Modafinil is a medication prescribed to treat narcolepsy, hypersomnia, obstructive sleep apnea and shift work sleep disorder.

Modafinil is a medication that promotes wakefulness. It’s prescribed to treat narcolepsy, hypersomnia, obstructive sleep apnea and shift work sleep disorder. Modafinil is widely used off-label as a cognitive enhancing drug. Individuals who use Modafinil as a cognitive enhancer claim that it dramatically improves focus and concentration, especially when taken to counteract fatigue.

The effects of Modafinil are long-lasting compared to other medications. The half-life of Modafinil ranges from 12 to 15 hours, although the metabolism of Modafinil can be affected by several factors, including genetic predispositions, kidney and liver health.

Allergy and hypersensitivity are the only contraindications to using Modafinil. Scientists are still trying to understand precisely how Modafinil achieves its effects. Modafinil targets several neurotransmitters, including dopamine and norepinephrine.

Modafinil Prescription Facts

Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting substance. It should be taken at the beginning of the day to avoid evening restlessness and insomnia. Common side effects of Modafinil use include headache, back pain, difficulty sleeping, upset stomach, nervousness, excitability, diarrhea and runny nose. Talk to your doctor immediately if you show signs of an allergic skin reaction. Modafinil treatment may exacerbate pre-existing liver problems. Share with your doctor if you have a history of cirrhosis or other liver complications. A history of kidney malfunction can also negatively impact the body’s metabolism of Modafinil. Patients with various cardiovascular problems may be more prone to complications.

Modafinil Regulations

Modafinil is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance in the United States due to a concern for the potential of addiction. In most other countries, Modafinil use requires a prescription but is less tightly regulated.

Modafinil is widely used by various branches of the armed forces across multiple countries. The United States Air Force prescribes Modafinil to its pilots to stay alert during long missions. Modafinil is a significant improvement to the use of amphetamines, which were commonly prescribed to pilots before the introduction of Modafinil. The French Foreign Legion, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense and astronauts aboard the International Space Station all take Modafinil to combat sleep deprivation.

Most Commonly Abused Drugs Containing Modafinil

According to several large-scale studies, frequent and long-term Modafinil use does not build tolerance. Studies were conducted on individuals taking Modafinil for 40 weeks to three years. The official word from the pharmaceutical industry is that stopping treatment does not trigger withdrawal symptoms. However, individuals frequently report that discontinuing use of Modafinil can have withdrawal-like side effects. The most common side effect of stopping Modafinil use is agitation and difficulty controlling anger. Modafinil can cause a skin reaction in hypersensitive individuals. Treatment with Modafinil has caused psychiatric reactions in a small percentage of patients.

How Modafinil Affects The Brain And Body

The exact mechanism(s) of action for Modafinil is not yet fully understood. Modafinil encourages wakefulness by promoting activity like that of amphetamine and methylphenidate. The pharmacologic profiles of these substances are distinct.

Researchers know that one of the ways Modafinil functions is by selectively inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine. Modafinil is very specific as to which dopamine transporter channels is inhibited. The reuptake of dopamine activates the release of orexin neuropeptides and histamine in certain areas of the brain, which in turn contribute to heightened arousal. Modafinil also acts on norepinephrine in the hypothalamus and on serotonin in the amygdala and frontal cortex.

Half-Life Of Modafinil

The half-life of Modafinil ranges between ten and 12 hours for most patients but can last up to 15 hours for some. Modafinil is metabolized in the liver. Its inactive metabolites are excreted in the urine.

Factors That Influence How Long Modafinil Stays In Your System

Certain genetic predispositions, poor kidney health and liver malfunction can slow the metabolism of Modafinil and increase the duration of its effects. Researchers do not yet know if long-term Modafinil use is safe and effective beyond several years of treatment.

How Long Does Modafinil Stay In Your Urine, Hair And Blood?

Depending on various factors, urinary excretion of unchanged Modafinil ranges from 0 percent to 18.7 percent. Most Modafinil is excreted as one of two major circulating metabolites: modafinil acid or modafinil sulfone. Modafinil and its metabolites may be present at testable levels in the urine for up to 30 hours following ingestion.

Modafinil and modafinil acid can be tested for in plasma, serum and urine. Modafinil is not usually tested for in routine drug screenings. Modafinil use is unlikely to cause false positives for stimulants such as amphetamines. Instrumental techniques using liquid chromatography or gas are employed to test for Modafinil is cases of automobile accidents and post-mortem analysis.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.