Modafinil 101: Basic Info, Side Effects, And Dosing

Modafinil is a psychostimulant drug indicated and used for the treatment of narcolepsy, which is a condition that causes excessive and uncontrollable sleepiness during the day, as it acts by exciting specific areas of the brain responsible for maintaining alertness, inhibiting sleep and helping to keep the person awake for a longer period of time.

A lot of these brain regions are heavily involved with dopamine.


This drug can be found in pharmacies, in the form of 100 or 200 mg tablets, under the trade names Aditral, Nuvigil, Modiodal, Zalux, Alertex, Resotyl, Vigicer, among others, sold only with a doctor’s prescription and withholding of the prescription by the pharmacy.

Modafinil should always be used with a doctor’s indication only.

And that doctor should guide the dosage and time of treatment in an individualized manner.

Why People Take Modafinil

Modafinil is indicated for the treatment of excessive and uncontrollable daytime sleepiness caused by narcolepsy, which is characterized by periods of intense sleepiness during the day, so it is common for the person to fall asleep easily anywhere, regardless of the activity being performed.

This medication helps the person stay awake longer and reduces the likelihood of uncontrollable sleep episodes by acting on the area of the brain responsible for alertness.

In recent years, this “smart pill” has gained a lot of popularity for a variety of other uses.

Many students are using Modafinil to study for exams, for example.

Other users include entrepreneurs, creative professionals, and really just anyone who wants to maximize their productivity during the day.


The modafinil tablet should be taken orally, with a glass of water, before or after a meal.

The dose normally recommended for adults is 200 mg per day (1 tablet of 200 mg), taken as a single dose in the morning, or 1 tablet of 100 mg, twice a day, it being recommended to take 1 tablet of 100 mg in the morning and another at noon, according to the doctor’s instructions.

For people that are over 65 years of age, the maximum dose should be 100 mg, in 2 doses of 50 mg each.

Modafinil starts to take effect 1 to 2 hours after ingestion, and lasts approximately 8 to 9 hours.

Possible Side Effects

The most common side effects of Modafinil that may occur during treatment are headache, dizziness, dry mouth, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, insomnia, or back pain.

Call your health care provider if you have anxiety, depression, hallucinations, aggression, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, agitation, or suicidal thoughts.

Modafinil may cause severe allergic reactions that require immediate medical attention. For this reason, stop treatment and go to the nearest emergency room if symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, feeling of tightness in the throat, swelling of the mouth, tongue or face, hives or blistering of the skin occur. See how to identify the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Also seek medical attention as soon as possible if the person has symptoms such as swelling in the legs, dark urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes, mouth ulcers, fever or difficulty swallowing.

bottle of modafinil


Modafinil should not be used by persons under 18 years of age or those with uncontrolled high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias or allergy to any of the components of the formula.

This medicine should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding, unless indicated by the physician after evaluating the benefits of the treatment for the woman and the potential risks for the baby.

In addition, it is recommended that women of childbearing age use two effective methods of contraception during treatment and even one month after the end of modafinil use, as this drug may interfere with the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill, injection or hormonal contraceptive implants.

Alcoholic beverages should not be consumed while taking this medicine.

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