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Created Jul 2020 | Updated Oct 2020



DEA CODE 1680: Schedule 4

Modafinil is a smart drug, also known as a nootropic. It enhances your cognitive function in a variety of ways (more on that in a second). There are plenty of smart drugs, but modafinil stands in a class of its own for a few reasons:
  • It's not a stimulant. Modafinil acts sort of like a stimulant, but it's actually a eugeroic - a wakefulness-promoting agent. It doesn't make you speedy or jittery like most classical stimulants do. Modafinil also doesn't have a crash or withdrawal, the way many smart drugs do.
  • It's not addictive. In fact, modafinil can help people kick addictions.
  • It has few to no side effects. Modafinil is very safe. I've hacked my brain with neurofeedback so much that I don't see much of a benefit from modafinil now, but I took it every day for 10 years and saw no problems of any kind with it during that time.
  • It works. Really well. Have you ever seen the movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper? It's based on modafinil. This stuff gives you superhuman mental processing, with few to no downsides.

How modafinil enhances your brain and mood:
Unlike some smart drugs, there's a good deal of evidence to back up the effects of Modafinil.

  • It has been shown to increase your resistance to fatigue and improve your mood.
  • In healthy adults, modafinil improves "fatigue levels, motivation, reaction time and vigilance."
  • A study published by the University of Cambridge found Modafinil to be effective at reducing "impulse response", i.e., bad decisions.
  • Modafinil even improves brain function in sleep deprived doctors.
  • There is some evidence Modafinil only helps people with lower IQ, but after years of experimenting (and upgrading my IQ), it doesn't feel that way.

Is modafinil safe?
Modafinil is not addictive. It has a risk of abuse, however - some people use it to stay up for way too long, which will probably make you sick. There is an extremely rare condition (about 5 cases per million people) called SJS, or Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, in which people with genetic susceptibility can develop a dangerous life threatening rash.


I would describe its advantages over other common stimulants as: more powerful and less addictive & tolerating than caffeine or khat; much longer-lasting than nicotine; less likely to alter mood or produce 'tweaking' behavior than Adderall or Vyvanse; and much more legal & with almost no side-effects compared to methamphetamine or cocaine. On any specific aspect, there may be a stimulant superior to modafinil, but few stimulants come close to modafinil's overall package of being a long-lasting, safe, effective, non-mood-altering, quasi-legal stimulant, and that is why it has become so popular.

Modafinil has a couple different but closely related benefits. You can sum them up as pretty much it cuts your sleep need by about 2/3:, or it allows you to go without sleep for a day with little mental penalty with increasing penalties thereafter. (If you aren't sleep-deprived, it seems to just increase your alertness and energy levels, with mixed effects on other things.)

Does modafinil make you smarter?
Yes. In some ways. Aside from its medical uses, modafinil as a cognitive enhancer in healthy people. Psychologists have shown people who take it do better on tests of digit span recall and mental digit manipulation. It also lets people concentrate more intensely and have the mental energy to resist distraction. There are many forms of intelligence that even modafinil's most ardent fans don't claim it enhances. And it is NOT a miracle drug.

Modafinil is only approved for use by people over the age of 16 by the US Food and Drug Administration.

A Different Kind of Stimulant:
Unlike caffeine and older prescription stimulants that affect the entire central nervous system which in turn leads to jitteriness, insomnia and prolonged bouts of sleep to make up for lost sleep, Modafinil only seems to affect the part of the brain that keeps you awake. A person's sleep patterns will usually revert back to normal after the effects of modafinil wear off. Clinical trials have also demonstrated that modafinil is less likely to cause nervousness or withdrawal-like symptoms.

What is modafinil?
Modafinil is a medication that promotes wakefulness.

Modafinil is used to treat excessive sleepiness caused by sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or shift work sleep disorder.

Important Information:
You should not use modafinil if you have ever had an allergic reaction or skin rash while taking modafinil or armodafinil (Nuvigil).

Modafinil can cause skin reactions that may be severe enough to need treatment in a hospital. Stop taking this medicine and get emergency medical help if you have a skin rash or hives, blisters or peeling, mouth sores, trouble breathing or swallowing, fever, swelling in your legs, dark urine, yellowing of your skin or eyes, or swelling in your face.

