Is Modafinil Considered A Safe Nootropic?


modafinil

(Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash)

If you’re looking for more information about the safety profile of Modafinil, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article I will take a closer look at the following topics:

  • What is the safety profile of Modafinil?
  • Does Modafinil have any side effects?
  • What are the consequences of mixing Modafinil and Alcohol?
  • How easily do you build up tolerance to Modafinil?

…. So without further ado, let’s just get right into it!

 

Modafinil And Its Safety Profile

Contrary to popular belief, modafinil is usually considered to be a safe Smart Drug for most people.

It is a stimulating nootropic that has been widely studied and tested to determine its safety profile.

Both in short term and long term studies, no significant side effects were reported.

Studies have shown that modafinil has no addictive potential and can be safely taken for years without any adverse reactions or effects on the body’s systems (such as the heart or liver).

It does not cause respiratory suppression or decrease mental alertness like other drugs such as benzodiazepines do (Xanax, Valium etc).

The only people who should not take modafinil are pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding since no studies have been done on pregnant women to determine whether it will harm an unborn baby or a nursing child.

Also it’s worth noting that people who suffer from severe cardiovascular diseases such as acute myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) should not take modafinil since it has been shown to increase heart rate in healthy individuals.

Other than that, modafinil is considered safe for most people and it is unlikely you will experience any adverse side effects.

 

Read Also: My Top 3 Favourite Nootropics Of All Time

Does It Have Any Side Effects?

Modafinil has a very low incidence of side effects when taken at recommended dosages.

Some users report headaches and stomach discomfort but this can quickly disappear once the body adjusts to the medication.

Side effects are normally mild and temporary and do not prolong beyond two weeks after discontinuation of the drug.

Modafinil has also been reported to cause skin eruptions with prolonged use but further research is required to confirm this finding at this time.

Because modafinil in some instances can be addictive, some user have reported developing a tolerance to it after prolonged intake (over 1 year).

The risk of developing a tolerance to modafinil is the same as that which can take place with any other stimulant such as Adderall or Ritalin.

A few users have also reported that they got worse side effects from modafinil than with other prescription medications such as Ativan or Xanax.

That being said, modafinil users can reduce the occurrence of side effects by lowering the dosage or taking a break from using it for several weeks every few months.

This practice will help avoid developing a tolerance to it as well.

Also, it’s worth noting that some people have reported Modafinil to cause nervousness when taken at recommended dosages during the first few weeks.

This sensation usually goes away after a few days or weeks but takes longer to develop in some people than others.

Since the dosage guidelines are based on long-term studies, nausea or nervousness may be more pronounced at higher dosages.

For this reason, it is recommended that if you feel nausea or nervousness after taking modafinil for the first two weeks, you should lower your dosage.

 

Mixing Modafinil And Alcohol

People who consume alcohol before or while on modafinil will experience more severe side effects than if they were not under the influence of alcohol at the time of consumption.

They may also experience an increase in side effects such as insomnia and headaches if they consume large amounts of alcohol on top of modafinil intake.

In fact, modafinil should only be taken with caution when consuming even moderate levels of alcohol since it allows them to drink more without experiencing a loss in physical or mental performance similar to what happens when people take prescription medications such as Xanax or Valium for anxiety and panic disorders.

For people who become physically intoxicated (for example, from alcohol consumption) while taking modafinil, the recommended dosage is usually lowered to half of what it normally is.

The drug effects of modafinil can be blocked by consuming food or beverages containing certain types of amino acids such as Tyrosine or Phenylalanine.

 

How Easily Do You Build Up Tolerance To Modafinil?

One theory that has been proposed for early life tolerance to stimulants such as modafinil is that during fetal development and early infancy, some changes occur in brain chemistry.

This results in changes in levels and activity of chemicals called neurotransmitters which affect cognitive functions such as attention, memory and learning ability.

Studies on rodents have shown that modafinil causes changes in neurotransmitters such as glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

Another study reported that modafinil causes the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward in the brain.

Modafinil does not appear to cause any long-term changes in the levels of these brain chemicals. It has been warned against performing decisions that require a high level of attention under the influence of this medication since it lowers the decision-making capacity of users.

It is recommended to only take modafinil when it is absolute necessary since overuse could lead to an addiction and tolerance.

To Summarize

Side effects from using small amounts of this medication are mild and temporary and will not last longer than two weeks after discontinuing its intake (e.g., two weeks after stopping a 30 day supply).

Modafinil is considered safe for most people and any side effects that do take place will most likely be caused by its stimulating properties.

You can quickly build up a tolerance to Modafinil which is why most people cycle it on-and-off.

No significant side effects are expected when using small doses of modafinil within reasonable guidelines as mentioned above but effects tend to be more pronounced with larger doses and/or longer periods of use beyond recommended guidelines.

In some studies, modafinil has been reported to slightly raise heart rate (increase blood pressure) in healthy individuals.

However, this effect is not as pronounced as with other prescription stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin which can cause severe side effects such as heart attacks or strokes when used at high levels.

 

Resources:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23483377/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2045706/
  3. https://jnnp.bmj.com/content/72/2/179
  4. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236039685_Safety_Profile_of_Modafinil_Across_a_Range_of_Prescribing_Indications_Including_Off-Label_Use_in_a_Primary_Care_Setting_in_England
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/education/mortarboard/2013/may/31/is-modafinil-safe-in-long-term

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