One of the most popular smart drug prescriptions today, designed to increase focus and boost energy, is Modafinil (Provigil). It is given to people who find it hard to sleep, usually. But it has been prescribed, too, to those who need increased concentration for working and / or studying.
Modafinil: A Popular Smart Drugs
Officially, this is a prescription drug given only to those with sleep apnea and narcolepsy. And doctors are very strict in writing a prescription for this.
However, those who want to take this in as a smart drug can get it even without a prescription by buying certain brands (albeit slightly modified) online, including the following:
- Sun Pharma Modalert
A Short History of Modafinil
This was developed in the 1970s by Michel Jouvet, a French professor. A decade and so later in 1986, it underwent clinical testing as an experimental drug to treat narcolepsy. As it proved to be effective, it has entered the commercial pharmaceutical market pretty quickly.
Cephalon, a biopharmaceutical group in the USA which started in 1987, has started to commercialize this. As one of the biggest global pharma companies, they now own the intellectual property right to Modafinil brand name Provigil.
While Modafinil still is the number one option for those who have narcolepsy and / or sleep apnea, it has been used by so many for focusing and staying alert for long periods of time such as night shift workers and even soldiers.
Cephalon has been throwing lawsuits here and there, defending their patent and intellectual property rights since there have been numerous companies making different versions of Modafinil.
For instance, this smart drug is widely marketed as Alertec online, primarily in Canada and the USA. This is a cheaper version of Provigil, even if both make use of the same formulas. Despite the aggressive ‘manhunt’ for Modafinil brands, there are still other ‘generic’ versions of Modafinil too, especially if you look hard enough.
The Functionality of Modafinil
The main target of Modafinil is the PSS or Peripheral Sympathetic System. The Anterior hypothalamus nucleus, that which regulates our sleep cycle, is the main area in the brain that is affected by the drug.
There have been theories that it also affects the CNS or Central Nervous System, although the function has not been studied yet to be fully appreciated.
There have been several speculations as to how this wonder smart drug functions in the brain. One of these is that Modafinil boosts Anandamine, a neurotransmitter which works with the Anterior hypothalamus nucleus to regulate sleep.
Apparently, increased Anandamine can also increase dopamine – the neurotransmitter regulating mood, cognitive ability, and motor functions, among so many others. It also has the ability of increasing glutamate in the brain by decreasing GABA.
There is another interesting function of Modafinil when taken: increased histamine activity. This is said to be caused by Modafinil, the name of the active ingredient of the same drug.
Last but not the least, this sleep-regulator / smart drug has a direct effect on orexins, the peptides of the brain. When activated, both histamine and dopamine levels are increased helping both insomniacs and narcoleptics with their sleep patterns.
The Amazing Benefits of Modafinil
Aside from its primary effect, that with helping those with sleep disorders regulate their sleep cycles better, Modafinil has numerous cognitive benefits too.
It is quite unique as a smart drug, lasting longer than other nootropics in the market and is multifunctional in the sense that it affects several parts of the brain. But below are its main advantages:
Those who have used Modafinil have said that their moods have been lifted with continued use. This could be because of the increase in Dopamine in the brain.
Long Hours of Wakefulness
Remember that this is a drug for treating narcolepsy. So those not suffering from that sleep condition can expect that they will be awake for at least 10 to even 12 hours a day. It is very important, therefore, to take the drug early in the morning and not at night, especially if you want to sleep well.
Amazing Focus and Concentration
Modafinil basically works like caffeine in helping one focus. With its effect of wakefulness, it helps a great deal in making one very productive with whatever it is that they do.
Cognitive Function Enhanced and Retained
It has been said earlier that Modafinil increases cognitive functionality, helping improve logical thinking. While this could be because of the increase in dopamine and glutamate levels in the brain, this effect of Modafinil still needs to undergo research and testing to be better understood.
Modafinil is prescribed mainly to those with insomnia, narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. If you are having troubles sleeping, you could ask your doctor for this drug.
The Right Usage of Modafinil
This is taken orally, either on a full or empty stomach. Doctors suggest that this be taken in the morning as it provides that 10-12 hours straight wakefulness. Taking it mid-day would make it hard for people to sleep at night already.
However, if you need to be up at night (for students doing school projects or employees given night shifts), then it is best that you take the medication an hour before your shift.
The recommended daily dosage of Modafinil, especially for beginners, is very low. Even so, you will feel the effects already without suffering from the common side effects of the drug. Most of the time, 200 mg of Modafinil is prescribed by doctors for daily use. This will last for 12-15 hours already.
Those who are cycling the drug should adjust the dosage for the week. To avoid tolerance development to Modafinil, take a 100mg early during the week and increase it bit by bit to 200mg by week’s end.
It is strongly recommended to follow the directions on the product label when planning to take Modafinil. It is also best to ask your doctor if you can use Modafinil or any other nootropic medications for that matter, especially if you have health conditions or are already taking in certain medications.
The Side Effects of Modafinil
Most of the side effects of Modafinil, which aren’t serious to begin with, are the same with other nootropics in the market today. These mild symptoms include the following:
- Lack of Appetite
In fact, if the directions for use are followed well, these won’t be a problem at all. As of the moment, there are no reports yet about dangerous effects of the drug, making this a pretty safe medication.
Important Note Here:
While this is a very good nootropic and is proven very effective for sleep disorders, it is not the right drug for everyone. Because it has mild stimulants (like caffeine, as aforementioned), it is not good for those with heart and liver conditions, high blood pressure, and pre-existing mental health problems. Again, it would be best to consult with an expert before you start taking this in.
Modafinil Available Online?
While this is available in retail drug stores, one would not be given Modafinil if a prescription is not presented. But other brands which are considered as ‘supplements’ more than medications, such as Provigil and Alertec, are available on the internet even without doctor’s prescription.