Modafinil can affect systolic and diastolic blood pressure by elevating the secretion of neurotransmitters such as histamine, dopamine, and norepinephrine, resulting in an increase in heart rate. It is, however, more frequent and prevalent in patients with a history of cardiac disorder.
“Is Modafinil Bad for Your Heart?”- This is a frequently asked question among cardiac patients taking the Nootropic.
Modafinil is a non-amphetamine, Central Nervous System Stimulant that treats sleep disorders. Recent studies have correlated heart disorders with Modafinil, making it a topic of concern. So, this blog evaluates the potency of heart risk associated with Modafinil and helps you get a better knowledge of all the preventive measures.
Modafinil: An Overview
Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent developed in the 1970s by Neuroscientist Michel Jouvet and L. Lafon Laboratories in France. The use of the drug under the brand names Modalert and Modvigil was approved by the FDA in 1998 for treating Daytime sleepiness associated with Narcolepsy, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and Shift Work Disorders.
How Modafinil Affect the Heart?
Modafinil disturbs Autonomic Cardiovascular regulation with a significant increase in heart rate. This increases the magnitude of your heartbeat, which creates vigilance for patients with heart disease.
The Medication, being a Central Nervous System Stimulant, increases the chances of high blood pressure, which is generally responsible for a heart attack .
Cardiovascular Profile Of Modafinil
The negative cardiovascular effect of Modafinil in healthy patients is not very common.
Modafinil therapy was not reported to increase or change the blood pressure and heart rate in patients with excessive daytime sleepiness with no record of previous heart disorders, according to a study by Sackner-Bernstein Jonathan et al. in 2004.
Is Modafinil Bad For Your Heart?
Modafinil can affect the heart, and studies have found an association between cardiovascular disorder and Modafinil in patients with heart failure, increased blood pressure, and arrhythmia, according to an article published in 2022 by the Neurotherapeutics Course Team.
Apart from its autonomic cardiovascular regulation, two other possible reasoning for Modafinil’s negative impact on the heart can be classified as-
- Dosage And Clinical Pharmacology-
Palpitation or increased heart rate is common at higher doses of Modafinil, according to a journal published in the year 2008. Therefore, high doses of Modafinil should be used cautiously or avoided in patients with cardiovascular problems.
- Physiological Factors-
The use of Modafinil can elevate the secretion of Serotonin that influences the cardiovascular system, inducing bradycardia.
Further, Serotonin affects the heart, causing fibrosis of the cardiac valves, thrombosis, coronary blood vessel constrictions, and arrhythmias. So, if you take Modafinil and observe uneven or fast heartbeats, you should consult your physician .
Risk Of Ventricular Tachycardia During Treatment With Modafinil
Modafinil administration may rarely cause adverse ventricular arrhythmias, according to a case report by Heleen Binnenmars et al. The study suggests that shortly after administrating Modafinil dosage, telemetric monitoring reported two short-lasting episodes of ventricular tachycardia, as shown in the image below.
These ventricular tachycardia were hemodynamically well-tolerated but resulted in chest pain.
Follow-up check-ups, including chest X-rays and echocardiography, showed no structural heart disorder, whereas angiography helped rule out coronary artery disease.
According to a study by Kim H. et al., an electrocardiogram of a 47-year-old female with a history of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) while on Modafinil showed sinus tachycardia with a heart rate of 121 beats per minute, as shown below.
The study suggests that the safety and use of stimulants or Modafinil as the first line of treatment in patients with cardiac conditions should be done with caution. Thus, healthy patients can buy Modafinil 200 mg tablets without a prescription; however, to ensure proper cardiac functioning, it is best to avoid overdosing and increasing the dose without consulting a doctor.
Can You Have A Heart Attack From Too Much Modafinil?
Yes, in patients with a previous cardiac history, taking a higher dose of Modafinil can have a serious cardiac impact, leading to a heart attack.
Four notable symptoms of a Heart Attack include Chest Pain, Nausea, Dizziness, and Shortness of breath.
Modafinil Blood Pressure
Modafinil can increase blood pressure when taken in high amount along with heart rate simultaneously.
However, Some of the Symptoms might be severe in nature, which include-
Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Heart failure.
Blood clots that might lead to a Heart Attack.
Scientific Evidence Supporting Modafinil Effect On Heart
According to a Study Published in the Journal of Research in Cardiovascular Medicine in 2014, it was found that Modafinil increases the risk of Cardiovascular Problems such as Heart Attacks, strokes, and even death.
Modafinil might cause blood clotting or blockages that can inhibit blood flow to the heart, causing cardiac arrest or heart attack.
Studies made by the European Medicines Agency stated that there were 873 cases of Cardiovascular events related to the Use of Modafinil. Out of which 171 were severely injured and others were fatal .
Modafinil And Rapid Heart Rate- A Phase IV Clinical Study Of FDA Data
About 16,746 reports of Modafinil side effects were reported on 17th June 2023, and 169 cases of these cases (0.1%) had a rapid heartbeat.
The graphical representation of the number of Modafinil and rapid heart rate reports from the year 2005 to 2022 is shown below.
Is Modafinil Bad For Your Heart- Our Final Thoughts
Modafinil is a well-tolerated drug with a lower risk of abuse and dependency. It is considered safe for healthy people; however, patients with previous cardiac disorders are at a higher risk of experiencing heart issues.
Modafinil can increase blood pressure due to its ability to increase the level of certain neurotransmitters, including histamine, dopamine, and norepinephrine. They also affect blood pressure by constricting blood vessels and increasing the heart rate.
Clinical Findings Evaluating Modafinil’s Impact On Heart At A Glimpse -
To sum up our findings and justify them through clinical studies, here is a synopsis of how Modafinil use can affect the heart.
Modafinil rarely causes serious arrhythmic events in healthy people, Deniz Mutlu et al. (2022).
The use of Modafinil should be done with caution and medical supervision by people with a history of ventricular hypertrophy, according to an article by Sarah Zukkoor Zorn published in the American College of Cardiology.
Short-term treatment with Modafinil does not significantly affect blood pressure. However, its cardiovascular effects during physical and mental load were observed, Jörg Heitmann et al., 1999.