this drug works for those who have narcolepsy), improves cognitive functions and makes a person much more focused. It’s also called a “smart” or “study drug” because it helps you to work better, learn more, to be better focused and to stay awake even if you don’t sleep enough. Students often use this medication, but it’s not only for students — workers, businessmen and even soldiers take Modafinil in order to perform better.
- Provigil can also help you if you want to lose weight. Although it’s not recommended to take Modafinil only for this purpose, you will most likely lose some pounds when taking it, because it also works as an appetite suppresser. This means, in simple words, that the signals your stomach sends to your brain will not reach it, and you will just forget that you are hungry. Be careful with this effect — don’t forget to eat even if you don’t want to. Calories are needed for your body to perform, and for your brain to work — and with Modafinil your brain will work even faster which means it will burn lots of calories. Being exhausted is not the best thing in the world, so if you haven’t eaten for a long time and you still don’t want too — force yourself to eat something.
What are the dangers of Modafinil? Is it a safe drug?
In general, yes, this medication is really safe. Although there are some side effects of Modafinil (and we’ll talk about them a little later), there are no medications without side effects. Moreover, in 2015 the researchers from Oxford and Harvard universities performed a deep review of the drug — and they agree that it’s the first (and the only!) safe smart drug. But there are no ideal drugs (although Modafinil is close to it), so let’s talk about the possible problems which can appear to those who take it.
The first problem is that almost everyone who takes smart drugs is afraid of addiction. People know that there are lots of addicts to Adderall and other nootropics — and it’s natural that they are afraid that Modafinil can be addictive, too. Patients are also afraid of the Provigil’s mechanism of action, because they think it’s similar to cocaine mechanism of action. But this fear is groundless, because Modafinil is not actually addictive. Of course, it’s a relatively new medication so no clinical studies about the possibility of addiction were held. That’s why this point is generally based on the numerous feedbacks and chemistry.
So, of course, it’s possible to become addict to Modafinil, but only under some circumstances. Thus, a patient has to take this medication for a really long time in order to become addict, and it’s still not very likely that he will become the one. In addition to long period of use of Provigil, he also has to use it off-label — exceed the dosage, take Modafinil in order to get high, etc. People who do these two things have a little higher possibility of addiction, but Modafinil is not the drug you will get used to. Just take it as your doctor told you and everything will be alright.
Another thing you should discuss with your doctor is Modafinil interactions. There are some medications that can interact badly with it, so you should be careful with combinations of drugs, and your doctor will tell you more. Modafinil shouldn’t also be taken together with alcohol or drugs, because it may be dangerous. Thus, those who take Modafinil and alcohol can feel that they need much less alcohol to get drunk.
Are the side effects of Modafinil dangerous?
Well, before we will talk about the Modafinil side effects, we are going to explain how this medication works in details. This will help you to understand why these side effects occur and what to do with them.
So, as we’ve said before, Provigil influences the level of dopamine in your body by blocking molecules that remove this chemical from the brain synapses to other synapses. This leads to the increasing of dopamine concentration in the brain. Taking into account the dopamine functions (memory, motivation, focus, attention, learning, etc.), one can be sure that it’s exactly how Provigil works. The problem is that the mechanism of action is still unknown, so there may be other mechanisms that we don’t know about, but it’s not likely. We do also know that Modafinil releases the CNS histamines and stimulates various neurotransmitters but it doesn’t use the chemical spiking of dopamine like other nootropics do, so there is a very little chance of addiction for those who take this smart drug.
Modafinil is not only a nootropic or eugeric, it’s also a stimulant — that’s how it gives energy boost to those who take it. And, as every stimulant, it’s a diuretic (which means a medication that helps your body to release water with urine), so you shouldn’t be surprised that water will pass through your system more quickly with Modafinil than without it. As it’s a diuretic, you should know about one of the Provigil side effects related to these drugs — diuretics can cause headache. This side effect is the most common, and it’s caused by dehydration, so if you take Provigil and don’t drink much water, you may suffer from headache. We recommend you to drink more and maybe (if it doesn’t help) to add salt to your water. This will most likely stop the pain.
What are the side effects of Modafinil, except headache? We should mention that we didn’t tell you about possible headache in the first place by accident. That’s because almost 1% of those who used this drug felt mild headache — and this makes headache the most common Provigil side effect. Other effects are not as common as a headache. Moreover, some of them are so rare that we know about some of them from the clinical trials, not from the real customers. One more thing you should know is that since the 1970s no serious or dangerous Provigil side effects were observed, so you have nothing to worry about. But still, let’s list them (a little explanation is given):
As we’ve already said, the most common Provigil side effect is a headache. If you feel it, you’ve probably forgotten about drinking water. If dehydration is not the reason, you can take a pain relief in order to feel good again. If this headache lasts for a long time and pills don’t help, you should tell your doctor about it.
Dizziness is another “winner” among the Provigil side effects. This means that it’s a relatively common side effect, like headache, but you will most likely not feel neither of these. If you do feel dizziness, you should call your doctor and tell him about your problem. This advice refers to all the following side effects of this drug.
- Feeling nervous.
- Nausea or diarrhea.
- Skin rash.
- Problems with breathing. This side effect is the most dangerous one, but it’s very rare. Call your doctor as soon as possible if you feel something is wrong.
Again, what you should know is that side effects are not the problem you will probably face with while using Modafinil. They are very rare and not too serious (except breathing problems, of course), and Modafinil is really a very safe drug. It’s deservedly called the best and the safest smart drug ,so you shouldn’t be afraid of side effects or overdosing if you take it even for a long time.