Modafinil: the new wonder drug?

A pill that makes you super-productive, and sleep completely redundant. Is there a catch? and Tom Hobohm talk to students who’ve tried it

France in the late eighties. Professor Micheal Jouvet, in a laboratory of the firm Lafon, makes a discovery. He has taken an antidepressant and adapted it to find that the resulting pill, when he takes it, has some incredible effects. He becomes super-productive, and when Baccalaureate students take it he sees a marked improvement on their studying before exams. The pill is hailed as “amazing”, christened modafinil and, in 1998, is approved by the FDA and used in the US to treat narcolepsy. The approval is later extended for modafinil to be used in the treatment of shift work sleep disorder and sleep apnoea, thus widening the exposure of the public to the drug from 250 000 to over 20 million.

Naturally, a product that enhances productivity, massively reduces the need for sleep (a couple of hours per night is apparently more than sufficient) and improves working memory is prime fodder for the black market. And so modafinil spread, amongst office workers, those in high powered jobs for whom eight hours spent asleep are eight hours wasted, and found its way across the Atlantic, before long falling into the hands of those most diligent and pressurised workers, Oxbridge students. From Oxford and Cambridge, it found its way north, to the University of York campus.

We spoke to three York students, Charles, Nick and David, who spent just under a week taking modafinil, noting its effects and seeing whether it did in fact live up to its reputation as a sleep-banishing wonder drug. A friend of theirs who has chosen to be referred to as ‘Tim’, had taken it before.

“I first took the drug towards the end of the Easter term. It’s the stress of being a Science student that made me want to try it. I’m a fresher, but my exams count towards my final grade this year. Keeping up a first year lifestyle and getting a first seemed pretty much impossible any other way”.

Although it sounds like an ‘extreme’ version of Proplus, or other more hardcore substances, modafinil is not thought to be an amphetamine-like stimulant. It is considered by researchers to be more a ‘wakefullness promoting agent’, and besides the more directly sleep-related uses it has medically, has also been applied successfully in the treatment of cocaine addiction, depression, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia. Charles says: “Choosing to sleep was always an option. The drug didn’t make us feel like we were stuck in a constant state of wakefulness. It was more like we just chose not to sleep”.

As Tim describes it, the effects appear miraculous: “In a typical modafinil-fuelled night, I take the drug with dinner, go to the pub with my friends and maybe watch a film, before getting in at around 1am and working for another eight hours. It’s a productive way of living; it lets me be sociable and academic at the same time.”

For the others the experience was entirely new. Compared to other substances which might find their way into student hands during their time at university, modafinil appears at first glance relatively harmless. It does not increase your heart rate, or your risk of getting cancer, and there is no evidence that it affects the likelihood of developing degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. A closer look reveals a few short term problems however. Some users develop skin rashes or headaches, and the body (if not the mind) still exhibits signs of sleep deprivation, which can become serious for those who stay on the drug for too long. Modafinil apparently also dramatically reduces the effectiveness of oral contraceptives. All being male, and undeterred by the possibility of rashes and headaches, all three agreed to take it for the same five days, noting the effects on themselves and comparing these with the other’s experience.

“She stayed awake for sixty hours, sleeping for just four. She ended up fainting from exhaustion and woke up blind”

At first there was no obvious difference. Charles says “People talk about the modafinil buzz, but there’s no high in the traditional sense. I was able to concentrate more easily, like my memory was improved. I could stay awake all night and do nothing but work without getting bored. I wasn’t ‘high’ so much as ‘enhanced’”.

On the first evening, each took a 200mg tablet of modafinil. According to Charles, “After an hour, none of us felt any different. But then I started to feel markedly more alert. I couldn’t be sure it wasn’t a placebo, but then Nick became uncannily good at computer games, beating his friends three times in a row at Pro Evo. It was no coincidence.” David by contrast maintains that at first he found it difficult to concentrate on anything, claiming he felt “too energetic”. Modafinil coincidentally, is a banned stimulant in competitive sports; various athletes who took in the 2004 Olympics were later stripped of their medals after testing positive for the drug.

