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Modafinil, also known as Provigil, is a central nervous system stimulant that promotes wakefulness in people who experience extreme sleepiness or other sleeping problems that makes wakefulness a challenging task. It is given by oral administration.

Modafinil is mainly given to treat sleepiness caused by narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disease that initiates drowsiness during the daytime and causes sudden sleep attacks.

Modafinil is regarded as a schedule 4 controlled substance by the US FDA. It has a low potential for abuse and addiction as it does not have any pleasurable or euphoric effects.

What Is Modafinil Used For?

Modafinil is used for the following conditions:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Narcolepsy
  • Shift work sleep disorder (A condition characterized by sleepiness in scheduled waking hours and wakefulness in scheduled sleeping hours).
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (A condition that causes breathing difficulty during sleep).

How Does Modafinil Work? Mechanism Of Action:

Modafinil is a selective weak dopamine reuptake inhibitor that leads to an increase in dopamine concentration in the brain. Modafinil is also called the wakefulness-promoting agent

How Effective Is Modafinil?

Studies and research have elaborated that modafinil shows a strong positive response in patients who experience excessive sleepiness. 

Modafinil is clinically proven as an effective drug to treat narcolepsy, and the medicine has a low potential for dependency and abuse.

If taken on an empty stomach and at the right time, modafinil effectively relieves sleepiness within 30 to 60 minutes.

How Should I Take Modafinil?

  • Take modafinil exactly as prescribed by your doctor or pharmacist.
  • You can take modafinil with or without food.
  • Most probably, you will be prescribed modafinil for once daily intake.
  • Take modafinil at the same time every day, depending on the condition you are taking modafinil.
  • If you have been prescribed modafinil for shift work sleep disorder, take the drug one hour before the beginning of your work shift.
  • If you are taking modafinil to treat narcolepsy, take one dose in the morning.
  • Do not stop taking modafinil without informing your pharmacist or doctor.
  • Do not take more doses of modafinil other than the prescribed amount, or for a longer, extended time, or more often.
  • When using modafinil, do not use any medications that contain Armodafinil.
  • The drug is not recommended to be used in children.
  • Do not take modafinil if you have been allergic to the drug.

Modafinil Dosage Form And Strengths

Your doctor will prescribe a strength based on your:

  • Age
  • Medical history
  • Medical condition
  • Severity of disease 

Modafinil tablet dosage form strengths include:

  • 100 mg
  • 200 mg

What Dose of Modafinil Should I Take?

Take a dose of modafinil as prescribed by your doctor, as the dose can vary from patient to patient, depending on the disease and medical condition. 

The standard doses of modafinil include:

The dose of modafinil for patients with liver failure or liver disease is 100 mg per oral every day.

  • For Narcolepsy

The dose of modafinil for narcolepsy is one 200 mg tablet per oral in the morning.

The dose can increase up to 400 mg daily per day taken in the morning.

  • For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The dose of modafinil for obstructive sleep apnea is one tablet of 200 mg in the morning every day, which can increase up to 400 mg per day.

  • For Shift Work Sleep Disorder 

The dose of modafinil for shift work sleep disorder is 200 mg per oral given one hour before the patient's work shift.

Why Is Modafinil Considered A Good Treatment For Wakefulness?

Modafinil is considered a good treatment for wakefulness because it is a central nervous system stimulant. It stimulates the brain to promote activeness and cognitive performance, and it treats conditions that cause sleeping disorders.

What Are The Side Effects Of Modafinil?

The common side effects of modafinil include:

  • Dizziness and drowsiness
  • Nausea and diarrhea 
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Dry mouth
  • Sweating
  • Confusion 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Gas
  • Heartburn
  • Flushing

The severe side effects of modafinil include:

  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Hoarseness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling of the body, especially in the mouth, face, tongue, throat, lips, eyes, hands, feet, lower legs, or ankles 
  • Hallucinations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Abnormal excitation in mood
  • Hives or itching
  • Rashes

How To Manage Modafinil Side Effects?

