How long does it take for Modafinil to kick in?


I think it’s safe to say that the most interesting Nootropic, or Smart Drug, on the market right now is Modafinil.

Clinical studies have shown it to have a wide range of nootropic capabilities, like enhanced memory, cognition and focus.

What’s also unique about it is that unlike other pharmaceutical smart drugs, it’s not an amphetamine.

It’s a wakefulness-promoting agent, but it does it by altering specific receptors in the brain rather than by upping the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine to produce a stimulating effect on the central nervous system.

In this article I will be discussing the physiological and psychological effects of Modafinil, and will also cover the length of time it takes for Modafinil to kick in, how long it takes for it to reach peak blood concentration, and what you can do to make it work faster.

So without further ado, let’s just jump straight into it, shall we?


Physiology of Modafinil

In order to discuss the length of time Modafinil takes to kick in, it’s important for us to first understand how it works.

Modafinil interacts with the neurotransmitter histamine as well as a variety of receptors that act on different chemicals and hormones throughout the body.

Since these modifications take place throughout the body, there are many different effects which will be discussed more in detail below.

Modafinil is NOT an Amphetamine

First off, let’s get something straight, because there is a lot of confusion surrounding this.

Modafinil is not an amphetamine, and is therefore not addictive like many other prescription smart drugs out there such as Adderall and Ritalin.

The small molecular structure of Modafinil allows it to stay in the body for long periods of time.

This has unfortunately led to a widespread misconception that Modafinil is an amphetamine and thus can become addictive.

Most pharmaceutical companies have recognized this and have made efforts to highlight the fact that Modafinil is not an amphetamine in their advertising information.


How long does it take for Modafinil to work & to reach its peak?

Alright, so we know that Modafinil is not an amphetamine, but how long does it take for it to begin working?

If you look at the half-life of Modafinil (the time it takes for a substance to lose 50% of its original concentration) then the average time taken to kick in is 15.1+/-5.3 hours, which is pretty good for any medicine.

But what about the peak blood concentration (the time taken for the maximum amount of Modafinil to be absorbed into the bloodstream)?

This happens anywhere between 1-4 hours.

Now, this isn’t exactly a “peak” blood concentration, because the active ingredients have to build up in your blood until its peak levels are reached.

The good news is that it usually only takes about 2-3 hours for Modafinil to reach its peak concentration, so that means it generally takes less than 5 hours before you feel the effects of Modafinil.


How to make Modafinil work faster & get the best results

One of the best ways to make Modafinil work faster is to take a dose with a source of caffeine, like coffee.

This is because the two substances work synergistically, and both enhance each other when combined.

Caffeine will allow it to kick in much faster and stronger than it would alone.

Another way you can speed up the process even more is by taking it on an empty stomach.

Since caffeine is a diuretic it will act as a stimulator, and the Modafinil will act as an enhancer, so you can get quite an effective dose.

The trick is to take about 200mg of Modafinil, and then drink some coffee.

This way you’ll still have about 4-5 hours before it reaches its peak blood concentration (within just 2-3 hours), but it should be enough to give you results.


How much Modafinil is too much?

If you take too much Modafinil, you’re going to feel like a Zombie, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing lol.

Some people actually prefer Modafinil to cocaine because they can function without the jittery feeling and crashing comedown that cocaine can cause (not to mention how terribly bad and addicting coke is).

Modafinil is also safer than coffee because there are no withdrawal symptoms from Modafinil when taken at low doses.

The negative effects generally manifest themselves between 2-5 hours after taking the dose, while the stimulatory effect of Modafinil (and caffeine) manifests itself within 25 minutes after ingesting it.


Safety precautions for using Modafinil (and other smart drugs)

If you are going to use pharmaceutical-grade smart drugs such as Modafinil, then you should be very careful about the doses and how often you’re taking them.

You should not take more than 200mg per day, and you should not take it more than 2-3 times a week.

It’s also important to note that you must be at least 18 years of age, and it is absolutely crucial that you use Modafinil only as prescribed by your physician (or according to the instructions on the smart drug label).

Also, remember that Modafinil is not an amphetamine, so don’t expect it to increase the amount of dopamine or norepinephrine in your brain.