It’s clear why modafinil has also proven so popular in the academic pressure cookers of Oxford and Cambridge. Varsity (the Cambridge student paper), reported that around one in ten students studying there have admitted taking prescription medication such as modafinil without a prescription. The obvious applications of modafinil academically range from using it in an exam situation to increase alertness and thought processes, or whilst writing essays or sitting open exams to maximise the potential number of working hours. A member of the Board of Examiners at Cambridge nevertheless reserved judgement as to whether taking modafinil could be considered cheating until it was catagorically proven that taking the drug would put students “at an unfair advantage”.

To judge from what David, Charles and Tim say, it almost certainly would. Charles remembers the first night ‘under the influence’: “Nick and I did our seminar reading in record time, then headed to a friend’s for drinks and a film. By 7am I was starting to wonder if the whole thing was just a placebo and in reality I’d just pulled an all nighter. I was keen to see how true this was, so I went to bed and didn’t set an alarm, to see how long I’d sleep naturally. I woke up at 8.30 and felt fully refreshed, as if I’d had a full eight hours. I got to my 9.15 seminar on time and found it easy to grasp even the most complicated issues that were discussed.” Nick furthermore reports that all of the work he did without sleep was done “as well, or better as it would have been if I’d been ‘clean’”.

According to a government study quoted in The Times, modafinil, whilst increasing wakefulness, concentration, planning and decision making skills, gives subjects “no obviously toxic effects”. It is nevertheless known to be a habit-forming drug. Academic and Welfare officer Charlie Leyland is vociferous in her condemnation of its use, saying, “I would be wary of any performance enhancement that claims to reduce people’s need to sleep, a clear meddling with a person’s normal biological clock, which is bound to come with either short- or long-term repercussions. I can’t stand the thought of students coming out the other end of the uni-machine with a less independent work ethic than on entering.”

On their second night both David and Charles continued to be “ridiculously productive”, Charles after a total of ninety minutes sleep, David still not having slept at all. Amongst other things David managed to “sort out my photography – took loads of photographs the night before, complete a blog entry, do some writing and all of my seminar work”. In the spirit of scientific exploration, Charles decided to check his reactions “using the highly scientific ‘one person drops a ruler and the other catches it between their fingers’ method. My reaction times were twice as good at 2am than they had been at 6pm. My heart rate was the same, and I felt good in myself”.

There is a catch, however, as a student in York found to her cost. A friend describes: “With a Friday psychology exam looming, she stayed awake nearly sixty hours, sleeping for just four. She aced the exam, it’s true, but later in the evening she fainted from exhaustion and woke up blind. It took the longest two minutes of all our lives for her eyesight to return fully, and she developed shakes like I’ve never seen, which we couldn’t stop. She was fine the next morning, but it’s still a powerful warning”.

For Nick too the experience had already turned sour, the “short term repercussions” becoming all-too evident. After twenty hours without sleep, as the first day drew to its close, he was mid conversation with David when “my nose started to bleed uncontrollably. Blood was gushing, I completely freaked out”.

“I was mid-conversation and my nose started to bleed uncontrollably, blood was gushing. I completely freaked out”

Despite this unsettling experience Nick returned to a computer room and worked until the morning, simply plugging his nose with tissues as it continued to bleed. The following morning at breakfast with David, after a “completely erratic line of conversation”, Nick says he felt “drunk and paranoid”. Although the others at that stage had displayed no similar signs of disturbance, Nick felt that it would be prudent not to take any more pills himself.

Modafinil remains a comparatively little-understood drug, and people can react to it in a variety of ways. After he’d slept, Nick says, “I can’t really remember precisely how I spent the night. My whole feeling of how time was passing completely changed, it was like everything was happening more quickly”. Other smaller individual differences included those in appetite. Modafinil can have an appetite-suppressing effect, but of the three I spoke to, this was only the case for Charles.

“I found my appetite seriously diminished by taking modafinil. I took to skipping breakfast in favour of a light lunch late in the afternoon.” David experienced the opposite effect. “I ate like an animal. I had all three meals during the day, then two more at night, and a cheese toastie break at 5am.”

It appears that as long as you sleep for a short time each day, whether you feel tired nor not, then the ‘rebound’ coming off modafinil is negligible. A major danger seems to be the fact that whilst users feel no need to sleep, that does not mean that the need is not there. Charles, who slept for about two hours per night over the course of the ‘experiment’, finished with no discernible ill effects. For David on the other hand, it was a different story. By day four, having cracked and taken an hour’s sleep the previous night, the modafinil lifestyle had begun to take its toll. “My mental reasoning was extremely poor. I struggled to focus on conversations and remember what I was talking about, and I missed the day’s seminars. My eyesight went weird and I started wearing glasses, which I hadn’t had to do for ten months.”

