- 1 What is Modafinil?
- 2 How to Take Modafinil:
- 3 Uses of Modafinil:
- 4 More information on Modafinil:
- 5 How does Modafinil Work?
- 6 Adverse Effects of Modafinil:
- 7 History of Modafinil:
What is Modafinil?
Modafinil is intended for to treat the excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy with or without cataplexy.
It is a generic type of medication that is used in the treatment of sleep-related medical issues. This includes, but is not limited to, narcolepsy, work-related sleep disorders, or excessive tiredness in the morning. It is also used regularly to treat the issues associated with obstructive sleep apnea. Narcolepsy is a serious disorder and is far more debilitating than regular sleepiness and is not caused by routine. In the majority of circumstances, people with narcolepsy tend to fall asleep anywhere at any-time with little warning which can be extremely dangerous, especially when operating a vehicle.
How to Take Modafinil:
Modafinil UK is a daily medication and can be taken orally. You are not required to eat it with meals. It is, however, important to check with your doctor to be certain as to which time suits you best to take it although it is usually taken in the morning.
If you are using this drug to treat a work-related disorder, then it is important to take it an hour before your shift begins. If possible, take this medication at the same time each day and do not make any alterations to this schedule without checking with your doctor.
Modafinil is intended as a treatment for sleepiness and not a cure for narcolepsy. Do not stop taking your medication without medical advice, even if you notice an improvement.
Uses of Modafinil:
Modafinil for anxiety
Modafinil is a stimulant and will increase dopamine as well as serotonin leading to improved motivation and moods making it easier for people suffering from anxiety to function and work effectively.
Modafinil for focus
It improves cognitive functioning and makes the brain more alert and focused.
Modafinil for work
It will make you more awake and focused, particularly for shift workers.
Modafinil for dementia
Modafinil is a psychostimulants and improves cognitive behaviour and can aid in the treatment of dementia.
Modafinil for hypersomnia
It will make you more awake and alert and effective in the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness.
Modafinil to study
Modafinil improves memory and focus as well as mood leading to more productive study time.
More information on Modafinil:
Brand Names to Look for. There are various English brand-names for Modafinil such as Alertec, Provigil, and Modavigil. However, in the US you need a prescription to purchase Modafinil as it is classed as an addictive substance and is therefore highly regulated. It is relatively easy to obtain once you acquire a prescription, however.
How does Modafinil Work?
It wasn’t until recently that it became clear how Modafinil actually works. But recent research seems to show that it acts as a weak and selective atypical dopamine reuptake inhibitor. This is because it acts similar to similarly classified drugs. Although there is a lot of evidence to support this research, it is also likely that there is more to it than that.
As previous stated, Modafinil is a good treatment for various sleep disorders. Since the risk of developing hypersensitivity reactions and neuropsychiatric disorders when taking this medication is so high, the European Medicines Agency recommend that the prescription of this drug is restricted to patients who suffer with narcolepsy.
Contraindications to Modafinil Use:
The primary and only contraindication to the use of Modafinil is allergy and hypersensitivity. Cephalon has still advised that patients consult a physician before using this medication as patients have reported issues with hypersensitivity due to the ingredients used to make the drug. Patients who suffer from cirrhosis may experience problems as the metabolism of Modafinil may be impaired by their condition. People with cardiovascular problems are especially susceptible to issues with various medications, with particular emphasis on those that are related to the nervous system and neurotransmitters.
Adverse Effects of Modafinil:
Modafinal affects different people in different ways, as is the case for all drugs. Therefore, there may be adverse effects associated with usage of the drug. Determining what possible side effects there are is why Teva Pharmaceuticals provides documentation of the results of their clinical trials. According to these, one third of participants experienced headaches and 11% experienced nausea while taking Modafinal. Other side effects reported were diarrhoea, nervousness, insomnia, dizziness, and GI problems. These are rare symptoms however as they were only noted by less than 10% of participants.
Severe skin rashes and other allergic reactions were noted too, albeit very rarely. Between December 1988, which was when Modafinal was originally marketed, to January 2007, the US FDA has only recorded six cases of these reactions. The reports included skin reactions such as SJS, Erytheme Mutiforme (EM), TEN, and DRESS, and the reactions were reported by both adult and child users. The FDA have also noted that multi-organ hypersensitivity and angioedema have been reported since the drug went on the market. Thus, Cephalon have been ordered by the FDA to alter their Provigil leaflet to display these serious and possibly fatal side-effects in bold print.
The effects of Modafinal with regard to long term effectiveness and safety are still to be determined. It is possible that using this drug would interfere with some forms of hormonal contraception and the adverse effects could last for more than a month after your last dose. It is important to consult your doctor before taking any form of medication.
