Modafinil is a highly regarded supplement in the category of Nootropics. Nootropics are drugs, functional food or supplements that enhance our cognitive functions such as memory, intelligence, and focus, they also provide us with faster processing speed and increased concentration.
Nootropics are commonly known as ‘Smart drugs,’ and Modafinil which is sold under the brand name Provigil is always present in the list of “The finest Nootropics” due to its ability to promote excessive mental energy and enhanced focus.
This supplement offers a lot of benefits due to it being one of the strongest cognitive enhancers, but when understanding how this medicine works, one should definitely keep in mind how it affects the body negatively.
What is Modafinil Used For?
Among other drugs, Modafinil or as we call it, Provigil is a wakefulness-promoting drug, used mainly for treatment of disorders that include, narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, idiopathic, hypersomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness which is associated with obstructive sleep apnea.
- Narcolepsy is a chronic disease of the brain and the spinal cord and is characterized by an uncontrollable desire to sleep.
- Shift Work sleep disorder is a condition in which the rhythm of sleep is disturbed and is often caused due to working late.
- Sleep apnea is a situation where sleep is interrupted constantly at night because of shallow breathing or pauses in breathing, caused due to hindrance in the upper airway.
- Hypersomnia is a condition in which a person has trouble in staying awake during the day, and he experiences excessive sleepiness.
Modafinil is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance in the United States and is restricted in availability and usage due to concerns regarding potential side effects. In other countries, however, it is not legally restricted but is a prescription drug and not readily available.
What Are Side Effects of Modafinil?
- A headache
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Dry Mouth
- Insomnia (trouble in sleeping)
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Chest pain
- Fast, pounding and irregular heartbeat
- Mental mood changes (such as confusion, depression, hallucinations and suicidal thoughts)
Apart from some common side effects, some clinical trials showed serious backlash for this drug and so did postmarketing experience.
Mentioned below are some clinical trials and after effects that showed serious reactions to Modafinil:
- In Clinical trials of Modafinil, there was some serious rash hospitalization, and discontinuation of treatment has been reported. Several of the rash cases were associated with fever and other abnormalities that include vomiting, leukopenia, etc.
- Apart from rash treatment, there was also Angioedema and Anaphylaxis reaction. These reactions were reported in post-marketing experience of Modafinil, and patients were advised to discontinue the use of this drug immediately after having symptoms such as swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, and larynx; difficulty in swallowing or breathing which causes hoarseness.
- There was also Multi-organ hypersensitivity reaction in postmarketing experience, and it may result in hospitalization and very life-threatening.
- Patients who take these tablets due to an abnormal level of sleep should keep in mind that their level of wakefulness might never return to being normal.
- Psychiatric symptoms have also been reported in patients treated with Modafinil.
- In Clinical studies, Modafinil has been associated with Cardiovascular Events that include chest pain, palpitations, and cardiovascular reactions.
- In open-label clinical studies, some reaction of Modafinil includes Tourette’s syndrome, hostility, insomnia and suicidal ideation. Transient leukopenia was also observed.
Apart from the side effects experienced during the clinical trial, there were numerous more side effects due to this medicine.
Some other manifestations associated with this drug include:
- Inflammation Of The Nose
- Feel Like Throwing Up
- Abnormal Heart Rhythm
- Abnormally Low Blood Pressure
- Chest Pain
- High Blood Sugar
- Lazy Eye
- Loss Of Memory
- Mood Swings
- Throat Irritation
- Loss Of Appetite
- Widening Of Blood Vessels
- Numbness and Tingling
- Involuntary Quivering
- Flu-Like Symptoms
- Abnormal Increase In Muscle Tone
- Excessive Thirst
Some rare side effects that tend to be extremely severe include:
- Abnormal Liver Function
- Bloody Urine
- Abnormal Peeling Of Skin
- Decreased Blood Platelets
- Decreased White Blood Cells
- Giant Hives
- Behaving With Excessive Cheerfulness
- Deficiency of Granulocytes (type of white blood cell)
- Hyperactive Behavior
- Inflammation Of The Middle Tissue Of The Heart Muscle
- Mental Disturbance
- Increased Eosinophil In The Blood (disease-fighting white blood cells)
- Red, Painfully Swollen Mouth
- Small Skin Blister
- Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (which is a rare serious disorder of our skin and mucous membrane)
- Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (a rare type of skin reaction)
- Visible Water Retention
As mentioned above, the infinite side effects of Provigil are more in weight than the benefits that this drug provides to people. You should not use this medicine if allergic to armodafinil or modafinil.
When visiting the doctor, you should let him know about any chest pains that you might have, liver or kidney disease, a heart problem or a history of drug addiction, to avoid any more harmful response that this drug may cause to your body.
Modafinil also affects the nervous system so when taking this medicine avoid driving or doing anything that requires our senses to be alert and abstain from such activities until and unless you can be sure about the effect of this medication on your level of wakefulness.
Other drugs can also interact with Modafinil so be sure to let your doctor know all about the medications you use including herbal products. But keep in mind, in choosing to take this medicine, you are putting a great risk on yourself and your health and be ready to accept the consequences.