“Physically, he looked rough, says Charles. He was completely exhausted, his cheeks were pasty and grey, and his body was exhibiting clear signs of sleep deprivation.”

That evening, David’s body finally caved. Stumbling back to his room after meeting some friends he passed out, waking up on the floor 14 hours later with no memory of how he got there. Charles chose not to take modafinil for a fifth night in a row, since, inconveniently, it does not mix well with alcohol, and he wanted to go to the Willow. Naturally though as a drug with a largely student fan base, this does happen from time to time. Tim, as a more ‘regular’ user has tried this before, and when probed by Charles to describe the experience would go no further than to say (mysteriously) “It fucks you up man”. He did however warn Charles Nick and David not to try it themselves.

Though Nick stopped early, it is possible that further symptoms may have manifested had he been less prudent. It is all too tempting to take full advantage of the perceived ability to continue indefinitely without sleep, as David learned to his cost. Friends of theirs, having heard about their experiment, tried modafinil for themselves.

“One friend tried the drug just once, and was plagued by serious, mind numbing headaches. Another couldn’t sleep for two days, despite spending 8 hours in bed per night trying.

38 comments

  1. I think I need to get it, now — it’s the most promising thing I’ve heard in my entire life. Let us hope I can buy it over the counter (as I assume they did); and if I can’t, I’m bound to get it by any means necessary.

  2. I took it to get my final year project done in time, managed to stay up the last 4 days before the deadline, fully concentrated – wouldn’t do it to that extent again tho. It’s available over the Internet (if you look hard enough). Congrats on being mentioned in h+ magazine btw!

  3. Not recommending it’s use or anything but a quote like: “I was mid-conversation and my nose started to bleed uncontrollably, blood was gushing. I completely freaked out” is slightly alarmist.

  4. The bottom line “It appears that as long as you sleep for a short time each day, whether you feel tired nor not, then the ‘rebound’ coming off modafinil is negligible.” is quite accurate in my experience. It’s not something to take daily but for an occasional all-nighter, long drive, or getting up after way too little sleep it is much more efficient than caffeine.

  5. To take in it smallish doses seems to be something very attractive with this drug.

    As someone who has bought higher concentration drugs over the internet than required, because they were less than half the price from this particular web pharmacy than the other extortionate pharmacies, I’m used to cutting pills in half very carefully with a razor sharp knife.

    I’m guessing that many people are like me in wanting the waking effects but certainly not wanting to be kept awake well into sleep time. There’s a time for exam cramming and that time doesn’t bear any resemblance to the rest of life. Incidentally, I did something like the big cramming described at the end of a long course- in fact not far from twice the 60 hours with about 2 hours sleep per night. Without anything but proplus and sometimes some coffee. Very hard and I nearly didn’t do it and nearly didn’t graduate at all probably! Because I remembered nearly nothing about the subject!!! before this emergency last minute stuff.

  6. I’ve got a lot of experience with this drug. I have adhd and I am a physics student. I was origionally given concerta (same as ritaline), but its too stimulating.

    I disagree you could stay up all night and feel great. You feel rough (belive me!). I tried it, and you still feel awful; awake but awful.

    If you keep taking this drug, but trying to sleep as normal, you find rem sleep stolen off you each night. as time goes by, even when trying to sleep normally, the reduced rem begins to catch up with you. You’ll know this when you appear to sleep but feel rough in the morning.

    I would reccommend this drug for short stints of high output work, so long as you stick to your sleep and eating routines. But I feel using it to stay up all night is an assult on your body. I would highly reccommend against it!

    I swap between concerta and this drug for control of my ADHD symptoms, so that I can work more productively in a subject that is extremely difficult for someone without ADHD.

  7. 29 Sep ’09 at 3:25 pm

    meursault caulfield

    another modafinil promoting post. Why don’t you just say “it’s the best thing after kryptonite” or something. Modafinil is nice and I have used it about 20 times since 2004. But I haven’t seen anything to this effect. It’s NOT -THAT- good. and what about the “mad anger” side effect. The crazy reactions with alcohol. no studies on that. it’s just students and pilots taking and claiming there is zero side effect.

