What is Modafinil Used for?

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What is modafinil used for?  Many people think of Modafinil as a stimulant because many nootropic users use it for focus and concentration, but no, it’s not a stimulant. What is Modafinil then?  The supported answer is a ‘wakeful agent’. It is one of the most widely used nootropics and is used widely in the high tech industry, high ups in big business, and with traders. If you are someone who needs their best performance on a daily basis and you feel less than your full performance self then Modafinil may be right for you.what is modafinil used for

Believe it or not, this nootropic was first developed for the treatment of Narcolepsy.

Modafinil can be used by anyone, who wishes to work late, stay awake, enhance their cognitive reactions, or brighten their moods. Users may already be under a great level of stress, i.e. cancer patients or soldiers in a battlefield. A psychoneuroimmunological approach is thus needed to investigate the multi-functional effects of modafinil.

It is suspected that Modafinil increases adrenaline and dopamine enough for wakefulness and focus, but not any more than that.

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 and Zalux.)


How Does Modanifil Actually Work?

We know that Modafinil modulates the brain’s histamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, and orexin systems.  The precise mechanisms of its action have not been identified in terms of locating a single site of action or major receptor binding.

One thing is clear is that Modafinil’s effect on various important neurotransmitters is at the heart of its potency, both as a eugeroic and as a nootropic.



Modafinil has been shown to alter the levels of histamine in our brain; more specifically in the Hypothalamus.  Histamine is a  compound involved in many physiologic processes throughout our entire bodies.  We normally associate it with allergies.  However, it’s main focus is to increase wakefulness and to prevent sleep.

Studies have shown us that the posterior hypothalamus is the benefit of an increased concentration of histamine from Modanifil.



Modafinil is believed to increase the availability of norepinephrine in or brains.  Norepinephrine is a stimulant neurotransmitter promoting wakefulness and increased alertness.

Research studies have confirmed the connection between Modafinil and increased levels of dopamine in the brain.



Orexins or hypocretins are proteinaceous substances that are used by neurons to communicate with each other. They are primarily involved in maintaining our vigilance and regulating or sleep-arousal cycles. Narcolepsy is known to be associated with reduced levels of orexins in the central nervous system. By increasing the levels of orexins, Modafinil increases wakefulness and arousal.



Dopamine is a very important neurotransmitter that is commonly associated with increased concentration, drive and memory.  It improves our mood and increases our motivation and our focus.what is modafinil used for

Unlike other stimulants that directly stimulate the release of dopamine and increase dopamine levels quickly and in a highly amplified manner.  Modafinil works more gradually by blocking the receptors that remove dopamine from the synapses, which effectively elevates the amount of dopamine available for immediate use in the brain. This gradual action on the dopamine system is an important feature of how Modafinil works because it reduces the “rush” type of euphoria that is associated with addiction.



Modafinil elevates levels of glutamate.  Glutamate is primarily involved in synaptic plasticity (the ability of nerve synapses to become stronger or weaker over time). This property of glutamate makes it core to cognitive processes such as learning and memory. By activating the glutamate circuits in the brain, Modafinil plays a major role in shaping our learning abilities.


Benefits of Modafinil

Modafinil is an effective eugeroic.  Eugeroics are a class of drugs that promote wakefulness and alertness. They are used medically for the treatment of certain sleeping disorders, such as excessive daytime sleepiness and narcolepsy.  The drug is, therefore, it is a huge asset when treating disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea or narcolepsy.

While modafinil may increase the alertness levels of an individual, it is important to remember that it is not a long-term substitute for sleep. Users of modafinil may stay awake during their regular sleeping hours for short intervals of time without incurring a significant sleep debt.

However, to achieve the maximal benefits afforded by this drug, regular and healthy sleeping patterns are vital.


Cognitive Effects

Increasing wakefulness is not its only benefit. Amongst the most common uses of this drug is its usage as a cognitive enhancer in both healthy [1] and sleep the deprived [2].