Modafinil may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Avoid other dangerous activities until you know how modafinil will affect your level of wakefulness.

Avoid drinking alcohol.while taking modafinil.


Drug Interactions (413) Alcohol/Food Interactions (2) Disease Interactions (9)

What other drugs will affect Modafinil?
Other drugs may interact with modafinil, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

A total of 413 drugs are known to interact with Modafinil.

  • 46 major drug interactions
  • 193 moderate drug interactions
  • 174 minor drug interactions

Modafinil is a prescription medicine for narcoleptics that increases alertness and prevents sleep. It just so happens to also increase cognition and memory, and is a potent and highly regarded supplement in the category of nootropics. Modafinil is an awakefulness enchancing drug that was created for treatment of daytime sleep related disorders such as Narcolepsy. It seems to have benefits for cognition via increasing levels of stimulatory neurotransmitters in the brain, and is used recreationally as a smart-drug.

Standard dosages are 100-200mg, or perhaps 4mg/kg bodyweight, either taken in a sleep deprived state (if the user desires to not fall asleep) or taken first thing in the morning if the user does not wish to impair sleep.

Modafinil Interactions

Mechanism of Action?
Like amphetamines, modafinil promotes wakefulness by stimulatIng the brain. The exact mechanism of action of modafinil is unknown. It may work by increasing the amount of dopamine (a chemical neurotransmitter that nerves use to communicate with each other) in the brain by reducing the reuptake of dopamine into nerves. Modafinil was approved by the FDA in December 1998.

Dementia Prevention?
No studies have examined whether modafinil can prevent cognitive decline or dementia. One systematic review examined 24 studies in healthy individuals to determine whether modafinil improved cognitive performance on simple and complex tasks . Most studies suggest that modafinil does not improve simple cognitive functions such as attention, verbal working memory, and cognitive flexibility, possibly because participants already had high baseline scores on these simple cognitive functions. Modafinil's effects on learning and memory are mixed, with some studies suggesting benefits and others suggesting no change. Most studies suggest that modafinil does not affect creativity, although others suggest modafinil may impair it. Modafinil may improve some aspects of executive function such as planning, decision-making, and fluid intelligence. In contrast to the mixed results with simple tasks, modafinil was shown to improve performance on complex tasks based on five clinical studies included in the systematic review. It was reported to be beneficial in a learning task that also relied on attention and executive function, a task that relied on short-term memory and cognitive flexibility, and a task using multiple memory domains and attention.

In a different study, chess players took more time per move on modafinil compared to placebo, and therefore improved performance, but lost a number of games due to taking too much time.

For Dementia Patients:
No studies have examined whether modafinil improves cognition in Alzheimer's patients. One study reported that modafinil did not reduce apathy in Alzheimer's patients.


  • Modafinil use in patients with seizures is limited due to safety concerns.
  • We identified 205 patients with diagnosis of epilepsy who were given modafinil.
  • Six patients were discontinued because of concerns for seizure exacerbation.
  • There is no dose effect of modafinil on whether patients experienced seizures.
  • Modafinil does not appear to exacerbate seizures.

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of modafinil in children younger than 17 years of age.

Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Although appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of modafinil have not been performed in the geriatric population, geriatric-specific problems are not expected to limit the usefulness of modafinil in the elderly. However, elderly patients may have a slower removal of this medicine from the body, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving modafinil.

Other Medical Problems:
Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Alcohol abuse, history of
  • Drug abuse or dependence, history of - Dependence may be more likely to develop
  • Angina (severe chest pain), unstable
  • Heart attack, recent
  • Heart disease - Use with caution. It is not known how modafinil will affect these conditions
  • Depression, history of
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Mania, history of
  • Psychosis (mental illness), history of - Use with caution. May make these conditions worse
  • Left ventricular hypertrophy (heart disease), history of
  • Mitral valve prolapse (heart disease) after receiving CNS stimulants - Use is not recommended in patients with these conditions
  • Liver disease, severe - Use with caution. You may require a dose adjustment. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns about this

Summary of Use During Lactation:
No information is available on the excretion of modafinil into breastmilk.

The amount of the R-enantiomer of modafinil, armodafinil, in one nursing mother was very low.

Minimal information from women who breastfed their infant's while using modafinil found no adverse effects in the infants.