  8. I tried Modafinil (both in its Adrafinil form and “pure”) and although it enhanced my ability to focus, it had absolutely no effect on my desire to sleep. Actually, after 8 hours of taking one pill I’d feel totally worn out.

  9. Has anyone taken it for severe sleep apnoea, which is hindering me from working at my fairly demanding (mentally and physically) job?

  10. I take Modafinil as a treatment for sleep apnoea. Normally, I take one 200mg tablet first thing in the morning. For me the effect lasts about 8 hours, which is a good one-shift number. Sometimes I take one and a half tablets or a half-pill at noon. And if I feel I’ve had a good night’s sleep, I don’t take it at all.

    Anyone who stays awake for days on end will suffer adverse effects.
    The only side effect I notice is that while there is no “buzz”, there can be a slight hangover effect – I sometimes get a dull headache as it wears off in the evening.

    Lisalot – I recommend you ask your doctor, I also recommend you give it a try.

  11. Also, I have taken it as needed (about 20 days a month) for a couple years and there is no addiction or habit-forming tendency with Modafinil.

  12. I take modafinil for a sleep disorder which makes me move around in my sleep in excessive amounts, so some days I have a horrible night sleep (even after 8+ hours) and I need the modafinil to keep me from falling asleep during the day. However, there are days I don’t need it as I feel like I’ve had good night’s sleep (like C Wright Said) and I haven’t had any side effects except lack of appetite, which is a money saver!

    I’m using the drug for what It’s intended for – to increase your alertness during waking hours, not to fool your brain into thinking that it doesn’t need to sleep for days on end. I can imagine using it to fuel an all nighter would be worth it – but you’d probably need to catch up on the lost sleep the next night.

    I’d also like to say that I think it was a risky experiment to do without medical supervision or consultation beforehand.

    Disclosure: Biochemistry student with interest in pharmacodynamics

  13. Medofinil can cause myocarditis and later deteriorate your heart function. No kidding here.

    Medical student

  14. 14 Jan ’10 at 7:53 pm

    Surinder Bakhshi

    Medofinil

    What about the dosage?Nobody mentions it!

  15. Info. from the BNF about the drug:

    Side-effects
    dry mouth, appetite changes, gastro-intestinal disturbances (including nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, and dyspepsia), abdominal pain; tachycardia, vasodilatation, chest pain, palpitation; headache (uncommonly migraine), anxiety, sleep disturbances, dizziness, drowsiness, depression, confusion, paraesthesia, asthenia; visual disturbances; less commonly flatulence, reflux, vomiting, mouth ulcers, glossitis, dysphagia, taste disturbance, weight changes, hypertension, hypotension, bradycardia, arrhythmia, peripheral oedema, hypercholesterolaemia, rhinitis, dyspnoea, epistaxis, dyskinesia, amnesia, emotional lability, tremor, decreased libido, agitation, aggression, hyperglycaemia, thirst, urinary frequency, menstrual disturbances, eosinophilia, leucopenia, myasthenia, muscle cramps, hypertonia, myalgia, arthralgia, dry eye, sinusitis, acne, sweating, rash, and pruritus; also reported psychosis, mania, delusions, hallucinations, suicidal ideation, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis

    Dose
    Narcolepsy and obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome, adult over 12 years, initially 200 mg daily, either in 2 divided doses morning and at noon or as a single dose in the morning, dose adjusted according to response to 200–400 mg daily in 2 divided doses or as a single dose; elderly initiate at 100 mg daily; child 5–12 years, see BNF for Children

    Chronic shift work sleep disorder, 200 mg taken 1 hour before the start of the work shift

  16. I have been taking the 100mg for S.A.D (Seasonal Affected Disorder) and I feel great,I must admit though i do sleep less than i used to i now sleep for 4 hours rather than my usual 6 hours and still feel great i have been able to concentrate more on my University work and as a Mature student it is a help, Side affects for me are dry mouth and sometimes headaches,I told a friend of mine about it and he said he and a group of 4 friends took it while in Iraq to keep them alert on night duty,I also heard about pilots using it rather than Amphetamine based or Caffeine based products to keep them alert so it sounds as though it has other use’s too.

