Modafinil is used to treat excessive sleepiness caused by conditions like:
- Narcolepsy- Is a chronic sleep disorder characterized by a sudden attack of sleep and overwhelming daytime drowsiness.
- Shift work sleep disorder or SWSD- A sleep disorder that involves a disruption of normal hours when one is working nights.
- Excessive sleepiness associated with medical conditions like obstructive sleep apnea
Modafinil is used off-label in treating:
- Fatigue occurs as a result of cancer and cancer therapy.
- Relieving excessive tiredness among patients who are receiving chemotherapy.
- Fatigue among those with multiple sclerosis
- Psychiatric disorders like depression and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.
How does it work?
As a smart drug of the nootropic type, Modafinil enhances the mood and cognitive function of the brain. How it works remains obscure, but researchers believe that it works by increasing the chemical substance dopamine in the brain by reducing the reuptake of dopamine into the nerves. There are several other smart drugs in the market but Modafinil stands in a class of its own for a few reasons:
- It has been shown to increase fatigue resistance and improve mood.
- It’s not addictive.
- It’s very safe and has few to no side effects
- It works well and doesn’t cause a crash or withdrawal, unlike other smart drugs.
- It’s effective in reducing impulse response and in improving fatigue level, reaction time, and motivation in healthy adults.
- It has been shown to improve brain functions among those who are sleep deprived.
How much Modafinil to take?
Modafinil is a prescription drug that you can take only with a prescription. For most adults, the typical recommended dose in treating sleep disorders is 200 mg once a day. The duration of effect lasts for 6 to 8 hours. It is usually taken in the morning and at the same time each day. The dose for patients with severe hepatic impairment should be reduced to one-half of the recommended dose.
Tips for taking Modafinil safely and effectively
- Modafinil is effective in promoting wakefulness. However, it shouldn’t be used on a long-term basis as it can interact with some medicines.
- Modafinil may reduce the effectiveness of steroidal contraceptives. You should use an alternative method of contraception such as condoms or oral contraceptive pills while on Modafinil and for one month after you stop using it.
- This drug can cause psychiatric symptoms especially to those with a history of mental disorders like depression, mania, or psychosis.
- As a stimulant-like drug, Modafinil can cause adverse effects in the cardiovascular system. Patients with high blood pressure and heart diseases should be closely monitored when first starting the treatment with this drug. In case of symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, or palpitation.
- This medicine does not take the place of getting enough sleep nor it will get rid of all your sleepiness. Do not use this medicine in treating tiredness or hold off sleep in people who do not have a sleep disorder.
- A serious skin reaction may occur during treatment with Modafinil. Discontinue using Modafinil and contact your doctor right away if you developed the following symptoms:
- Blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin
- Severe acne
- Sore or ulcers in the skin
- The most common side effects associated with using this medicine are headache, insomnia, dizziness, and nausea. Other side effects include diarrhea, nasal congestion, back pain, and nervousness. Side effects related to weight loss can also occur.
Who can and can’t take Modafinil?
Modafinil is not suitable for:
- People with irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- Children and adolescents aged 18 years below
- Patients with a floppy heart valve who have experienced mitral valve prolapse syndrome
- Patients who have a history of enlargement of a chamber of the heart
Extra monitoring and a lower dose are needed for:
- Elderly people
- People with a history of drug, alcohol, or substance abuse
- People with liver or kidney problems
- Patients with a history of psychiatric illness such as mania, anxiety, depression, psychosis, or agitation.