Potential for Dependence and Addiction:
There is a potential risk for addiction with Modafinil but the chances are extremely slim. It shares some biochemical mechanisms with other drugs that are considered to be addictive and it has the potential to effect moods very slightly. There is no noticeably reinforcing effect when mice are tested with a normal amount, however there is a slight effect when higher dosages are administrated. There have been previous cases of abuse concerning this drug but they are very rare. However this is why it is considered a schedule IV controlled substance in America. This is the category used for medication that, although possibly addictive, has valid medicinal potential.
Although there have been cases of psychological dependence with regards to this drug, the only known cases have been reported due to overdosing. Withdrawal symptoms have also been reported however, including lethargy, anhedonia, insomnia, and anxiety.
There is nothing to suggest, after repeated clinical studies, that using Modafinil for an extended period of time will cause a user to develop tolerance. The effects of the drug will not be lessened by taking therapeutic doses for long periods between 40 weeks and three years.
Overdosing in Modafinil:
The average lethal dose of Modafinil in rats is approximately 1250 mg/kg. The median lethal oral dose for rats was between 1000 and 3400 mg/kg. However, for dogs it was 300 mg/kg. Clinical trials for humans used a dosage of 1200 mg/day over a period of 1-3 weeks. During this, there was one case of overdose but it was nowhere near fatal. Instead, the patient in question suffered adverse reactions such as insomnia, agitation, aggressiveness, irritability, nervousness, confusion, palpitations, tremors, nausea, sleep disruption and diarrhoea. It is stated by the FDA that there is no fatal overdose for Modafinil in humans but other drugs that only contain Modafil as an ingredient are not included under this statement.
Drug to Drug and Other Interactions with Modafinil
Using this drug in conjunction with opiods such as hydrocodone, fentanyl, and oxycoden may cause a decrease in plasma concentration. This occurs due to Modafinil depending on CYP3A4 enzyme. If this isn’t carefully monitored, it can affect the effectiveness of the drug and may even cause withdrawal symptoms.
Whether or not the drug is effective is dependent on the status of catechol-O-methyl transferase or COMT in the patient. This is responsible for how the body maintains energy through sleep deprivation. People with Val/Val genotype may experience a much greater improvement than people who have Met/Met genotyping, who may experience no improvement from taking the drug, studies have shown.
History of Modafinil:
Michel Jouvet, an emeritus experimental medicine professor and neurophysiologist at Lafon Laboratories in France, was the primary developer of the drug. Development started back in the late seventies after a series of benzhydral sulfinyl compounds were invented. These, including adrafinil, were used experimentally to treat narcolepsy in 1986. Since it was the main metabolite of adrafinil, Modafinil came on the market. Since it lacked the –OH group on the last amide, it had greater use than adrafinil. It has been available on the market in France as Modiodal since 1994.
In America, the drug has been marketed since 1998 as Provigil. It is FDA approved for treatment of narcolepsy, and later for obstructive sleep apnea and shift work related sleep disorders, even though studies based on the Stanford Sleepiness Test Score have shown that caffeine and amphetamines are more effective in promoting narcolepsy. Cephalon Inc have marketed the drug there since they originally leased the rights from Lafon and subsequently bought the company in 2001.
They also have marketed the R-enantiomer armodafinil form of the drug since 2007. However due to protracted patent litigation, generic drugs have also been available in the US since 2012.
Modafinil was first approved for UK distribution in December 2002.
The drug is controversial in the sporting world however. Many prominent US athletes have tested positive for the drug and have protested that it shouldn’t be considered a prohibited drug. Alas, the WADA maintained that despite the drug not actually being listed as prohibited on the banned list, it is too similarly related to drugs on the list to be allowed. Subsequently it was added to the list of banned substances in August 2004, just over a week before the 2004 Summer Olympics began.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Modafinil:
What does modafinil do to the brain?
Modafinil has a nootropic effect meaning that it improves the cognitive functioning of the brain improving memory and motivation. It activates orexin and hypocretin in the brain which stimulates neurons. This leads to increased dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine in those parts of the brain and elevates histamine levels.
Dopamine increases motivation as it is associated with reward signals in the brain. It is also a stimulant, particularly on brain activity, making you more focused and alert.
Increased histamine also makes you more awake. Norepinephrine is a stimulant similar to adrenaline, making the body and mind more active and alert. The feel good chemical serotonin is increased which can help to improve ones mood, improving learning.
What does modafinil treat?
It is designed to treat narcolepsy and sleep disorders and assist people with changing sleep patterns like shift workers. It is also widely used as a smart drug or noortropic which is a stimulant that makes the brain more alert and focused with enhanced cognitive functioning. Therefore it is often used by students or people studying or learning. It improves motivation and memory.
What does modafinil taste like?
It has a bitter taste although some may have a sugar coating so you will experience a sweet taste before the bitterness.