  17. I’m using it for about 2 weeks now to help me concentrate on my studies.Drinking coffee and smoking while using the drug was a really bad idea as my heartbeat sped up more than normally and my hands were a little shaken. So no other substances for me while on medication..

  18. Coupled with piracetam this seems to be working well. Just make sure you take it with a choline source (Alpha-GPC) or acetylcholinerase inhibitor (Huperzine-A) for full effect and you’ll be remember so much more of what you study it’s unreal.

  19. took a 200mg, people should mention the concentration, tablet today for first time. after 1.5 hours my heart rate increased ALOT to the point in which it was worringly comparable to my cocaine experience, which wore off after 30-45 minutes but my heart rate was still high. i felt fantastic and unbeliveably energetic though it did not increase my concentration actually it seemed to do the opposite I tended to google off topic things alot and ended up doing only 1.5 pages of my lab report intro, though i seemed to obsess over each sentence until I felt it was perfect.

    after 10 hours I felt still very energetic, my legs kept shaking of their own will and I had a very dull but irratating headache. I think I will skip tommorow and take 50mg the following day.

    from the provigil website it states that it could cause steven johnson syndrome, when epidermis and dermis begin to seperate as the immune system turns on you. though was found 1 in 1585 patients so is not overly worrying but should be stopped immediatly if a rash occurs.

    there are 4 stages of sleep remember so perhaps the test subjects are not reaching the final stages. if the final stage of sleep (REM) is not reached the neurotransmitters in the brain do not turn off therefore do not rest which will impair mental ability. also physically your body needs rest as during sleep your metabolism slows down considerably allowing muscle relaxation.

    was just checking some stuff in the library and thought i’d share though seems to have turned into a mini lecture

  20. I heard about this on BBC Radio 4 a couple of days ago and I have decided to get hold of some from an online Canadian pharmacy. I work shifts and suffer terribly with tiredness on my days off, which is a pain in the arse when I want to spend my days off doing music. I have tried various legal stimulants with varying degress of success in different combinations including caffeine, nicotine and herbal ephadrine. The ephadrine (marketed as a “herbal high”) has been the best but it’s a bit expensive, hit-and-miss and sometimes noticeably increases my heart rate, lowers the temparature of my extremeties, gives me a dry mouth and I find it a bit harsh emotionally sometimes.

    I’m hoping to get my first consignment of Modafinil before a big recording session I’m having with some old bandmates in a week or two. I want to see what effect it has on my creativity.

  21. 23 Jul ’10 at 9:40 am

    Mike Southgate

    I think Modafinil just sounds like a caffeine hit, with similar drawbacks and downfalls if your consuming about 1g a day (About 14 cups of coffee) the reality is you obtain a diminishing return on anything which overrides your natural sleep pattern.
    If you take any enhancer or stimulant, its designed as a short term gain. You cant live and breath it. The experiment above is a bit extreme, like Morgan Spurlocks 30 days and in reality if your trying to do this on a regular basis then your an idiot and if you seriously need to do this regularly then your time management and priorities probably need some work. But if your like meursault caulfield and your using this a couple of times a year and aren’t dependant upon its effects then it cant be any worse than trying to bake Nescafe and finding a vein…

  22. My husband was prescribed this for excessive daytime sleepiness after undergoing a sleep study. I can tell a difference in his mood and ambition but he decided not to continue because he felt dizzy. Has anyone else had this side effect and does it subside with use?

  23. As is true of the moral hysteria surrounding most psychoactive substances, the so-called “side effects” and “dangers” discussed in this article are in fact nothing more than the repercussions of misuse. You are not meant to use Modafinil et al in order to go without sleep. That is the whole point of the drug in fact, and the important way in which it differs from amphetamines or methedrines – it gives you the alertness, focus and super-productivity but without the tossing and turning insomnia afterwards. Why anyone would deliberately attempt to use Modafinil in order to mimic the very symptoms of insomnia that it does NOT give a person, is beyond my understanding! It seems like the author was afraid of being 100% positive about the substance and so had to introduce the tired old “drug warning” angle for (yawn) “balance”. This would have been a much more interesting article if all the silly students had been sure to get 4-5 hours sleep a night, and made sure they ate something decent every day, they could undoubtedly have continued being hyperproductive on Modafinil for a lot longer than 5 days! In fact, I have just ordered some online for that very reason. Let me explain: during my uni years in San Francisco my group of friends used high-grade crystal methedrine to become super-productive at crunch times and always aced every subject and did unbelievable feats in record time. But the forced sleep deprivation did indeed take its toll, plus many of my friends turned into hopeless speed addicts! Some died. I am very excited about a drug that can reproduce the super-focus of my meth experiences without the insomnia and crash and dead friends stuff. As I’m a writer, I pull late-nights anyway, and this will only help me. I repeat – taking it and DELIBERATELY going without sleep when the drug is specifically designed to avoid this usual stimulant side-effect is STOOOPID. Try, fail. Try again – fail better. x Love from 66witches

