Modafinil is a notorious and effective sleep-suppressing and cognitive-enhancing compound. It is incredibly popular in today’s biohacker community.
The smart drug influences neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible with wakefulness, thought speed, energy levels, motivation and focus. Because of its excellent results in clinical studies, it is many people’s drug of choice when it comes to treating sleep disorders, ADHD and even depression. Of course, most people use Modafinil for entirely different reasons. But we’ll get into that later on.
How did it begin? – A little background on Modafinil
French researchers from Lafon Laboratories were the ones to discover Modafinil. They invented it while trying to invent an entirely different drug in the late 1970s. Its striking results soon made it very popular. Consequently, the French army used it during the Gulf War in 1991. As its notoriety reached the USA, pharmaceutical giant Cephalon Inc. bought Lafon Laboratories, as well as exclusivity rights.
The drug authority of the USA approved it for sleep-related disorders in 1998. Though the FDA only approved it for sleep disorders, other ailments such as depression or ADHD qualify for using Modafinil to at least minimize symptoms.
Expiring exclusivity rights for manufacturing and marketing have determined Cephalon to invent Armodafinil, a cleaner version of Modafinil.
That doesn’t mean that Armodafinil is better than Modafinil. Some experience more effective or satisfactory results from Modafinil, while others prefer Armodafinil.
Nowadays, Armodafinil is widely available as Waklert. This is a generic brand of Armodafinil manufactured by one of the leading worldwide pharmaceutical companies, Sun Pharma. The brand is sold online by Modafinil and Armodafinil pharmacies such as BuyXArmodafinil.org.
Can Modafinil treat ADHD and Depression?
Many studies tried to answer this question. Arguably, the most critical one arguably is from the University of Cambridge and King’s College London.
One study found Modafinil to be very useful for depression. Another clinical study also found Modafinil to be helpful for major depression even when other medications don’t work. You’ll find the references to these claims at the end of the page.
Due to its effect on the brain chemical for bliss, motivation and concentration, Modafinil helps people suffering from depression cope better with their illness. Not only that, but it also helps them overcome depression by giving them the so-called “breathing space” to mental clarity.
Modafinil is also effective at mitigating ADHD due to its increase in alertness and focus. Studies found that it can help people with ADHD or ADD. Modafinil is better than Adderall at treating ADHD, mainly because it doesn’t cause addiction and has significantly fewer side effects. One research conducted at Marshall University found that Modafinil is especially effective for children with ADHD. Of course, that’s not to say that this is a long-term solution. Parents should only consider use under a doctor’s supervision over a relatively short period of time.
Modafinil as a Study Drug and Productivity Booster
Most of the buzz around Modafinil came along following the popularity of the movie Limitless. The protagonist achieved superhuman mental abilities after taking a pill called NZT-48. This idea gave birth to the nootropics “movement” with Modafinil in the limelight. Ever since, its notoriety as a study drug and productivity booster overshadowed its initially intended use.
From college students to CEOs, more and more people are turning to Modafinil to gain an edge in the era of fierce competition. Tech Crunch, the famous online tech industry magazine, labels it as the ‘Entrepreneur drug of choice. A Harvard and Oxford study provides highly convincing evidence for its effectiveness as a productivity enhancer. One study found Modafinil to enhance mental function in people who don’t have any sleep disorders.
Another study conducted by Imperial College London found that Modafinil is incredibly useful for doctors. It allows them to better think on their feet and make quick decisions. Long surgery hours are incredibly mentally tiring. Hence, Modafinil has the potential to prevent malpraxis in highly difficult surgeries.
Students can also be under pressure to get good grades which require high concentration. A study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that 18% of students belonging to Ivy League schools use smart drugs to perform better. Many turn to Modafinil to excel during exams and maximize study times.
Famous people who have used Modafinil
Off-label use is the norm when it comes to Modafinil. This is not something that this blog promotes, but it’s a fact. It’s only natural that popularity attracts popularity.
Given its safety and gentle side effects, celebrities who need to be at their best have openly admitted to using Modafinil. They are politicians, CEOs, writers and many more who have chosen to stay anonymous. Some notable users of this drug are:
Barack H. Obama
On Obama’s medical report, there was a drug to manage jet lag. Dr Lisa Shives specializes in sleep medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She said it on record that doctors most likely gave Modafinil to Obama for his jet lag. Barrack Obama is no George W. Bush (you get the picture).
Him using Modafinil for jet lag shouldn’t encourage use, but I ask you, why didn’t he use something else?.
Hillary Clinton lost against Donald Trump in the presidential elections of 2016. Interesting enough, her doctors had studied Provigil for her, as proven by Wikileaks. This fact gives us enough reason to believe that Hillary Clinton also used Modafinil.
Dave Asprey is a famous American tycoon and author. Some also call him a lifestyle guru. Dave is very open about using Modafinil and is a massive fan of the smart drug. He used it for eight long years and wrote a lot in its praise.
Dave Asprey doesn’t exclusively use Modafinil. He’s a dedicated advocate of biohacking through supplements, healthy habits and nutrition.
Bonds is a famous baseball star. He played with Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. He won seven NLP MVP awards and eight Gold Glove awards. Barry was put on trial for using steroids and HGH, and, much less damaging and immoral (IMHO), Modafinil.
Joe Rogan is a famous American comedian, martial arts expert and “podcast extraordinaire”. He openly talks about using Modafinil and supports responsible use. Once on his podcast, Joe called it “much better than coffee”.
Side-Effects of Using Modafinil
Modafinil is referred to as “the first safe smart drug”. Still, like any psychoactive compound, it’s not devoid of side effects. Some are mild, yet in rare cases (allergies or previous predispositions), using Modafinil can be dangerous.
