Modafinil is generally considered safe for most individuals, with high tolerability and a lower risk of abuse and dependency.
Improper administration and misuse of Modafinil can lead to very common side effects, including headaches, drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, and decreased appetite.
Are you worried about all the possible Modafinil side effects? If so, this is the right place to find your answers.
There is really no medication that comes without the risk of some kind of side effect, and neither does Modafinil.
Originally developed to treat sleeping disorders, Modafinil has increasingly become sought-after by people seeking to improve their cognitive functions.
In this blog, we will explore Modafinil's Safety profile and its possible Side Effects to help you make an informed decision.
Introduction To Modafinil
Modafinil is an oral medication with wakefulness-promoting properties. It is a central nervous system stimulant that Michel Jouvet, a neuroscientist, and Lafon Laboratories developed in the 1970s.
It is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance (a drug with low potential for abuse) in the United States .
This smart drug is available under various brand names, including Modalert, Modvigil, and Provigil.
15 Common And Mild Modafinil Side Effects
Fifteen common side effects of Modafinil include Headache, Dizziness, Insomnia, Nausea, Drowsiness, Dry mouth, Excessive thirst, Loss of appetite, Heartburn, Constipation, Diarrhea, Sweating, Back pain, Confusion, Hair loss, numbness of the skin, and eye pain, as shown below.
It appears within two to three hours after taking Modafinil. Modafinil causes tension-type headache that is associated with dehydration and overstimulation of the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS).
Experiencing pain behind the eyes after taking Modafinil is associated with Modafinil-induced headache. Experiencing pressure around the eye is one of the common signs to determine if a headache is caused by Modafinil.
The effect of Modafinil on the Central Nervous System can cause dizziness.
Modafinil increases dopamine secretion, which promotes wakefulness in people. Due to its long half-life (15 hours), its wake promotion may last for about 12 hours from the time of administration causing insomnia associated with Modafinil use.
Modafinil affects the secretion of Dopamine and Serotonin, which is associated with causing vomiting and nausea. It may also affect the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in nausea.
Modafinil activates the secretion of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) that causes neuronal inhibition by increasing chloride ion conductance. Due to their powerful inhibitory effects, it can cause drowsiness.
The diuretic effect of Modafinil causes frequent urination, thus resulting in dehydration and dry mouth.
Suffering from excessive after taking Modafinil is primarily due to dry mouth caused by dehydration.
Loss of appetite-
Modafinil causes a reduction in hunger due to its high level of histamine and dopamine secreted by the Nootropic. Weight loss by Modafinil is often due to this
It is a burning sensation in the chest caused by acid reflux (stomach acid traveling to the throat). The effect of Modafinil on the Central Nervous System in some individuals affects the digestive system, thus causing heartburn.
Dehydration is a common cause of constipation as, in such cases, the intestine does not have enough water to add to the stool, making it hard, dry, and lumpy. The diuretic effect of Modafinil resulting in dehydration is a common cause of constipation associated with Modafinil use.
It is a common Modafinil side effect that affects (≥ 5%) of people. The slow breakdown of Modafinil can cause diarrhea and is also associated with overdosing on the Nootropic.
Modafinil can affect the thermoregulation in people, thus resulting in a 0.3 to 0.5°C increase in the core body temperature. When the body temperature rises, the hypothalamus region of the brain instructs the eccrine seat glands to start cooling the body by producing sweat.
It is reported in ≥ 5% of people taking Modafinil tablets. Though back pain associated with Modafinil may have numerous scientific reasons, one of the most common is dehydration. Dehydration causes a reduction in elasticity that can affect the outer layer of the vertebrae disc, causing pressure during movement.
Despite its cognitive enhancing property, overstimulation of the central nervous system by Modafinil causes brain bog, resulting in confusion, fumbling, and forgetfulness.
6 Severe And Uncommon Side Effects Of Modafinil
Modafinil is a safe and well-tolerated medication with lower risk of causing serious side effects. Six notable side effects of Modafinil that may require medical attention are skin peeling, anxiety, depression, hallucination, chest pain, and difficulty breathing as shown below.
Modafinil can cause serious skin reactions, including skin peeling, rash, blistering, acne, red lesions, and sores or ulcers. Serious skin rash, including Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and erythema multiforme major (EMM) in pediatric patients. It is advisable to discontinue the intake of Modafinil and get emergency help if you experience skin blisters, peeling, or rash.
Modafinil can cause both anxiogenic (anxiety-causing) and anxiolytic ( anxiety-reducing) effects. Wheater, you will experience anxiety from taking Modafinil, majorly depending on your baseline state. People with low levels of energy are less likely to feel anxious. At the same time, energetic people are more prone to suffer from overstimulation and anxiety disorders.
About 1% of people taking Modafinil suffer from psychiatric symptoms, including depression. However, there are reports of Modafinil improving the severity of depression. Thus, people with a history of mental health disorders have a higher possibility of experiencing depression from Modafinil.
