Is Modafinil Dangerous?

Written on December 26, 2022 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci

Modafinil is a drug that is used for treating narcolepsy and for other related conditions. It was first developed in the 1970s and was approved by the American FDA in 1998. It's sold in the United States under the trade name Provigil.

The risks associated with using modafinil include liver damage, some psychiatric disorders, suicidal thoughts, severe insomnia and allergic reactions.

It can be considered dangerous when used with other drugs or alcohol that might cause similar side effects.

Sometimes users of modafinil experience serious psychological problems such as;

  • Depression
  • Hallucinations or mood swings
  • Mania

According to some health experts, the drug can cause hypertension, chest pain and tachycardia as well.

That being said, Modafinil has generally been considered a "safe" medication but it can be abused.

Abuse of Modafinil may have serious side effects if taken with alcohol or other drugs.

It may also produce other dangerous side effects such as;

  • Severe panic attacks
  • Heart palpitations
  • Severe skin rash

A reaction known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome has been reported in rare cases when Modafinil is taken in combination with antibiotics (e.g., amoxicillin) and antihistamines (e.g., terfenadine).

This reaction may lead to skin rashes which can sometimes be fatal.

Modafinil should be taken with caution if you have certain conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

The drug can also cause motor impairment, memory loss and mental confusion which could lead to serious injuries or death if you drive or operate heavy machinery while taking it.

Modafinil also offers some benefits such as increased concentration and alertness, but the drug can have very little benefit if it's used to treat depression or ADHD.

Insomnia is the most commonly reported side effect associated with Modafinil use but this usually goes away after users reach their tolerance level for the drug.

It's more common among people who don't take Modafinil on a regular basis.

Other side effects include: stomach pain, headaches and excessive sweating.

It's important to note that Modafinil can be harmful to the liver as well and this may lead to serious health issues.

Modafinil CAN be dangerous in some cases.

That being said, it's rare that people experience serious side effects while taking Modafinil.

The most commonly reported side effects are;

  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety

Users who consume high doses of the drug on an occasional basis are less likely to experience said side effects than those who do it on a regular basis.

Modafinil should never be combined with MAO inhibitors (antidepressants which are used for treating depression).

This combination can lead to serious side effects and even death in some cases.

Modafinil is not likely to cause the development of any mental disorders but it can lead to worsening symptoms in people who already have mental disorders (e.g., schizophrenia, severe depression, bipolar disorder etc.).

Modafinil is not likely to cause any serious damage to the liver or other internal organs.

The drug's side effects usually go away once a user reaches their tolerance level for Modafinil.


  • (Modafinil side effects)