  24. I have hypothyroidism, it’s a condition that effects the way your body regulates energy. I am always sleeply and have been considerating this drug for some time, does anybody have a similar story? I am not sure if this will do anything for me as large amounts of caffeine doesn’t effect me.

  25. I take it regularly. Everyday. I work in the city and have a very time demanding job so the more concentration I can get the better. Here’s the deal with this medication (online w/o presciption):

    Weightloss from lack of appetite: also used as a diet pill in US. Weight loss usually accurs when pill is taken first thing on an empty stomach. However, although you don’t ‘feel’ hungry, you can still eat. And when you eat, your appetite returns to normality: i.e you can eat dinner if you had lunch. But, were you to skip breakfast and lunch because you don’t feel hungry, you’ll probably skip dinner too.

    The pill works more efficiently on empty stomach

    Do not take with alcohol. I currently take it with Cigs and Coffee = bad idea. messes your concentration. Trick with this medication to reduce side effects are SLEEP. don’t get in the habit of taking sleeping pils though – you’ll feel rotten after a few times.

    This medication makes you suicidal after a while. If you take it for 4/5days a week continually (e.g for work), your emotions will be screwed in the evenings. After about 12hours the dug works in reverse. You became very dazed and pause for a long time when having conversations with people while you try and remember what you were just saying to them a few seconds ago. It’s frustrating as people just think you’re weird or have some sort of brain disorder. Unless they’re clever enough to pick up your on drugs.

    About the suicide part; there REALLY needs to be more research on this. This medication is a mild stimullant and coupled wth caffeine and nicotine, it gives you a required ‘high’. however, the emotional imbalance experienced regularly at the end of the day is evident in many forms. When you first take it in morning, you feel happy, blissfull etc etc. High emotional state (possitve). After a taxing and mentally druelling day at work, you come home and you are mentally tired but physically awake and unable to sleep. Bring on the high emotional state: negative. I cry all the time for no reason in the evening, i snap at my partner, and I thank the Lord that I don’t own a shotgun. Because if I did, I would be dead. The drug messes with your hormones severly (which is why I also got pregnant twice while I was taking the pill; I didn’t realise this drug was stopping my contraceptive from working). You become paranoid about things, you focus on things so intently that it stops you concentrating on what’s actually important. example: my boss asked me to produce some data on a spreadsheet and give to him before a meeting that afternoon. I spent about 3 hours on and off (no steady concentration) fixing the size of the cells of the spreadsheet and making sure the colour coding of different sections matched correctly and looked nice and ironing out any faults with the borders on the page etc etc. I spent so long concentrating on this that I ran out of time to actaully put the data in the cells. See what I mean? Misplaced concentration. You only seem to be able to concentrate on things that excite you. Trust me. And once you start you loose track of time and become too fixacted on unimportant things. I could go on, but will not. More research is needed on this medications reaction to every day life for smokers, suicidal ideation and coffee.

  26. I forgot to mention the scary headaches as a side effect too.

    And the weird dreams when you don’t sleep fpr long enough. I dream about seriously weird stuff!

  27. Since experiencing a severe road accident five years ago I have suffered from manic depression, I take carbamazepine in a reasonably small dose each night before I sleep, it rids me of unecessary anxiety and allows me to focus. The only problem with this is that it makes me very drowsy, I usually don’t wakeup and become alert until around midday. which whilst holding down a 25 hour a week job and in the last year of University is not helpful. So I take Modafinil.

    My advice to anyone who is going to take it is be SENSIBLE and BE SAFE, the people on this thread and in the article who have experienced severe or unwanted side effects are people who in some form have abused this drug by mixing it with alternative stimulants such as caffeine or by trying to stay up for 4+ days on it! This really is idiotic!

