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Modafinil Abuse Potential And The Risk Factors

Last updated on 26 Jul, 2023

Modafinil is a substance that comes under Schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act with a low chance of Abuse. When a person consumes Modafinil for a long time, they become physically as well as psychologically dependent upon it. This leads to Modafinil Abuse. 

There’s a common question that arises among people “Is Modafinil habit forming?” 

Modafinil is a controlled substance that may lead to physical and mental dependency if not taken in the right dosage.

This comprehensive guide gives a factual description of Modafinil Abuse and the Risk factors associated with it.

What is Modafinil?

Modafinil is a Schedule IV medication used to treat excessive sleepiness, a condition called Narcolepsy, Obstructive Sleep- Apnea, or Shift Work Disorders. It is a prescription drug classified as Schedule IV controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. The product is available in tablet form, which has a low risk of Abuse.

Modafinil acts as a stimulant that helps in promoting wakefulness in people. This helps people to stay focused and alert. It comes under the brand name “Modalert.” 

If you want to wish to experience the effectiveness and benefits of Modafinil for yourself, you can order genuine Modafinil tablets at a discounted price from Healthmatter. 

What Is Modafinil Abuse?

When you are taking a substance, your brain and body get dependent, and you realize that they cannot function normally without it.  

 A study in 2007 laid down that one-third of people consuming drugs such as Modafinil or Ritalin were seen buying counterfeit drugs online [1]. This suggests the high risk of abuse associated with Modafinil. 

Why Is Modafinil Abused?

In the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Nora D. Volkow stated that “Modafinil has the same effect as cocaine, methamphetamines, and amphetamines in the dopamine centers of the brain.”

This basically suggests that Modafinil Addiction is as addictive as those substances because it forcefully triggers the brain to release dopamine. It is also associated with feelings of pleasure.

When you use Modafinil for a long period of time, the body and mind get accustomed to the presence of Modafinil in the system. Once you cut it off, the body might show withdrawal symptoms. To alleviate the symptoms, the user seeks to get more of the drug.

Modafinil also causes Euphoric and Psychoactive effects among users that can impact a person’s mood, thoughts, and perception [2].

How Is Modafinil Abused?

Some of the ways in which Modafinil is abused are as follows- 

  1. Use of more frequent doses than prescribed.

  2. Ingestion of larger doses than prescribed.

  3. Using someone else’s prescription.

  4. Using the medication in a different way other than recommended in the prescription, like snorting or injecting.

  5. Non-label Modafinil [1].

What Are The Risks Associated With Abuse?

Just like any other medical condition Drug Dependency or addiction requires the utmost medical attention. The risk factors associated with Abuse are:

  1. Genetics: If you have any hereditary history of addiction. 

  1. Childhood Neglect and Abuse: When your child is neglected and abused in the family. They feel like they have no option left out other than letting themselves into addiction.

  1. Exposure to the Environment: Environmental factors such as poverty, trauma, and peer pressure can lead a person to mental disturbances, which can lead to addiction.

  1. Mental Health: If you are mentally not well, like if you are suffering from depression or trauma, there are high risks of addiction.

  1. Family history of Addiction:  If you have a family history of addiction, there are more likely chance of getting into addiction [1].

Modafinil Withdrawal And Its Symptoms

Modafinil withdrawal symptoms arise when a person becomes physically or psychologically dependent on the. Although withdrawal symptoms are rare in a person, it appears when a person abuses the drug for a long time.

The drug acts as a stimulating agent in the brain that enhances focus and concentration. Sudden withdrawal from the drug can lead to anxiety and depression. 

Some of the other withdrawal symptoms of Modafinil include– 

  • Lack of Motivation.

  • Decrease in energy level.

  • Sleepiness.

  • Breathing problems.

  • Fatigue.

If you experience any of the symptoms after the withdrawal of Modafinil, you should consult your doctor immediately. You can also engage in a medical detox program [3].

Why is Modafinil prescribed?