Until more safety data are available, modafinil should be used with careful infant monitoring during breastfeeding, or an alternate drug may be preferred.

Alternate Drugs to Consider:

How should this medicine be used?
Modafinil comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. If you are taking modafinil to treat narcolepsy or OSAHS, you will probably take it in the morning. If you are taking modafinil to treat shift work sleep disorder, you will probably take it 1 hour before the beginning of your work shift. Take modafinil at the same time every day. Do not change the time of day that you take modafinil without talking to your doctor. Talk to your doctor if your work shift does not begin at the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take modafinil exactly as directed. Modafinil may be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor. Modafinil may decrease your sleepiness, but it will not cure your sleep disorder. Continue to take modafinil even if you feel well-rested. Do not stop taking modafinil without talking to your doctor. Modafinil should not be used in place of getting enough sleep. Follow your doctor's advice about good sleep habits. Continue to use any breathing devices or other treatments that your doctor has prescribed to treat your condition, especially if you have OSAHS.

Experimentally, modafinil is also used in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease; depression; attention-deficit disorder (ADHD); myotonic dystrophy; multiple sclerosis-induced fatigue; post-anaesthesia grogginess; cognitive impairment in schizophrenia; spasticity associated with cerebral palsy, age-related memory decline; idiopathic hypersomnia; methamphetamine ('Ice') abuse; apathy in the elderly; jet-lag; cancer-associated fatigue and opioid-induced sedation; fatigue in Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT); Kleine Levin syndrome ('Rip van Winkle' disease); and everyday cat-napping. Sceptics cite the broadly comparable therapeutic equivalance of a cup of coffee.

There is tentative evidence that modafinil may be neuroprotective against the "dopamine-deficiency disorder" Parkinson's disease. Depressives who feel sleepy and fatigued on SSRIs can augment their regimen with modafinil. In September 2003, an advisory panel to the FDA endorsed its use for treating shift work sleep disorder and obstructive sleep apnea.


Prescribed for:
    What Conditions does it Treat?
  • Sleepiness due to shift work sleep disorder
  • Recurring sleep episodes during the day
  • Sleepiness due to obstructive sleep apnea

Modafinil reduces extreme sleepiness due to narcolepsy and other sleep disorders, such as periods of stopped breathing during sleep (obstructive sleep apnea). It is also used to help you stay awake during work hours if you have a work schedule that keeps you from having a normal sleep routine (shift work sleep disorder).

This medication does not cure these sleep disorders and may not get rid of all your sleepiness.

Modafinil does not take the place of getting enough sleep. It should not be used to treat tiredness or hold off sleep in people who do not have a sleep disorder.

It is not known how modafinil works to keep you awake. It is thought to work by affecting certain substances in the brain that control the sleep/wake cycle.

Before using:
Tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of:

  • Heart problems (such as enlarged heart, mitral valve problem, chest pain, heart attack, irregular heartbeat)
  • Heart problems after taking stimulant drugs such as amphetamines (including chest pain, irregular heartbeat)
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver problems
  • Mental/mood disorders (such as depression, mania, psychosis)
  • Personal or family history of a substance use disorder (such as overuse of or addiction to drugs/alcohol)


  • Sleep disorders may reduce your ability to react quickly
  • Though modafinil helps keep you awake, you still may not be able to safely do things that require quick reactions (such as driving)
  • This drug may also make you dizzy
  • Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy
  • Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages.
  • Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).

Liquid products may contain sugar, aspartame, and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, liver disease, phenylketonuria (PKU), or any other condition that requires you to limit/avoid these substances in your diet. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.

User Reviews:

88 Total User Reviews
Modafinil Oral:
Read Reviews
Condition: Recurring Sleep Episodes During the Day (36 Reviews):

Ease of Use(4.56)


Provigil used in the treatment of Narcolepsy:

provigil ratings from

Provigil (modafinil)
Side Effects:
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Modafinil can cause skin reactions that may be severe enough to need treatment in a hospital. Stop taking this medicine and get emergency medical help if you have:
  • skin rash or hives, blisters or peeling;
  • mouth sores, trouble swallowing
  • fever, shortness of breath
  • swelling in your legs
  • dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • swelling in your face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat
Stop using modafinil and call your doctor at once if you have:
  • depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts or actions
  • hallucinations, unusual thoughts or behavior, aggression, being more active or talkative than usual
  • chest pain, trouble breathing, uneven heart beats
  • the first sign of any skin rash, no matter how minor you think it might be
Common side effects may include:
  • headache, dizziness
  • feeling nervous or anxious
  • back pain
  • nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach
  • sleep problems (insomnia)
  • stuffy nose
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Both modafinil and armodafinil are associated with a low rate of serum aminotransferase elevations during therapy, but they have not been implicated in cases of clinically apparent acute liver injury.

