Modafinil, also known as Provigil, is defined as a wakefulness-promoting agent for treating disorders like narcolepsy, excessive daytime sleepiness and sleep disorder resulting from shift work. Countries like USA restrict its availability and usage because of concerns about addiction potential as well as other side effects. The mechanism of modafinil working on human brain is still difficult to explain. However, it is known for blocking dopamine transporter molecule, mode of action of methylphenidate and amphetamine stimulants. The influence of these actions is relatively weak as it doesn’t explain the wakefulness effect that is physically observed. Modafinil is a potent nootropic long-term.
In addition to improving daytime wakefulness, modafinil has also been proved to treat fatigue and sedation resulting from several conditions including depression.
Astronauts and military personnel also use the substance in combat situations e.g. where they face sleep deprivation as a result of lengthy missions.
Numerous clinical trials have been conducted and the conclusion is that incidence of the possible adverse effects is very low. The research shows that 30% of the users reported experiencing headaches while only 11% reported instances of nausea. Less than 10% reported nervousness, insomnia, diarrhea, dizziness, anxiety and gastrointestinal problems.
Signs of allergic reactions that call for emergency medical attention include hives, breathing difficulties and swelling of your throat, face, tongue or lips. Nevertheless, stop using this substance and seek immediate medical assistance whenever you experience any of the following severe side effects:
l Headache, sore throat, fever and vomiting with serious blistering, red skin rash and peeling.
l Severe tingling, bruising, pain, numbness, and muscle weakness.
l Easy bleeding or bruising
l Sores or white patches on your lips or inside your mouth.
l Unusual behavior or thoughts and (or) hallucinations.
l Aggression, anxiety and depression.
l Uneven heart beats and chest pain.
Modafinil is used as prescribed by your doctor. The exact dosage instructions are available in the medicine label. The medicine comes with a medication guide which contains an extra information for the patient. Read it carefully before use. General prescription include the following:
l Take the medicine by mouth and without food
l Take it in the morning except when directed by doctor otherwise.
l If your aim of taking modafinil is to treat sleep problems associated with shift work, take it an hour before commencing your work.
l Take the medicine as soon as possible whenever you miss its dose. If you forget till late in the afternoon or evening, the missed dose should be skipped and regular schedule is resumed.
How does this feel?
If you are suffering from either of the disorders that modafinil can treat then you are sure to get rid of it with this substance. However, some athletes feel their performances are enhanced too, and go on using it as a doping agent. Regardless of how it feels to you, please do not use modafinil in a way that subjects you to breaking the law.
People using modafinil for long can develop the need to continue using it (addiction). Taking high doses speeds up this dependence problem.
Since long term use is risky, people are advised to use modafinil for a short time i.e until what you were suffering from is contained or treated to normal.
Modafinil has been proved to be effective in treating ADHD. However this results to non-fatal Stevens-Johnson syndrome rashes. Individuals living with depersonalization disorder are also advised to use the drug. This is targeted preferably to those with attentional impairments, hypersomnia and under-arousal.
Research has also been conducted the findings show that modafinil is helpful to those with psychiatric disorders, cocaine addiction, obesity and delayed sleep phase syndrome.
Michael Jouvet, a neurophysiologist medical professor was the first person to develop modafinil. This was done in 1970s in France as a result of the invention of benzhdryl sulfinyl compounds like adrafinil. Modafinil has been in use in France under the name Mediodal since 1994 and in US as Provigil since 1998. US Food and drug Administration approved the medicine in 1998 for narcolepsy treatment and shift-work sleep disorder treatment in 2003. UK approved its use in 2002. Cephalon Inc. markets the drug in US after purchasing the company early in 2001.
You should not use this information to make a decision on whether to take modafinil or not. Consult your health provider since specific advice may not have been provided for you here.