What Happens When You Take Modafinil?

Written on December 4, 2022 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci

I think it's safe to say that the majority of the articles about modafinil don't really give enough information about the potential Pro's and Con's of taking it regularly (from a personal and subjective point of view).

Most people online give the impression that all of its effects are either EXTREMELY good or TERRIBLE bad.

I think the truth is to be found somewhere in the middle, which is why I will share my personal experience with Modafinil here.

... So without further ado, let's just jump straight into it.

My Personal Experience Taking Modafinil

I have been using Modafinil for roughly 1 year now, and I have had a lot of questions about it prior to making it a stable 'supplement' in my Nootropic stack. Most of these questions were about:

  • What happens if I take it regularly?
  • Does it mess up my health?
  • Will it make me feel euphoric? etc etc...

... So let me tell you what I know as honestly as possible and from what I've experienced with the Smart Drug.

If you've read any of my other articles, then you'll know that I absolutely LOVE Nootropics.

I don't really do drugs or prescription medications (except Modafinil) due to the fact that they can easily do more harm than good when taking them regularly.

Personally, Modafinil is one of the supplements that I have found to be both beneficial AND safe enough for me to take on a daily basis without worry. So how did it affect me?

In terms of benefits, what I've noticed about taking Modafinil is that it makes me much more awake. Like extremely awake. That's about it!

It sounds so simple because it really is and I'm sorry if you expected me to say that I suddenly became Eddie Morra from the movie Limitless.

I remember the first time I took it, I was talking to a few friends of mine, and they asked me how it was.

I said something similar to the above: "Nothing much really... I just feel much more awake".

After that, they were like: "Oh... That's it? But it's supposed to be some crazy drug that makes you feel like Superman!"

I get it. After having done the research myself prior to taking Modafinil, I would probably have thought the same thing.

One of the reasons why people feel this way is because they don't really know what to expect.

Imagine if you were asked: What happens when you drink coffee? The answer would most likely be: You get more alert and stay awake for longer.

The same applies with Modafinil; It is a wakefulness-promoting drug which works in a similar way as caffeine does. That being said Modafinil is NOT the same thing as caffeine.

You can certainly feel a "buzz" from Modafinil if you take a big enough dose, but it isn't the same as any other stimulant.

Some people even say that it feels like being on Ecstasy (due to the fact that it produces euphoria and social disinhibition), but personally - I disagree with this.

I have tried MDMA, and Modafinil does not give me the same effect.

Although I'm not saying they're exactly alike, the main difference is in their stimulation aspect of your brain; The experience of MDMA is mainly focused on your emotional center (the limbic system) whereas Modafinil more so stimulates your frontal cortex to produce more dopamine in an organized way.

It's not like Amphetamine or Cocaine, which directly target the limbic system with high levels of dopamine to induce euphoria by changing the receptors over time.

The Effects I Experienced

Firstly, I would like to say that I choose to take a dose of about 100mg each morning for a few reasons:

  • For one thing, it helps me maintain my energy level throughout the day.
  • It also increases my focus which I find is beneficial for doing work and studies.

Lastly, it also adds to my productivity in terms of making things more fun and exciting ... Which is important because life for me isn't really enjoyable without some form of motivation or drive.

Over the last year, the only side effect that I have noticed from taking Modafinil on a daily basis is that it can cause occasional headaches and a slight increase in body temperature (feels like walking around with a fever).

These are not necessarily strong headaches where you get severe pain; They are just mild headaches where your eyes feel slightly fatigued and blurred.

It's worth noting that I usually take it while fasting, so that could probably be a reason for the side effects? Who knows.

When you take Modafinil/Provigil (Modvigil), you will feel that same "buzz" sensation you would get from any other stimulant drug (even caffeine).

However, It is important to note that its effect is much more subtle than other drugs which have a direct stimulating effect on your central nervous system - such as Caffeine.

Caffeine will have an immediate and obvious impact upon both your mental state and physical body when you take it, which isn't the case for Modafinil.

Sometimes I forget that I'm on Modafinil because I'm so concentrated on what I'm doing (it gives me crazy tunnel vision).

I've found that when I take it, it gives me a feeling of clear-headedness and focus for several hours (8+) after taking it.

It's like a "productivity pill" that allows you to complete tasks with ease.

It makes it so much easier to study, work, and most importantly boosts your energy levels.

Glutamate helps regulate our mood, memory and learning, as well as controls how we feel pain and experience pleasure – thus making it one of the most important neurotransmitters in our body.

... So what happens when Modafinil enters the picture?

Well... Because it has the ability to inhibit adenosine, it essentially "wakes up" GABA neurons so that they can release more glutamate into the brain – which makes you feel euphoric.

The reason why is because this will begin to stimulate your reward center, which will then release dopamine to "reward" you for doing it. The more you do it the more addictive it becomes.

What Happens When You Take Modafinil Daily?

Well... At first, you'll feel some euphoria around 20mins after your dose of 100mg has been taken. This feeling will last for roughly 2 – 3 hours, depending on the dose taken and dosage schedule.

As time passes, this euphoria will progress into mild stimulation which makes you more alert and active.

Again, this is just based on my own personal experience, keep that in mind.

The reason why I chose Modafinil over Adrafinil is that it seems to have fewer side effects (for me personally).

This is probably due to the fact that it doesn't require liver metabolism; Meaning, you don't need to worry about taking too much of it and hurting your liver.

If you're someone who takes a lot of CDP Choline or other nootropics which may cause a build-up of acetylcholine in your brain – then you might want to take Adrafinil instead. Why?

Because Adrafinil works in the same way as Modafinil: by inhibiting the enzyme (CYP2D6) which breaks down your acetylcholine levels. And if you've ever taken CDP Choline, then you'll know that having high acetylcholine levels can be quite intense for some people.

That's basically the only thing I would recommend to be careful of when taking Modafinil (or Adrafinil).

It's also worth noting that these drugs are prescribed to people who suffer from narcolepsy (which I haven't personally dealt with).

My warning would be not to use it every day like I have been doing. Although there aren't any major side effects for me personally, you may want to take a couple of weeks off now and again, just in case.

One thing I will say is that if you do take a couple of weeks off after using it for an extended period of time, then immediately upon starting it again - you will experience a sudden surge of energy and euphoria once again!

Also, I get blood work done once every other month just to make sure everything is in order.