Users report feeling more alert and attentive, with increased levels of energy. In addition, it may enhance mental function in individuals with attention impairment (due to age-related cognitive decline, drug abuse or attention deficit disorders).


Impulse Control

Poor impulse control may play an important role in the start and progression of certain disorders such as alcoholism, gambling addiction etc. By reducing the impulsivity and preventing the user from getting distracted from their task, Modafinil may help to control such episodes of abuse and relapse [3].



New research suggests that Modafinil can actually promote brain health. It has antioxidant properties that can reduce the presence of damaging free radicals in the brain tissue, making it an effective neuroprotectant [4].


Treating Other Conditions

Research does show that Modafinil is good in comparison to amphetamine for treatment of ADHD [5].

There are ongoing studies involving testing Modanafil for the treatment of other conditions such as depression, Schizophrenia, addiction to nicotine, and seasonal affective disorder.

I talk about Modafinil in my best nootropics for focus article.


Side Effects of Modafinil

These powerful nootropics often have side effects although generally minor in nature. A loss of appetite can be associated with the use of Modafinil. This can be a benefit to those who also want to lose weight. Keep in mind however that it is not considered a weight loss drug and should be taken as written on the bottle.

There are other side effects that include dizziness, headaches, and irritability. These are rare. An increased heart rate and high blood pressure have also been reported. If you experience either or both of these stop taking Modafinil and speak to your physician straight away.

Other side effects are insomnia, but this is found in people who for some reason decide to take the drug too close to going to bed at night. The best time to take Modafinil would be in the morning or at lunch.

Irritability is another side effect and can be detrimental to you rather than a benefit. If you find you are too irritable, lower your dosage, see how you feel and if it is still too much, Modafinil is not for you.

If you feel too anxious while taking Modafinil, do not take another nootropic to counteract this side effect. Once again, just lower your dose and see how you feel.


Modafinil Dosage

I’m a stickler when it comes to dosages of any drug, supplement or herbal medicine. The dosage written on the bottle is there for a reason. My long career as a Paramedic has shown me that playing around with the dosage of even a nootropic can have serious effects. Be safe and read the label.

That said the dose usually is between 100 – 200 mg.

Keep in mind that Modafinil is a powerful nootropic so when trying it for the first time, be smart and opt for a lower dose and not the top end dose. If you feel it may be beneficial for you to up the dosage after trying the lower dosage on the scale only then choose the higher end, but do not go over.

modafinil product label

How and Where to Buy Modafinil

Modafinil is popular, which means it is big business. Unfortunately, in the United States and Canada, it is impossible to buy it over the counter. You need a prescription in order to purchase Modafinil, but there are many online retail shops that purchase the drugs in countries where modafinil is over the counter (such as India and Colombia) and ship them to you.

If you are going to buy modafinil online from another retailer, make sure you find modafinil reviews in one of the community portals (such as Reddit or Longecity). There are many modafinil suppliers that pop up every month, but modafinil reviews can help you to determine what is legitimate and what is not.

Beyond the legal risks, if you buy modafinil, there are reports of seizure by customs, though this is rare.

Another choice is Adrafinil, which is actually a precursor to Modafinil.  It is a legal alternative that has very similar effects. Like Modafinil, Adrafinil increases wakefulness and alertness, reduces fatigue, and offers substantial cognitive benefits, including better mood, memory, and motivation.


Is Modafinil Worth It?

Yes, there are a number of side effects associated with Modafinil and because of this, you may want to shy away from it. Keep in mind, these side effects are generally minor and can be managed thoroughly by when and how much you take. Many of those who find themselves affected, stop taking the drug every day and switch to every second day and manage just fine.

My answer to this question is largely in what I’ve written above regarding side effects. Most drugs on the market have a list as long or longer of side effects you may encounter, but the benefit outweighs them considering they are rarer than we think.

That said, yes Modafinil is worth it.

Here are a few reviews of Modafinil:

“Took it for a month at 100 mg and felt much more lively. I was tired a lot and bored at work. It pepped me up. I just love it.”

