Modapills (Provigil) is a medication that helps people stay awake.
Modafinil, approved by the FDA in 1998 to treat narcolepsy, is also used to treat excessive daytime sleepiness caused by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or shift work sleep disorder (SWSD).
Off-label It has been used to aid in people suffering from Parkinson’s disease, ADHD, chronic fatigue syndrome, and Multiple Sclerosis. In addition, it is used by students, executives, and the military to combat sleep deprivation and fatigue. Some publications even call it the world’s first safe smart drug or nootropic. But is it true?
Worryingly, even experts aren’t sure how it works. However, they have discovered that it increases the levels of several chemicals and neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine, serotonin, histamine, glutamate, and GABA. Although its structure is unique and not similar to those drugs, studies have shown that Modafinil’s wake-promoting effects are close to stimulants such as amphetamine and methylphenidate. However, it has the same effect on the mind as stimulants, causing feelings of alertness, enhanced thinking, and perception. As most chemists and doctors will tell you, ANY drug with these side effects encourages drug use and risks addiction and dependence.
Modapills (Provigil): Side Effects Comparatively Mild
More than one-third of modafinil users report headache as a side effect, with nausea coming in second (11 percent of people taking Modafinil). Less than 10% of clinical trial participants reported other side effects included rhinitis, nervousness and anxiety, back pain, insomnia, and gastrointestinal complaints (such as diarrhoea and indigestion).
Modafinil UK can reduce the efficacy of hormonal contraceptives by interfering with the enzymes that convert these hormones into their active form.
Life-threatening rashes, such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome, have occurred infrequently with Modafinil (DRESS). The majority of reactions are most likely allergic in nature. Seek quick medical attention if you develop any signs of a rash or other allergic reactions (such as facial swelling, difficulty breathing).
Even though Modafinil has been on the market for over 20 years, experts are unsure how long-term use affects the brain. Some are concerned about chronic sleep disturbance, future sleep ability, increased antisocial tendencies and emotion suppression, as well as withdrawal symptoms.
Modapills With Coffee: The Choice of Wall Street?
In today’s competitive business world, there is tremendous pressure to outperform others. So it’s no surprise that entrepreneurs and millennials are among the most frequent modafinil users. Online blogs extol the virtues of unwavering focus, superhuman levels of concentration, and perseverance in the face of 14-hour workdays. On the other end of the spectrum, there have been reports of blackouts when Modafinil is mixed with alcohol, as well as anxiety when coming off the drug.
Do Modapills Have Cognitive Enhancing Effects?
Only a few small trials have looked into Modafinil’s effects on cognition, with mixed results.
In one 2003 trial, participants reported feeling more alert, attentive, and energetic while taking the drug. In addition, some improvements in specific memory tasks, such as digit span and visual recognition, were reported. Furthermore, there was a decrease in impulsivity. However, a 2014 trial found improvements in impulsive decision making but no difference in performance accuracy.
A review of 19 placebo-controlled trials finalised that Modafinil works best for fatigued peoples and has only a limited effect on improving attention, executive functioning, memory, or processing speed in other people.
Modafinil or armodafinil (a similar substance) had a mild effect on reducing negative symptoms of schizophrenia in people who were not chronically ill or had a high negative symptom burden, to begin with, when used as an add-on treatment for people with schizophrenia.
Do Modapills Help Decision Fatigue?
Researchers finalised from a review of 24 studies on the use of Modafinil in healthy, non-sleep deprived individuals that Modafinil is more likely to help improve attention and learning for more complex thought processes rather than basic tasks. It did not affect working memory or understanding different viewpoints, but it improved decision-making and planning. Modafinil was found to harm creativity in a few studies, though the side effects were generally mild and included insomnia, nausea, and headache.
So, while Modafinil may improve your focus and allow you to make decisions until the wee hours of the morning, there is no guarantee that these will always be the right ones. Also, keep in mind that few studies have looked at the long-term effects of modafinil use.
Modapills as a Performance Enhancing Drug
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibits Modafinil and its derivative armodafinil in competition unless an athlete has been diagnosed with narcolepsy and has obtained a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) before the event. Although WADA has always considered Modafinil to be “related to stimulants,” it remained in a bit of a grey area until added to the list of prohibited substances in 2004.
Many athletes have used Modafinil to improve their concentration, focus, and recovery time. For example, Kelli White of the United States won the 100m and 200m at the World Track and Field Championships in 2003, a rare sprint double. Her victory, however, lasted only a few hours before she tested positive for Modafinil. Unfortunately for her, US Track and Field did not believe her “I have narcolepsy” story and stripped her of both medals.
Is Modapills For You?
Modafinil does improve alertness in sleep-deprived people, but it is unlikely to make you smarter. So think twice before using it for an unapproved purpose, such as a study aid or to help you meet a deadline, exceptionally if a doctor did not prescribe it.
Although it has fewer side effects than some stimulants, there is still a risk of dependence on Modafinil. So rather than relying on a pill to keep you going, make a few changes to your lifestyle so that you get enough sleep and can function at work with a clear head.