Modafinil Review: Dosage, Benefits, Side Effects & Where to Buy Online

Written on November 13, 2022 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci

In this Modafinil review, I'll be looking at what Modafinil is, how it works and what it's used for. I'll go over the benefits, the perfect dosage, and what side effects you may run into. Lastly, I'll share my own experience with it and where you can buy Modafinil online.

Are you looking to increase your focus, energy, and mental performance?

This powerful smart drug is known for its ability to boost cognitive function and has become a popular choice for students and professionals looking to get an edge in their field.

Let's take a deep dive into the research behind Modafinil and how to use it effectively and safely.

What Is Modafinil?

EffectsPromotes wakefulness, improves focus
Side EffectsDry mouth, restlessness
Common Dosage100 mg
Elimination Half-Life12-15 hours

Modafinil (also known as Provigil) is a wakeful-promoting agent that was developed to treat narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, and other conditions of the sleeping brain.

Modafinil is a controlled psychostimulant smart drug that is structurally similar to armodafinil (Nuvigil), a medication prescribed for the same conditions.

It was first approved by the FDA in 1998 as a treatment for narcolepsy and has been used off-label since then to increase alertness, focus, and energy in people without narcolepsy.

Modafinil is prescribed for a variety of conditions including:

  • ADHD
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Sleep apnea
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (due to obstructive sleep apnea or narcolepsy)
  • Idiopathic hypersomnia
  • Shift-work disorder (sleep problems at night and excessive sleepiness during the day caused by working a rotating or night shift schedule)
  • Jet lag (a form of transient insomnia that occurs when you travel across time zones.)

It has also been clinically studied as a way to improve cognitive dysfunction in patients with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

Since Modafinil is a controlled medication in the United States and other countries, it can only be prescribed by your doctor.

Chemical Information

Trade NamesModalert, Provigil, Alertec, Modavigil, Vigil, Sparlon
IUPAC Name2-benzhydrylsulfinylacetamide
Other NamesEugeroics
CAS Number68693-11-8
Molecular FormulaC15H15NO2S
Molecular Weight273.35 g·mol−1
SolubilitySoluble in methanol and acetone
Melting Point110-112°C

Mechanism of Action: How Does Modafinil Work?

Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting drug that acts as an atypical, selective, and weak dopamine reuptake inhibitor.

It activates the release of orexin neuropeptides and histamine from the lateral hypothalamus (LH) and tuberomammillary nucleus.

Orexin neurons are located throughout your body but they're clustered together in one particular place: The lateral hypothalamic area (LHA).

It also increases dopamine production in your prefrontal cortex (PFC).

The PFC is responsible for higher-level cognitive functions such as decision making, planning, and moderating social behavior.

Now, that we know a little bit more about how Modafinil works, let's take a closer look at how it affects the dopaminergic, orexinergic- and histaminergic systems below.

The Dopaminergic System

The dopaminergic system is a pathway in your brain that uses the neurotransmitter dopamine to send/transport signals between neurons.

Dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure and euphoria, as well as motivation and focus.

By blocking dopamine transporters, Modafinil significantly boosts dopamine levels in the human brain.

The Orexinergic System

The orexinergic system is responsible for the production and release of orexin.

It consists of orexins and orexin receptors.

Orexin, also known as hypocretin, is a neuropeptide (a small protein-like molecule) that promotes wakefulness by increasing arousal and attention.

Both play a crucial role in regulating wakefulness, arousal, and appetite.

The Histaminergic System

The histaminergic system controls a variety of functions, including sleep, eating, learning, and memory consolidation.

Modafinil is thought to operate by stimulating the histaminergic system indirectly via the orexinergic neurons.

As a result of this, Modafinil activates the histaminergic system through the orexinergic pathway.

What Is Modafinil Used For?

Modafinil is a prescription medication used as a treatment for excessive sleepiness and different psychiatric disorders.

It can be used for people with narcolepsy which is a condition that causes excessive daytime sleepiness without any adverse effect.

It can also be used for shift work sleep disorders where people have excessive sleepiness/fatigue during the day and trouble sleeping at night.

Modafinil is also used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that causes pauses in breathing while you're asleep due to obstruction of your airways.

This leads to disruption of normal sleep patterns because your brain thinks it's gasping for breath.