The common side effects of modafinil go away with time. So, you don't need to worry about them as they usually occur. However, if they persist or become intolerable, consult your pharmacist to switch your medication. 

The side effects of modafinil vary from patient to patient. Here are some tips for managing the common side effects of modafinil:

  • If you face GIT disturbance or nausea with modafinil, use the drug during or before a meal. 
  • Drink plenty of water to manage the side effects of diarrhea and constipation.
  • For managing dry mouth, drink small sips of juices throughout the day and use a mouthwash.
  • Do not take alcohol, grapefruit, or grapefruit juice when on modafinil therapy.
  • If you miss your dose, do not take it at the end of the day as it will cause difficulty in falling asleep. Miss the dose and wait for the next day to take the drug at the specified time.
  • Do not engage in high-alerting activities like driving or operating machinery after taking modafinil. The drug affects your concentration and may cause dizziness and drowsiness.
  • If you face side effects like rashes, hives, or allergic reactions, consult your doctor immediately. Discontinuation is recommended in case of rashes or hives.

Alternative Treatment Options For Wakefulness

If modafinil doesn't suit you or you experience an unusual side effect, there are other drug options that can treat wakefulness, which include:

Caution: Do not use these drugs without consulting your doctor.

  • Adderall: This is another CNS stimulant that improves attention and focus and treats narcolepsy and ADHD. Adderall can also cause insomnia and addiction.
  • Pitolisant: Pitolisant, also known as Wakix, is a prescription-only medicine used to treat narcolepsy. It has less chances of abuse and does not cause dependency.
  • Armodafinil: Armodafinil is a drug closely related to modafinil. It has a better wakefulness action than modafinil but leads to a higher amount of drug in the body when taken as compared to modafinil.
  • Methylphenidate: Methylphenidate is a CNS stimulant and a prescription-based drug used to treat ADHD. It increases the release of dopamine in the brain, and as it is a CNS stimulant, it has some effects on relieving narcolepsy. However, methylphenidate is a controlled substance with a high potential for abuse.

Can I Buy Modafinil Online? 

Yes. You can buy modafinil online. In some pharmacies, modafinil is sold without a prescription, while some sell it with a prescription. Hence, it depends on the type of pharmacy and its policies for buying modafinil online. If their online delivery is applicable, you can order modafinil online. You can call on their landline number to confirm their online delivery policies.


When should I take Modafinil?


Take modafinil as asked by your doctor or pharmacist. When you should take modafinil depends on your disease condition. For example, if you are taking modafinil for shift work sleep disorders, take modafinil one hour before your shift work. If you take modafinil for treating narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea, take the drug in the morning, i.e., in A.M timings.

How long does it take for Modafinil to work?


Modafinil takes around 30 to 60 minutes to start working. If you take modafinil on a full stomach, it may take slightly longer to work as compared to when taken on an empty stomach.

Can I take Modafinil while pregnant?


No. Modafinil can be risky if used in pregnancy. Animal studies have shown fetal harm with the use of modafinil in pregnancy. The drug has the risk of congenital malformations in pregnancy. Hence, modafinil should be taken if the benefits outweigh its risk after a doctor's recommendation.

Can I drive after taking Modafinil?


No. You should not drive after taking modafinil. As modafinil affects your concentration, has a stimulant effect on the brain, and may not completely relieve sleepiness, it is advisable not to drive or operate machinery after taking modafinil until you are aware of how modafinil affects you.

How long can I take Modafinil for?


Take modafinil as long as recommended by your doctor or pharmacist. Modafinil is seen to be well-tolerated up to 40 weeks.

Does long-term use of Modafinil have adverse effects on my health?


If you take modafinil longer than needed or more than the duration prescribed by your doctor, it may have adverse effects on your health. Prolonged wakefulness can cause stress and anxiety and impair your immune system.

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