This is actually a myth perpetuated by pharmaceutical companies in order for you to think that you can take higher doses without seeing any negative side effects.


How long does Modafinil stay in your system?

As mentioned before, the half-life of Modafinil is about 15 hours (this means that it will take about 15 hours for the amount in your body to decrease by half).

The problem with the half-life is that it doesn’t take into account the time it takes for Modafinil to reach its peak blood concentration.

Once it reaches the peak concentration, this can actually be a problem because of the half-life.

For example, if you take 200mg of Modafinil and then don’t notice any effects for an hour, you might think that it isn’t working and decide to take another dose.

The problem here is that once it reaches your peak blood concentration, there’s no going backā€¦ so to speak.


What other factors can affect how fast it works?

Aside from dosage, there are also metabolic factors which can affect how fast it takes for Modafinil to work.

For example, if you are a vegetarian, then you will need to take the time to adjust your diet to get enough protein in your diet because it takes longer for your body to break down proteins.

This is why most vegetarians often find that they get the best results when they combine this drug with caffeine.

You should also take into account age, weight, metabolism, diet and other factors that might affect your body.

That being said, this is not an exact science and all of your results will not be the same if you take this drug more than once.


Drug Interactions with Modafinil

It is important to note that since Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent, it is a well-known cause of many biochemical reactions in the body.

These reactions can cause unwanted side effects such as nervousness or anxiety, so it’s important that you take Modafinil under the supervision of a physician.

As far as drug interactions go, Modafinil doesn’t really have too many that are concerning.

That being said, it should NEVER be taken with MAOIs (antidepressants) or SSRIs because it can lead to a high level of drowsiness as well as exacerbate any underlying mental issues you might have (depression, mania etc.)

You also shouldn’t take Modafinil with Fluconazole (antifungal drug) or Paroxetine (an antidepressant) without first consulting your physician.


Supplements to take with Modafinil

Aside from caffeine and protein there are many other things you can take with this drug that will enhance the effects.

These include:

Vitamin B6 – This is an example of a cofactor which allows Modafinil to function more efficiently at the same time as it increases the blood level of Modafinil.

Phenylpiracetam – This is one of the newer smart drugs available today and also an ampakine.

It is a central nervous system stimulant that can work synergistically with Modafinil.

Alpha GPC – This is another great example of a cholinergic, and it works by increasing the amount of acetylcholine which is involved in memory formation.

It also works to improve cognitive function in people who have impaired thinking processes or slow mental functioning.

The scientific research on Alpha GPC suggests that it can improve memory and learning ability.

Rhodiola Rosea – One of the most popular nootropics out there, this plant extract is a great example of a adaptogen.

It has been used for centuries to help people adapt to stressful situations, but when you combine it with Modafinil you will get double the effect of each.

The great thing about this supplement is that it reduces the effects of anxiety as well as fatigue.

In Summary

Modafinil is a very potent and fast-acting smart drug that should not be taken lightly.

One of the reasons why it’s so popular is because it’s approved for use in almost every country in the world, so it’s a fairly safe drug to use.

Although there are some negative side effects which can arise from using it, many people report that it has increased their ability to focus, accomplish tasks and even become productive and helpful throughout the day when using Modafinil.

If you plan on using Modafinil, it’s important to remember not to take more than 200mg, no more than 2-3 times a week.

You should also keep in mind that the peak blood concentration will occur between 1-4 hours after taking the dose (so don’t plan on going out until you feel the effects of Modafinil kicking in).

The compound will stay active in your system anywhere from 15-25 hours after taking the dose, so it will take some time before it’s completely out of your body.

You should also keep in mind that Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent so you should only take if you really need it.


Read Also: My Top 3 Favourite Nootropics Of All Time



  1. (A review on modafinil: the characteristics, function, and use in critical care)
  2. (Practical Use and Risk of Modafinil, a Novel Waking Drug)
  3. (Mechanisms of modafinil: A review of current research)
  4. (A systematic review of modafinil: Potential clinical uses and mechanisms of action)
  5. (The neurobiology of modafinil as an enhancer of cognitive performance and a potential treatment for substance use disorders)

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