It has more recently been studied as a way to improve cognitive function in people with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia without any adverse events.

Hence, Modafinil is used to treat various sleep disorders and has been shown to improve cognitive function in people with neurodegenerative diseases.

What Are the Benefits of Modafinil?

The benefits of Modafinil depend on the person taking it and the underlying condition being treated.

However, there are a few benefits that Modafinil has been shown to offer across the board:

  • It can induce wakefulness and alertness
  • It can improve cognitive performance by increasing dopamine levels in your brain
  • It can improve task flexibility and working memory
  • It can increase motivation and focus
  • It can improve your overall mental health

These are just a few of the benefits that Modafinil has been shown to offer.

For people with narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnea or Alzheimer's disease, and other forms of dementia, Modafinil may help slow down the effects of neurodegeneration.

Modafinil may also help with depression, ADHD and other attention disorders, multiple sclerosis (MS), schizophrenia, ADD/ADHD in children, and more.

However, just keep in mind that Modafinil is not a cure for any disease; it's merely an anthem to live a more normal life.

There is no guarantee that Modafinil will help you with your particular situation and/or disorder.

Hence, always consult a medical professional before taking Modafinil to treat a condition or disorder you may have.

Modafinil Reviews & Experiences Reported On Reddit

Now that we have a general understanding of what Modafinil is, how it works, and some of the benefits it offers, let's take a look at what people on Reddit have to say about it.

It's great for staying awake and alert in lectures/presentations/that kind of thing. Also great for getting up and running in the morning, especially in winter. I've also used it for extreme exam revision/essay writing.


I can also confirm these effects from personal experience… I'm constantly tired during the day. I always catch up at the weekend, but during the working day, I keep a couple of modafinil pills handy just in case. They can be a life-saver at times.


I took Modafinil all through my senior year of HS and freshman year of college. Yes, it kicks ass. I lost a bunch of weight while taking it (which isn't good because I'm already skinny 5'8" 130) so now I only take it when I have a ton to do.

andreas christiansen modafinil
lucas olivera modafinil
martin miller modafinil

After doing my own research, reading a lot of different reviews on Reddit, Facebook and watching countless videos on YouTube, I figured I would give Modafinil a try myself.

So that's what I did.

I ordered it online and oh boy was it an interesting experience.

If you want to read about my own personal experience with Modafinil, keep reading.

My Personal Modafinil Experience & Results

I initially ordered Modafinil from Modafinilxl about 2 months ago and have since made a few additional purchases.

One of the things that really drew me to when searching for a reputable vendor was that they have 2000+ reviews on Trustpilot as well as a money-back guarantee.

This means that if you order Modafinil from them and aren't satisfied in any way with your purchase, you can contact them and they will give you your money back.

Some of the things that I was worried about were not only the legitimacy of the company but also the quality of their Modafinil (I will discuss this later on).

I took a chance and ordered $69 worth of Modafinil and Armodafinil.

Fast Shipping


The shipping was super fast and the goods were delivered to my doorstep within 6 days.

Looking at the package I could see that they shipped from the UK which explains the fast delivery time (I live in Europe).

I have had no issues with my purchase whatsoever.

The only downside is that it can be a bit complicated sometimes to order from them if you don't use bitcoin.

The Quality

After receiving my package I immediately took 100mg (I split one 200mg tablet into 2).

After 45 minutes I could definitely feel that something was going on and I decided to take the rest of the dosage (200 mg in total) with a cup of coffee.


The effects I got from that combination were amazing, to say the least. The focus, clear-headedness, and productivity I got from taking Modafinil and caffeine are like nothing I have ever experienced before.

It lasted almost 8 hours and I had ZERO crash afterward. I have since tried their Armodafinil but to be honest, I don't really like it.

Every time I take it, it raises my body temperature quite a lot (feels like I'm walking around with a slight fever which is annoying).

So all in all, did Modafinil make me Superman or Eddie Morra from the movie Limitless like everyone on the internet say it will?

Absolutely not. But I can definitely see why people hype it up.

The productivity, focus, alertness, and energy I got from taking Modafinil are amazing.

I plan on ordering more Modafinil in a near future and will probably dose it 100-200mg 2-3 times a week with a Choline source like Alpha-GPC to prevent headaches.