You all must have been wondering about the “ What are the Uses of Modafinil” or” Why is it prescribed “if the drug has a high chance of being abused? 

Modafinil is a Central Nervous system Stimulant that helps in promoting wakefulness or reducing excessive sleepiness. Basically, the drug is used to treat Narcolepsy, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or other Shift work Disorders. It helps people to stay awake and alert for a longer period of time. The drug enhances concentration power. 

Earlier, Modafinil was only used to treat Narcolepsy. However, with time it has gained a lot of significance in the off-label benefits too. Some of the off-label uses of Modafinil are - depression, fatigue, cognitive enhancement, ADHD, weight loss, etc.

Modafinil Dosage Information

After knowing the Uses of Modafinil, some might be thinking about “ How much Modafinil to consume without being Abused?” Here’s the nitty gritty about the recommended dosage of Modafinil for different treatments.

The standard recommended dosage of Modafinil is 200 mg/day for its prescription conditions. 

The recommended dosage of Modafinil for adults above 17 years of age suffering from Narcolepsy or Obstructive Sleep Apnea should be taken once a day in the morning. Modafinil can disturb the sleep cycle of an individual if taken later in the day. 

People with Shift Work Disorder should be consumed the medication 1 hour before their shift work begins.

Whenever you miss a dose, make sure you ingest it immediately after your realization. If your next dose is approaching, skip the missed dose and follow your normal schedule. Do not overlap the doses, or else it will lead to an Overdose.

There are two most important factors that might affect your dosages. They are:

  •  Your age and gender

  •  Proper functioning of your liver and kidney [4].

Administration Of Modafinil

  • Modafinil 200mg is generally administered in the morning with a glass of water.

  • You can take it with or without food as per prescribed by your health care professionals.

  • You must swallow the tablet.

  • You should not crush or chew the tablet.

  •  Avoid taking the tablet at night as it might cause you insomnia.

Precautions While Using Modafinil

There are certain precautionary measures that you should follow while using Modafinil. Some of them are listed below:

1. You should inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic. 

2. You must share your medical history with your healthcare provider.

3. Sleep disorders generally reduce your ability to react quickly. Though Modafinil helps in treating sleep disorders yet you should avoid activities like driving.

4. You must avoid alcohol while taking this medicine.

5. You should properly consult with your doctor if you are pregnant.

6. Avoid using contraceptives while using this medicine. Rather you can try some different birth control methods.

7. You must avoid this drug if you are at the stage of breastfeeding. This might harm your baby [5].

Side-Effects Of Modafinil

Some of the Side-effects Of Modafinil are listed below:

  • Headache.

  • Constipation

  • Nausea

  • Dry mouth

  • Back pain

  • Confusion

  • Skin rashes, peeling off the skin

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Pain in the chest [6].

 If any of the symptoms appear, you should immediately consult your doctor or visit a nearby hospital.


Some of the most common neurological effects that appear after consuming too much Modafinil are- Headache, dizziness, agitation, anxiety, etc.

Each pill of Modafinil is 100-200mg. The maximum consumption is 400mg for adults. The medication is not recommended for children 17 years of age.

The standard recommended dose of Modafinil is 200mg/day. Your doctor might increase your dose as per your requirement.

Consumption of Modafinil every day might increase your physical as well as psychological dependency, which might lead to addiction.

If Modafinil is used in high, it might lead to dependency, which results in abuse or misuse of the drug.


  1. Modafinil Abuse and Addiction,cirquelodge.
  2. The Risk of Modafinil Abuse, Michaels house.

  3. Modafinil Withdrawal: Symptoms, Timeline & Detox Process, graniterecovery.

  4. Modafinil (oral route), Mayoclinic.

  5. Modafinil - Uses, Side Effects, and More, Webmd.

  6. Modafinil, medlineplus.


Disclaimer: We do not provide any medical advice.

The contents of Healthma are for informational purpose only and is taken by a thorough evaluation of research papers and Journals. We do not provide professional medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. We advise all readers to consult a physician before consuming any medication mentioned on the website.