Common but less risky side-effects of Modafinil are as follows: headache, dizziness, insomnia and nausea. Some of the more risky ones are high blood pressure, abnormal heartbeat, chest pain, depression or rashes. The more riskier ones usually occur when doses are abnormally high (>400-600mg).
These include allergic reactions, swelling of mouth or face, asthma, decrease in blood platelets or WBCs, Hepatitis and suicidal ideation.
Does it have any long-term side-effects?
By now, you might begin to wonder why doctors don’t prescribe Modafinil to more people. They don’t do it because Modafinil is a relatively new drug. We still don’t have enough data for its side-effects when used over longer periods. Though researches until now regard it safe for patients based on data that’s been around for 20 years. In the future and with more studies over longer periods, we will get to know more about its long-term side-effects.
Provigil was the first ever Modafinil brand to be approved by the FDA. Cephalon Inc was the first to mass-market Modafinil under the brand name Provigil. For a long time, the pharma giant had exclusive rights to produce and sell Modafinil. However, as it goes with any monopoly, the price is far above the real value of the product. Up to 50 times more expensive, to be (relatively) precise. That’s no exaggeration. Once the patents for Provigil have expired, other manufacturers wanted a slice of the pie. Sun Pharmaceuticals, one of the leading worldwide pharmaceutical companies, entered the market with their own generic version of Modafinil, Modalert.
Structurally, Modafinil is comprised of the R-enantiomer, the S-enantiomer and modafinilic acid. The R-enantiomer carries the biggest punch. Cephalon decided to extend its monopoly through a new and improved version of Provigil called Nuvigil with Armodafinil as the active compound.
The effects of Armodafinil last a few hours longer than Modafinil. It also gets to its peak sooner than Modafinil. Insomnia is also a more common occurrence when using Armodafinil, although that’s a subjective matter.
Also, the effects of Armodafinil are cleaner. What that means is that Armodafinil’s influence is more on the focus and concentration side. Furthermore, Modafinil has a more noticeable effect on mood and mindset. Hence, choosing between Modafinil and Armodafinil is a matter of personal preference according to one’s purposes.
Modalert, Waklert, Modvigil and Artvigil
The most famous generic versions of Modafinil are Modalert and Modvigil. Modalert is by Sun Pharma, and Modvigil is by Hab Pharma. These are both Indian companies. Sun Pharma is publicly listed while Hab Pharma is private.
The Armodafinil generic versions are Waklert by Sun Pharma and Artvigil by HAB Pharma. All these tablets cost around $1. Sun Pharma brands are a few cents more expensive than their Hab pharma versions. Armodafinil brands cost a few cents more than Modafinil brands. All these tablets are readily available online.
If you want to read more on Modvigil, Modalert, Artvigil and Waklert, feel free to do so, although they are highly similar.
If you want to buy Modafinil or Armodafinil, BuyXArmodafinil.org has all the aforementioned brands for sale, plus an additional generic, Vilafinil.
Billiard, M., & Broughton, R. (2018, September). Modafinil: its discovery, the early European and North American experience in the treatment of narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia, and its subsequent use in other medical conditions. Sleep Medicine, 49, 69-72. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2018.05.027
Alexander, G. J., Muzaffer , K., Sergi, C. G., Barbara, S. J., & Cynthia, H. F. (2013, November). Modafinil Augmentation Therapy in Unipolar and Bipolar Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 1101–1107. doi:https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.13r08560
Charles, P. S., & Fletcher, T. B. (2005). A retrospective chart review of the effects of modafinil on depression as monotherapy and as adjunctive therapy. Depression and anxiety, 21(4), 149-153. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/da.20075
Niels-Anton, R., Palle, S., Mogens, U., Mogens, B., & Per, B. (2009). Modafinil augmentation in depressed patients with partial response to antidepressants: A pilot study on self-reported symptoms covered by the Major Depression Inventory (MDI) and the Symptom Checklist (SCL-92). Nordic Journal of psychiatry, 59(3), 173-178. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/08039480510023025
Turner, D. (2006). A review of the use of modafinil for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics(4), 455-468. doi:https://doi.org/10.1586/14737126.96.36.1995
Thomas, A. R., & Teresa, C. C. (2001). Effects of Modafinil in Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: An Open-Label Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 40(2), 230–235. doi:https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-200102000-00018
Arrington, M. (2008). How many Silicon Valley Startup Executives are hopped up on Provigil? Retrieved from https://techcrunch.com/2008/07/15/how-many-of-our-startup-executives-are-hopped-up-on-provigil/
Battleday, R. M., & Brem, A. K. (2015). Modafinil for cognitive neuroenhancement in healthy non-sleep-deprived subjects: A systematic review. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 25(11), 1865-1881. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.07.028
Sugden, C., Housden, C., Aggarwal, R., Sahakian, B., & Darzi, A. (2012). Effect of Pharmacological Enhancement on the Cognitive and Clinical Psychomotor Performance of Sleep-Deprived Doctors: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Annals of Surgery, 255(2), 222–227,. doi:10.1097/SLA.0b013e3182306c99
Many Ivy League Students Don’t View ADHD Medication Misuse as Cheating. (2014). Canada: American Academy of Pediatrics. Retrieved from https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Many-Ivy-League-Students-Don%E2%80%99t-View-ADHD-Medication-Misuse-as-Cheating.aspx
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, I. (2018, November). Retrieved from http://www.provigil.com/PDFs/prescribing_info.pdf
Ivanenko, A., Kek, L., & Grosrenaud, J. (2017, April 28). 0954 LONG-TERM USE OF MODAFINIL AND ARMODAFINIL IN PEDIATRIC PATIENTS WITH NARCOLEPSY. Sleep, 40, A354–A355. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/sleepj/zsx050.953