    I only ever take it before 11.30am (100-200mg) otherwise I will struggle to sleep – which when on it doesn’t feel like an issue as u feel incredibly focused, calm and you produce good quality work very quickly as you do not get the normal distractions for procrastination.

    If you do start taking it, I highly recommend splitting it up, try 25mg, then 50mg, then 100mg over different days WITH decent sleep. This way you will be able to measure the effect on your body, how long it lasts and be able to use it sensibly.

    Unfortunately the main issue with this drug is that it needs to be moderated because alot of people will and obviously do abuse it by taking excessively unhealthy quantities, taking it for too long without sleep and not eating properly. Remember.. this is a drug. But one that will define me by an entire degree classification no doubt.

  28. Yep, im afraid im sold on it already, even though i havent yet worked out why i want it.

    Im sure a pocketful would be useful though, as would a pocket full of cannabis (another substance on the list of “smart drugs”).

    I suppose the govt will ban it, and only allow us to have the deathly alchohol and tobacco products which have made the so rich for centuries, but fck em…… !

  29. I’m F, 37 years old and I have exams in June. After extensive research on the net, I have decided to buy Modalert (Modafinil) and Choline/Piracetam on the internet. I have tried to get a prescription from my GP as I suffer from fatigue and my memory is poor. He tried to refer me to see a psychiatrist. I wasn’t happy with that as I’m not depressed but constantly tired and lacking in concentration. I feel that many Modafinil users have positive effect as long as they take normal dosage. It will take 7-14 days for my drugs to arrive.

  30. After reqading Jonathan Hari’s eulogy to the drug, I just got a supply of 100mg Modalert tablets from an internet pharmacy, in order to keep me awakeat work during a spell of alcohol withdrawal.

    I did 200mg yesterday afternoon about 5, and managed a fitful night’s sleep, but the wakeful spells were OK, as it didn’t bother me lying there awake as I usually do when insomniac.

    Today I did 100mg at 9am, and then another 100mg at 11, and feel remarkably focussed :-)

    I don’t think I’d continue with this regime for more than 2 or 3 days at a time though – I’m making sure I eat despite not feeling too hungry.

    Vaughan

  31. 21 Apr ’11 at 8:05 pm

    Marcel Proust

    does anyone know how the nonbranded modafinil works? ie the one which doesnt cost over 50 quid on a internet pharmacey?

  32. where can you get it?

  33. This article has convinced me to buy it, are you on commision?

  34. Hardly a critical take on the matter though then again maybe with so many doing it you could just have written a piece about accepting the drug. Although Modafinil may be the wunder-nootropic of the moment, if you look online there are enough alternatives, salbutiamine etc. and a massive community of people creating mental enhancement ‘stacks’ akin to the steroid forums. Maybe that would be more interesting than reading about three friends trying it out as a form of investigation…reminds me of the experiment in another student paper when the writer attempted to subsist on 5 apples a day.

  35. I ordered some it arrived on monday, I took and the ‘magic’ happened now the following day… it did not have the same effects. I then tried it after a break of a day and tried it today. Still not much apart from appetite suppression and people saying i looked wacked out despite sleeping properly. I will try again wi armodafinil tommorow and then try and get some work done.

    It does not seem to be anything special people… :| Infact the days it did not work i have done less work, then normal.

  36. I am on Modafinil right now. I have an exam at 9am tomorrow. an intense genetics exam no less. (my weakest subject, yr1 zoology student) I took my 1st pill (100mg) at approx 3pm and felt a bit of a speedy high for an hour, decreased appetite. just took another 100mg pill and am feeling very alert and aware. My concentration is highly improved and studying a subject i feel nothing about my understanding is increased. I am however finding it very easy to focus intently on researching the effects of modafiil rather than continuing my study on my exam subject. I am hoping to study through the eve with a couple of hours sleep before the exam. i’ll post after exam, see how i fair and whether i feel it made a difference to my performance tomorrow. focus is all good as long as it allows me to retain the information for the exam.

  37. 25 May ’11 at 12:04 pm

    funded by military research

    sounds like phet but safer. interesting though, I find baclafen does the same thing, but don’t try baclafen it is not a safe drug!

  38. Assuming that “Sophcat” is dead.

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