Modafinil Hepatotoxicity:
In clinical trials, modafinil and armodafinil were associated with a low rate of serum aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase elevations (<1%). Furthermore, despite widescale use, there have not been reports of clinically apparent liver injury due to modafinil or armodafinil. Rare instances of hypersensitivity reactions and even Stevens Johnson syndrome have been reported after modafinil use and these reactions may be accompanied by evidence of hepatic involvement or injury.

E Likelihood score: E (unlikely cause of clinically apparent liver injury).

Maximum Dosage:
Prescribers Digital Reference
Adults:400 mg/day PO
Elderly:400 mg/day PO
>= 17 years:
400 mg/day PO
<= 16 years:
Safety and efficacy have not been established
Children:Safety and efficacy have not been established
Infants:Safety and efficacy have not been established
Neonates:Safety and efficacy have not been established


A wakefulness promoting, long acting stimulant which is typically only used functionally, because there is no real euphoric component to its effects. Also prescribed for daytime sleeping disorders.

RouteOnsetDurationAfter Effects
Tripsit Factsheets
All ROAs:30-45 minutes12-16 hours1-16 hours
Modafinil Duration

Modafinil is a stimulant drug marketed as a 'wakefulness promoting agent' and is one of the stimulants used in the treatment of narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is caused by dysfunction of a family of wakefulness-promoting and sleep-suppressing peptides, the orexins, whose neurons are activated by modafinil. The prexin neuron activation is associated with psychoactivation and euphoria. The exact mechanism of action is unclear, although in vitro studies have shown it to inhibit the reuptake of dopamine by binding to the dopamine reuptake pump, and lead to an increase in extracellular dopamine. Modafinil activates glutamatergic circuits while inhibiting GABA.

FDA PDF Modafinil Guide

EMC PDF provigil

Caymanchem PDF Modafinil

Brand Names:
Modafinil is sold under a wide variety of brand names worldwide, including:
  • Alertec
  • Alertex
  • Altasomil
  • Aspendos
  • Forcilin
  • Intensit
  • Mentix
  • Modafinil
  • Modafinilo
  • Modalert
  • Modanil
  • Modasomil
  • Modvigil
  • Modiodal
  • Modiwake
  • Movigil
  • Provigil
  • Resotyl
  • Stavigile
  • Vigia
  • Vigicer
  • Vigil
  • Vigimax
  • Wakelert
  • Zalux

Common side effects include headache, anxiety, trouble sleeping, and nausea. Serious side effects may include allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis, Stevens - Johnson syndrome, misuse, and hallucinations. The incidence of adverse effects are reported as the following: less than 10% of users report having a headache, nausea, and decreased appetite. Between 5% to 10% of users may be affected with anxiety, insomnia, dizziness, diarrhea, and rhinitis. It is unclear if use during pregnancy is safe. Modafinil was approved for medical use in the United States in 1998. In 2017, modafinil was the 328th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than 900 thousand prescriptions. Armed forces of several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, India and France, have expressed interest in modafinil as an alternative to amphetamine. The addiction and dependence liabilities of modafinil are relatively low. Large-scale clinical studies have found no evidence of tolerance with modafinil at therapeutic dosages even with prolonged use. Modafinil was originally developed in France by neurophysiologist professor Michel Jouvet and Lafon Laboratories. Modafinil originated with the late 1970s invention of a series of benzhydryl sulfinyl compounds. It has been prescribed in France since 1994 under the name Modiodal, and in the US since 1998 as Provigil. Major League Baseball's all-time leading home-run hitter Barry Bonds' supplemental chemical regimen included modafinil in addition to anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. Modafinil was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency "Prohibited List" in 2004 as a prohibited stimulant.

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