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Modafinil Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Last updated on 01 Feb, 2024

Modafinil is not recommended during pregnancy. Modafinil is a pregnancy category C drug and is also not recommended during breastfeeding due to a lack of studies and data. 

Modafinil is a psychostimulant that treats excessive daytime sleepiness. If you’re pregnant, and you are taking Modafinil, or thinking of taking Modafinil, then you might have a lot of queries in your mind. 

The blog here contains all the answers to your questions-

  • Can Modafinil be taken during pregnancy?

  • Is it safe to take Modafinil during breastfeeding?

  • Can Modafinil be taken together with contraceptives?                              

Modafinil And Pregnancy: An Overview

Modafinil is a medication that is used to enhance wakefulness in people. It helps treat sleep disorders like narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, and shift work sleep disorder. 

The medication belongs to the Schedule IV controlled substance category, which includes a lower liability for abuse. 

Modafinil was developed in the 1970s in France by French neuroscientists Michel Jouvet and L. Lafon. It was later marketed in the 1990s. In 1998, the FDA approved the use of Modafinil. 

200mg of Modafinil works in the brain by increasing certain neurotransmitters such as orexin, histamine, dopamine, and serotonin.

The stimulant has milder side effects and starts working within 30 minutes after consumption [1].

Pregnancy 

It is the period of 40 weeks when a mother carries a baby in her womb. Pregnancy is classified into three categories-

  • First trimester (conception to 12 weeks)

  • Second trimester (13 to 27 weeks)

  • Third trimester (28 to 40 weeks)

Full-term babies generally arrive between 37 and 42 weeks. Some babies are born earlier, and they are called premature babies. 

Can You Take Modafinil During Pregnancy?

can-you-take-modafinil-during-pregnancy

No, Modafinil is not recommended during pregnancy.  Nootropic is categorized as a Category C drug and can cause 15% of birth defects if taken during pregnancy. Some of these defects include fetal toxicity, heart deformation, and poor physical development [3]. 

The website Drugs.com states, “ There are many animal reproduction studies that showed negative effects on the fetus with Modafinil use.”

In 1979, the FDA categorized drugs into A, B, C, D, and X. This indicates the potency of a drug to cause birth defects. 

Modafinil And Birth Control Interaction

Modafinil and birth control options, when interacting with each other, can reduce the effectiveness of contraceptives. It is because consumption of Modafinil increases the metabolism of hormonal contraceptives, therefore decreasing the effectiveness of these birth control options, which includes injections, implants, transdermal patches, and birth control pills,” - stated the Reproductive Psychiatry Resource & Information Center.

It can be concluded that Modafinil should not be taken with the above-mentioned birth control options. It is necessary to use another method of contraception rather than using oral contraceptives. 

Alternatives of Modafinil during Pregnancy 

Pregnancy is a delicate phase in a woman’s life, and it is important to be careful in this phase. If you’re someone who is expecting and is also suffering from excessive daytime sleepiness, then you can try out natural remedies to get rid of or control daytime hypersomnia. 

Some of these remedies are listed below-

  1. You can drink caffeine in order to get rid of excessive daytime sleepiness.

  2.  Sunlight is the most powerful remedy to banish drowsiness and promote wakefulness; therefore, get some sunlight. 

  3. Staring at your mobile, tablet, or other screens for long durations can strain your eyes and can cause fatigue as a result you might end up feeling sleepy during the daytime, therefore limiting your screen time. 

  4. You drain a lot of energy when you're stressed. Try to add relaxing activities to stay calm and avoid excessive sleepiness. Listening to music and spending time with loved ones are some of the ways you can lower stress.

Can I Take Modafinil During Breastfeeding?

No specific information is available indicating the impact of Modafinil on breast milk. 

A few information from women who breastfed their babies while using Modafinil found no adverse effects in the infants. But, until more studies and data are available, Modafinil should be used carefully during breastfeeding, or an alternate drug may be preferred [4]. 

Our Final Outlook

Women during pregnancy and while breastfeeding should always remain cautious about what they are taking and especially what medicines they’re using because everything you take can have a negative effect on your infant. 

Taking Modafinil during pregnancy and at the stage of breastfeeding is generally not recommended as it can cause birth defects in infants. It is always best to talk to your primary healthcare provider for any health-related queries. 


FAQ's

No, Modafinil is not considered a safe option during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Modafinil is classified as a pregnancy Category C drug by the FDA.

Modafinil should be off for 2 months before getting pregnant.

Modafinil’s half-life is about 12-15 hours. It takes 60-75 hours to be completely removed from the system.

Modafinil interacts with certain types of contraceptives, making them less effective, which increases your chance of getting pregnant.

The adverse effects of Modafinil during pregnancy are-


References-

  1. Modafinil, Statpearls.

  2. Pregnancy - week by week, Betterhealth.vic.au.gov

  3. Sleep disorder drug modafinil linked to increased risk of birth defects and also to reduced effectiveness of contraception, gov. Uk

  4. Modafinil (Oral Route), Mayoclinic.

WEBSITE INFORMATION DISCLAIMER

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.