How Does Modafinil Feel Like?

In my personal experience, Modafinil feels like a mix of caffeine and Adderall (but without any nasty headaches and crashes).

The focus, clear-headedness, alertness, and productivity are very similar to what I feel when taking caffeine but the energy is more comparable to what I feel when taking Adderall.

One thing that really stands out when I take Modafinil is that I NEVER feel like I'm 'on' something.

I feel completely normal and clearheaded the entire time I'm on it.

It's not like Adderall where you can tell that you're high or on something.

Modafinil just makes you really alert and focused without any of the negative side effects (jitteriness, anxiety, etc).

That being said, Modafinil is not a magic pill and it will not make you smarter or more productive overnight.

Like with anything else, you need to give it time and experiment with different dosages and combinations to find what works best for you.

Where to Buy Modafinil Online?

I bought my Modafinil from and I'm very satisfied with my purchase.

They ship from the UK and have a very fast delivery time (5-10 days).

The product quality is great, their customer service is responsive and they now offer US domestic shipping via USPS Priority Mail as well (3-4 days shipping time).

The only downside of ordering Modafinil there is that you need to pay attention when checking out since some credit cards can get declined (due to security reasons).

You can buy Modafinil online from a few different websites but I would recommend only buying from trusted and reliable sources. is one of the best options if you're looking to buy Modafinil online.

How Much Does Modafinil Cost?

Modafinil's cost varies from source to source.

Modafinilxl currently offer 10x100 mg tablets for $33 with a 25% off coupon code for returning customers.

They also offer free samples where you only pay for the shipping which is $6-9 depending on where you live in the world.

So, in total, you would be paying around $33-$66 for a month's supply

What Are the Modafinil Side Effects?

When it comes to Modafinil's side effects, it's important to remember that Modafinil is a relatively new and innovative drug.

As such, its long-term risks are not completely known yet even though there have been no major negative side effects reported by the people who took Modafinil in large doses for extended periods of time.

The most commonly reported Modafinil side effects are

  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness/Insomnia
  • Diarrhea (rarely experienced)

The more serious Modafinil side effects are:

  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a serious skin reaction)
  • Hallucinations
  • Mania
  • Chest pain.

The two most common Modafinil side effects are headaches and anxiety.

While both of these can be annoying, they usually go away after the first week of taking Modafinil.

To prevent headaches when taking Modafinil, I recommend using a Choline source like Alpha-GPC.

Alpha-GPC is great for preventing headaches and it also helps improve cognitive function and memory.

And remember to stay hydrated.

You should take a choline source and drink lots of water with your Modafinil dose to prevent headaches.

How to Take Modafinil & Recommended Dosage

If you're prone to anxiety, I would recommend starting off at the lowest possible dosage which is 50 mg (split your 100 mg tablet into 2).

Some people are more sensitive than others to Modafinil and it's better to start off slow than have a bad experience right out of the gate.

Take the first dose (50 mg) first thing in the morning on an empty stomach upon waking up.

If you don't feel anything after 45 minutes, take the second dose (100 mg in total).

100 mg is the sweet spot for a lot of people and it's where I usually stay.

Some people like to split their doses (50 mg in the morning and 50 mg in the evening) while others prefer to take it all at once.

It's really up to you and what makes you feel more productive and alert.

The important thing is that you find the right dosage and timing that works best for you.

Dosage LevelAmountRoute of Administration
Threshold400 mgoral
Low50 mgoral
Medium (Recommended)100-200 mgoral
High300-400 mgoral

What Is Modafinil's Half-Life?

Modafinil's half-life is between 12 and 15 hours, which means that your body will take around a day to process it fully (if you're taking 100 mg).

This is why a lot of people recommend taking it in the morning so that you're not feeling the effects of Modafinil during the evening when you want to relax and wind down.

If you take Modafinil later in the evening, you will not fall asleep easily and you might feel the effects of Modafinil for a long time.

But, again - it depends on your body and how quickly you metabolize this drug.

Does Modafinil Build Tolerance?

There's no indication in the literature that Modafinil builds tolerance.

That being said, there are some anecdotal reports that Modafinil's effects diminish over time if you take high doses for extended periods of time (400 mg+).

Most people, however, report that they experience the same level of cognitive enhancement and energy boost even after taking Modafinil for many years in a row without any significant decrease in its effectiveness.