My girlfriend takes it and told me to try it because I was not studying for exams cause i was exhausted. I study much longer now”

“I always have a hard time keeping my eyes open in the middle of the day so read about this and bought it. Great product. I feel great all day now. Ya!”

12 thoughts on “What is Modafinil Used for?”

  1. This is really interesting, I haven’t heard of Modafinil before,  I know many people that may benefit from it.  I am wondering how long can you take it before possible side effects begin?  I am interested in taking it for myself. I am in reasonably good shape.  I don’t have any high blood pressure or ailments that should cause a problem while taking it.  I could use it to stay up later and study.  I will do a little more research and If I  try a bottle and I will let you know if it helped me out.  Thanks for the information.

  2. I’m always hesitant to take any drugs because of the side effects. I find it hard to take anything even if it may help me, how can I take something knowing that it may give me headaches, or vomiting or whatever. So i always tend to just hold out and suffer through it. Not sure if thats bad or not.

  3. I was most interested to read your post about Modafinil, which is a product I had not come across before.

    I can think of a number of people who would very much benefit from taking this, including myself, and as you say, the side effects do sound pretty minor.

    Would you recommend consulting a doctor before beginning to take it?

    From what you say, it seems that the greatest problem in taking Modafinil is its availability. Is the Adrofinil which you advertise from  Amazon Ca the same thing – I did not see it in your list of alternative names? Although I could not find it on the Amazon UK site either. Do you know of any similar alternatives?

    Thanks to your post, I have now learned what Nootropics are!

    Very many thanks for your very informative post.

    Chrissie 🙂

    • I think it is regulated in the UK so you should ask a doctor over pharmacist about it.

      The alternatives I have listed including the one on Amazon are probably regulated in the UK as well.  You will have to check on that.

  4. This could be of great help to me, most times I find myself dosing when reading, I love reading during the night because there is less disturbances during the night than day. However, I can’t even spend 3 hours reading during the night, I find myself dosing most times. Modafinil might be of great help for me. However, the problem may come at causing lose of appetite as I don’t want to lose weight. I really don’t know how I am going to deal with that

    • The appetite suppressant isn’t all that common and not very difficult to deal with.  If you don’t want weight loss and you are worried about it, then I wouldn’t take it.

  5. Thanks for an informative review. I used a similar supplement named Neurozan. It had side effects. Everything was fine except when overdose it. It seemed that I can do more than I am capable of. And sometimes it was. I could do a lot. But when I stopped using it I was a little bit upset because I could not do or remember what I had when using Neurozan. I think we should be very careful and extremely cautious about dosage. Sometimes it is easy to forget the dosage if you work a lot under pressure. In my opinion, daily monitoring should be applied at all times.

    Anyway, I think this product or related products are great and with proper control of dosage you can do and achieve a lot. 

    Thanks again for letting us know about a great opportunity to strengthen our mind!



    • Thanks for that great comment.  I’m glad to hear personal experiences and that you had a good experience.  

      Modanifil is one that I caution people to keep to the dosages and for new users to start with very small dosages and work up to avoid any unwanted side effects.


  6. First, what does ‘nootropic” mean, or what or who is a nootropic? I’ve never heard of this term before, nor have I heard of Modafinil. I have a hunch what nootropic means, but I’m probably way off. 🙂

    Years ago I worked the night shift and took NoDoz quite regularly. I didn’t have enough sense, though, as you said, to back off the dosage. Good advice.

    Perhaps I missed it in your article, but is Adrafinil akin to Modafinil in that a prescription is needed for it in the US?

    Thanks for the informative article. It seems like a lot of things that might be beneficial to us are banned by the FDA.

    • Rick, What are Nootropics is a very common question and here’s the answer:

      nootropic is a substance capable of enhancing brain or mental function. Nootropics can help you boost memory, learning and overall brain function.

      Yes, Modafinil is Adafinil and does regulated so needs a prescription in the United States

      There are a great deal of Nootropic and Nootropic stacks ( combinations of nootropics) that are not regulated and sold either online or at health stores.  I’m not in the US so can’t comment too much on your regulations.

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