Auditory hallucinations and delusions are reported from Modafinil 600 mg dosage, along with sleep deprivation.
Researchers have found an association between heart disorder and Modafinil, especially in patients with high blood pressure, arrhythmia, and heart failure. A 2008 study by Peter T. Morgan and Robert T. Malison suggests palpitation or faster heartbeat and chest tightness due to Modafinil may increase if co-administered with glutamate.
A study by Jiro Terada et al. in 2016 suggests that Modafinil suppresses respiratory rate. It can cause trouble or shortness of breath, resulting in respiratory depression.
Long-Term Side Effects Of Modafinil
Taking Modafinil in the long term has the ability to cause physical and psychological dependence. However, this seems unlikely in individuals unless they’re taking large doses of the medicine or misusing it.
The risk of experiencing dependence on Modafinil is high in people with a history of abuse.
A few Modafinil withdrawal symptoms are poor concentration, low energy, depression, sleepiness, fatigue, and shortness of breath  .
However, there are contradicting clinical studies that showcase its safety in long-term use.
A study in the pediatric population treated for Narcolepsy for ten years demonstrated that Modafinil is safe and effective. The study concluded that using Modafinil improved patients' ability to stay awake with no notable severe health risks  .
Thus, it is best to consult a doctor to determine the treatment regimen for you, especially for patients with a history of cardiac, liver, and kidney disorders.
Modafinil may cause other side effects besides those listed here. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
What Are The Drug Interactions Of Modafinil?
Modafinil can interact with 460 known medicines and supplements to cause a drug interaction, defined as a reaction between two or more drugs or compounds that can cause side effects.
Modafinil should not be used with the following drugs because it can decrease serum concentrations to clinically significant levels.
Antihepativiral combination products
Antiretroviral combination products
Serum concentrations of Modafinil may be reduced in the presence of drugs that
induce CYP3A4, which includes rifampin and phenytoin.
Conversely, the serum concentration of this smart drug can increase in the presence of drugs that inhibit CYP3A4, including ritonavir, clarithromycin, and antifungals .
Modafinil and Melatonin should not be coadministered because they can cause somnambulism (sleepwalking) in females and anxiety in males.
Modafinil Dosage - A Quick Guide On Administration To Avoid Health Risks
Taking the prescribed dose of Modafinil, which is 200 mg once daily, can help avoid experiencing its side effects. Taking a higher dosage can result in overdosing, which increases the risk of experiencing agitation, heightened anxiety, dizziness, and tremors.
Modafinil can be taken orally, once a day, without food or with food, at the same time each day. It is not advised to change the time or dose of Modafinil taken without consulting your doctor.
If you're taking it for off-label purposes, you should consume the stimulant as needed .
Modafinil Safety - Is This Nootropic Really Safe?
Modafinil is considered safe, with minor to moderate side effects and no reports of life-threatening health risks. It is also preferred over other eugeroic drugs due to its safety profile.
A recent study from 2020 by Rachel D. Teodorini et al. suggests that Modafinil is a well-tolerated medication with a low risk of abuse and side effects.
It has also been awarded as the "world's first safe, smart drug" by researchers at Oxford and Harvard Universities.
However, Modafinil is considered a Schedule IV controlled substance due to a few rare cases of abuse. Misuse and improper dosing can result in dependency in people.
Ensuring Safe Use- Essential Precautions And Warnings Of Modafinil
Modafinil should be used carefully in the following scenario -
If you are allergic to Modafinil or any of the other ingredients of the Nootropic.
Have an irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure.
If you have kidney or liver problems.
If you operate heavy machinery.
While taking caffeine, it can increase the risk of nausea, nervousness, and palpitation.
Precautions For Specific Populations
- Modafinil And Breastfeeding
Lactating women should use Modafinil with caution, as the medication can cross the blood barrier to reach breast milk. Thus, it is advised to consult your doctor before taking the nootropic.
- Modafinil And Pregnancy
Modafinil is classified as a category C pregnancy drug by the FDA and has shown an increased risk of intrauterine growth and abortion in animal studies. The benefits and risks of Modafinil during pregnancy should be carefully considered by a doctor before administration.
- Geriatric Use
In elderly people, Modafinil elimination might be reduced because, with age, the metabolism of a person reduces. Therefore, it is important to monitor elderly people closely while they’re on this nootropic .
Is Modafinil Safe- Conclusion
Modafinil is a popular wakefulness-promoting agent that is safe and well-tolerated by most people, but its possible side effects cannot be overlooked. In a few cases, Modafinil has been found to cause physical and psychological dependence.
There are several side effects of this potent Nootropic, most of which are generally mild and subside as the body gets used to it.
In cases of severe side effects, it is recommended to seek emergency help.
While Modafinil can be obtained without a prescription online, it is essential to prioritize safety and consult a healthcare professional before considering its use. However, if you wish to buy Modafinil for its off-label use, you can get affordable Modafinil 200 tablets from Healthmatter pharmacy.