In my personal experience, I didn't notice any decrease in Modafinil's effects either.

I took 100 mg 2-3 times a week for over 3 months without any problems.

But as previously mentioned, it's important to stick to the recommended dosage, not exceed it and cycle with a break from Modafinil every few weeks just to be sure.

Major Drug Interactions: Does Modafinil Interact With Other Medications?

When it comes to drug interactions, Modafinil is a fairly safe drug.

But, as with any other medication, it's always important to consult with your doctor before starting to take Modafinil if you're taking other prescription medications or supplements.

Some of the most common drugs that Modafinil interacts with are:

  • Antidepressants (e.g. SSRIs)
  • Blood pressure medications (e.g. beta-blockers)
  • Antihistamines (e.g. Benadryl)

Modafinil can increase/decrease the levels of these drugs in your system and cause adverse effects.

This is why it's important to be aware of this and to let your doctor know that you're taking Modafinil.

What Are the Best Modafinil Stacks?

There are many different Modafinil stacks that you can use to boost its effects and make it more effective.

The most common stack is with a choline supplement like Alpha-GPC or CDP- Choline.

When you stack Modafinil with Alpha-GPC you prevent the nasty "Modafinil headache" that some people experience.

Another popular stack is caffeine and Modafinil.

When you combine caffeine and Modafinil, the effects are synergistic and you'll feel more energetic and alert quicker.

Other Modafinil stacks that you can use include:

  • Pramiracetam + Modafinil
  • L-theanine + Modafinil
  • Aniracetam + Modafinil
  • Noopept + Modafinil
  • Piracetam + Modafinil

These are just some of the most popular stacks, but you can get creative and come up with your own combinations.

What Are the Best Modafinil Alternatives?

When it comes to the best Modafinil alternatives, there are many different smart drugs that can be used as such.

The main question is "what are the best Modafinil alternatives for you".

It really depends on what your goals and needs are, so let's take a look at some of them right now.

Modafinil vs. Adrafinil

This one is interesting.

Adrafinil is the precursor to Modafinil, which means that it converts into Modafinil in your liver.

It has similar effects and benefits when compared to Modafinil, but some people claim that due to how quickly it metabolizes it's not as effective.

This is why most people prefer Modafinil over Adrafinil.

Modafinil vs. Armodafinil

Armodafinil is the "R" enantiomer of Modafinil, which means that it's the more active form of the drug.

It has a longer half-life and is considered to be stronger than Modafinil.

Most people find that Armodafinil is more effective than Modafinil and has fewer side effects.

Modafinil vs. Adderall

Although some people have had bad experiences with Adderall, it can be a very effective Modafinil alternative for people with ADHD.

That being said, Adderall is a stimulant, whereas Modafinil is a eugeroic.

Stimulants tend to have more side effects than eugeroics and are not recommended for long-term use.

Modafinil vs. Ritalin

Ritalin is also a stimulant and is one of the most popular Modafinil alternatives.

It works faster than Modafinil and is more potent, but it also has more side effects.

Ritalin is often prescribed to people with ADHD and is very effective in reducing symptoms.

Modafinil vs. Mind Lab Pro

If you're looking for a natural Modafinil alternative, then Mind Lab Pro is a great option.

It's a cognitive enhancer that contains 11 different ingredients, all of which have been shown to boost brain function.

Mind Lab Pro doesn't have any harsh side effects like some of the other Modafinil alternatives and is recommended for long-term use.

Scientific Modafinil Research

When it comes to clinical trials, there's no shortage of them.

Since the drug was approved by the FDA in 1998, countless studies have been done on its effects and benefits in animals and humans.

Let's take a closer look at some of them right now.

Animal Studies

A study conducted on 5 English Bulldogs found that Modafinil significantly decreased hypersomnolence (sleep-disordered breathing) in dogs:

Our findings indicate that modafinil significantly alleviates hypersomnolence (p < 0.05) in the bulldogs, as evidenced by dramatically decreased mean total sleep time.

In another study conducted on rats, researchers found that Modafinil prevents inhibitory avoidance memory deficit induced by sleep deprivation:

Modafinil is able to improve acquisition in normal rats and reverse the long-term memory impairment induced by sleep deprivation.

