Does Modafinil really lower testosterone levels in men?
A question that has been on my mind for some time now too. I was thinking about it ever since I made an article about how modafinil might be helpful for depression.
From PubMed and other scientific articles that I found, they seem to suggest that Modafinil has zero impact on testosterone levels.
However, anecdotal evidence from people on Reddit and Quora tells another story and some even say that Modafinil does indeed lower testosterone levels, but by a small margin (confirmed by blood work).
Therefore I decided to do some research myself, to see what is going on and hopefully provide you with a more clear answer.
So without further ado, let's just jump straight into it, shall we?
First off, what is Modafinil exactly?
Modafinil is a eugeroic (wakefulness-promoting) drug that is mainly used to treat narcolepsy.
It is a well-known fact that Modafinil is used by many people not only to treat narcolepsy but also by healthy individuals like you and me in order to improve cognitive performance.
From personal experience, I know that Modafinil is indeed helpful for improving my ability to concentrate and focus for longer periods of time.
That being said, many people are taught that Modafinil is good for both mood and mental performance, however, this is not necessarily the case (there's more to it than meets the eye).
Modafinil is known to have some very prominent effects on the brain, mainly by increasing the activity of the dopaminergic system.
An explanation of how it works
As mentioned in the previous article I wrote about Modafinil and depression, I mentioned that Modafinil can reach levels of 20 times more than that of caffeine and is known to be a dopamine reuptake inhibitor.
We know that dopamine is known to be a precursor for both testosterone and norepinephrine (epinephrine).
So, to make it short and simple, Modafinil controls the amount of dopamine in the brain.
Dopamine is known to be a major precursor for these hormones (testosterone and norepinephrine), by controlling their levels.
What does that mean in a simple and straight-to-the-point explanation?
Well, this means that if you go nuts with your doses and frequency (taking modafinil every day) you can potentially lower your testosterone levels by crashing your hormones through overstimulation. Simple as that.
The question that you have probably thought of by now is, how you can prevent, or even bounce back, from crashed/lower testosterone levels?
If you experience lower testosterone levels whilst taking Modafinil there are several different ways in which you can try to bounce back to normal, healthy levels.
I'll try to explain them down below.
But before I do that, please keep in mind that the only real way of knowing if Modafinil affects your testosterone levels is by getting your bloodwork done.
I'm not going to say which is the best method because it's entirely up to you.
That being said, methods to bounce back from lower testosterone levels after taking Modafinil are as follows:
1. Eat fewer carbs and more animal fats and protein
Protein is an essential part of testosterone production, so by eating more proteins you'll be able to pull testosterone levels up faster.
Remove all added sugars and sugars from your diet, also remove all grains and carbohydrates.
Furthermore, if you're on a low-carb diet, then by eating more fats like butter and coconut oil you will be able to increase the amount of testosterone production again.
This is a great method to speed up your testosterone production if you're low on both carbs AND fats (this is the best way to go about it).
2. Supplements like tribulus terrestris and magnesium
This is an easy-to-absorb method to increase testosterone production (definitely a smart choice).
Magnesium is essential for testosterone production.
It might even be able to prevent Modafinil from lowering your testosterone levels in the first place.
3. Exercise and sleep well
This one is pretty self-explanatory.
Eating well, exercising, and sleeping well are all very beneficial to testosterone production.
4. Avoid alcohol/drugs (Modafinil interaction)
Getting drunk when you take modafinil will reduce testosterone levels. It might even lower them by a significant amount (not sure about that though).
This can be an immediate cause of your lowered testosterone levels. So stay away from the booze (yes even the occasional glass of wine).
5. Supplement with L-carnitine
Carnitine is known to increase fertility and testosterone levels in men.
It's also known to inhibit lowered testosterone levels after taking anabolic steroids.
It's also recommended by many "gurus" in the fitness and bodybuilding world.
That being said, you can also supplement with Zinc, calcium, magnesium and NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) for increased testosterone production.
These supplements are known to increase testosterone levels in men, especially Zinc and NAC (N-acetyl cysteine).
Lastly, I can't stress enough how important it is to get your bloodwork done to get an idea of your current testosterone levels.
This is probably the best way of knowing if Modafinil does indeed lower your testosterone production levels. No one can tell if Modafinil is actually going to suppress you.
Modafinil is known to affect dopamine levels (which subsequently affects the level of testosterone and norepinephrine in the brain).
If modafinil is taken in high doses or if is used for a longer period of time, it can cause the levels of testosterone to lower.
The only way to know if Modafinil lowers testosterone (or not) for sure is by getting bloodwork done.
Furthermore, chronic sleep deprivation (as seen in people with Narcolepsy ) can cause testosterone levels to drop significantly which is probably a reason why people who are prescribed Modafinil experience lower T-levels (not a direct consequence of Modafinil).