Another study looked at how Modafinil improves attention, inhibitory control, and reaction time in healthy, middle-aged rats:

Modafinil produced a dose-dependent pattern of improved response accuracy and impulse control (fewer premature responses) and shorter response latencies, without affecting omission errors, motivation or motor control…. The implications of these findings for the treatment of narcolepsy, ADHD, and various arousal-related disorders are considered.

Human Studies

A clinical trial conducted in 1993 looked at the effect of modafinil on symptomatology of human narcolepsy:

Modafinil reduced the daily number of sleep attacks significantly and markedly improved performances during the FCRTT. Results of this study suggest that modafinil is effective in treating EDS in narcolepsy and that noradrenergic mechanisms could be involved in the physiopathology of EDS in that disorder.

Another study looked at the practical use and risk of Modafinil and concluded the following:

Modafinil can be used by anyone, who wishes to work late, stay awake, enhance their cognitive reactions, or brighten their moods. Users may already be under a great level of stress, i.e. cancer patients or soldiers on a battlefield. A psychoneuroimmunological approach is thus needed to investigate the multi-functional effects of modafinil.

A study conducted in 2000 looked at the long-term efficacy, tolerance, and safety of Modafinil and concluded the following:

Modafinil is effective for the long-term treatment of EDS associated with narcolepsy and significantly improves perceptions of general health. Modafinil is well tolerated, with no evidence of tolerance developing during 40 weeks of treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Long Does It Take For Modafinil to Kick In?

Modafinil kicks in within an hour of taking it. Taking Modafinil on an empty stomach can help it to kick in faster. Modafinil is then quickly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream, which then distributes it to the brain.

How Long Does Modafinil Last?

100 mg of Modafinil lasts for around 12 hours. 200 mg of Modafinil lasts for around 15 hours. The effects of Modafinil are not limited to this time range. It has been reported that one can experience the effects of Modafinil for as long as 24 hours.

What Does Modafinil Taste Like?

Modafinil doesn't usually have a taste. It comes in tablets and is easy to swallow. However, some people report the taste is bitter and metallic. Some compare it to the taste of crushed-up aspirin on the tongue.

Is Modafinil Legal?

Modafinil is considered a Schedule IV controlled substance in the United States, which means it is illegal to import without a prescription by anybody other than a DEA-registered importer. The only way to legally obtain Modafinil in the United States is by receiving a prescription from a physician and purchasing it from a registered pharmacy.

Is Modafinil FDA-Approved?

Modafinil has been FDA-approved since 1998, and it is a prescription-only drug in the United States for the treatment of narcolepsy and shift-work sleep disorder.

How to Get a Modafinil Prescription?

Doctors are prescribing Modafinil to patients suffering from chronic exhaustion, attention disorders, and narcolepsy. You will need to schedule a consultation with your local doctor before Modafinil can get prescribed to you after a thorough examination has been undertaken.

Can You Buy Modafinil Over-the-Counter?

Modafinil, the brand name for modafinil, is a medication prescribed by doctors to help people stay awake. It is not available over-the-counter in the USA. People can buy Modafinil from pharmacies in the USA, but they must have a prescription from a doctor.

When Did Modafinil Become a Controlled Substance?

Schedule IV prescription drugs are considered to have a low potential for abuse and dependence. Modafinil was designated as a schedule IV controlled substance in 1999, placing it in the same category as other substances with a low potential for abuse and dependence.

Can You Take Modafinil With a Heart Condition?

Modafinil can cause substantial increases in heart rate and blood pressure, so it should be used with caution by patients with cardiovascular disease. Modafinil's effects on the autonomic nervous system can cause significant changes in heart rate and blood pressure, so it is important to use caution when prescribing modafinil to patients with cardiovascular problems.

Final Thoughts: Is Modafinil Worth It?

In my opinion, Modafinil is definitely worth it.

It has helped me stay awake and focused when I need to be productive, especially during times when I'm working on a project that is time-sensitive.

Modafinil is pretty low-risk as well without any serious side effects.

With that said, it's not going to make you some genius or turn you into Albert Einstein, but it will definitely improve your focus and productivity levels.

I have been positively surprised with the effects of Modafinil and would recommend it to anyone who struggles with staying focused or needs an extra boost in productivity.