Using the smart drug Modafinil to study is becoming increasingly common in academia. There has been increased interest in this drug due to widespread reports of everyone from White House staff members to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs using Modafinil (Provigil) for the purposes of enhancing their cognitive faculties and allow them to work for extended amounts of time.

Is it safe to take Modalert for memory, learning, and other academic pursuits?

Like many other drugs, a medication that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for one purpose can potentially provide other benefits to patients. Even if the drug has not been approved by the FDA for the other purposes, physicians can at their discretion still prescribe the medication for those “off-label” benefits.

For thousands of years, all different kinds of people have searched for drugs as well as other substances to increase their mental powers and memory. There are some health care professionals who believe that when Modafinil is used for memory it provides excellent benefits that help to foster recall and learning.

Others believe that the drug might have side effects that relate to withdrawal and tolerance. When coffee isn’t sufficient some individuals are tempted to use cognition enhancers.

How It Works:how spelled on wooden tiles

  • Enhances energy, motivation, and focus
  • Promotes processing and mental acuity
  • Stimulate wakefulness inside of the brain
  • Dosage: Between 100 to 200 mg daily
  • Safety Some side effects have been reported

History and Uses of Modafinil (Provigil) 

A French professor by the name of Michel Jouvet created Modafinil during the 1970s. Modafinil is actually a general form of Provigil – a brand name product.

In 1986 Modafinil was used experimentally for treating narcolepsy and was approved by the FDA in 1998 for the disorder. Modafinil, as a type of wakefulness-promoting agent, is used for treating excessive daytime sleepiness that is associated with narcolepsy

Another thing that Modafinil is prescribed for is hypopnea syndrome/sleep apnea (OSAHS). The medication is taken by others in pill form for treating shift work sleep disorder.

Given the fact that the drug was first approved by the FDA for treating narcolepsy, it has been increasingly prescribed by physicians as off-label for addressing issues including depression, multiple sclerosis, attention span, and memory.

People without sleep disorders who take the drug think that it improves numerous mental functions. There are some students that also view it as a so-called “study drug” and buy it to improve their academic success and boost their test scores.


Modafinil for Studying

Although it has not been indicated officially for those effects, there is evidence that suggests that when the medication is prescribed as Provigil in healthy people it can enhance cognition. Cognition enhancing drugs improve mental functions such as planning, making decisions, perception, memory, language, learning, and attention.

Modafinil’s exact action mechanism is not known. Research studies have not shown it to act as a stimulant drug, and it also doesn’t activate the body’s sympathetic nervous system.

Modafinil in numerous research studies has been shown to affect various neurotransmitter and hormone systems within the brain, including Glutamate, GABA, Serotonin, and catecholamines (i.e. Norepinephrine, Epinephrine, Dopamine).

girl fell asleep while studying

A 2007 review of earlier studies found that Modafinil use, in general, displayed cognitive enhancement specifically in episodic and working memory areas. Researchers from a different review where 24 different studies were analyzed from 1990 through 2014 stated that it was suggested by the body of evidence that Modafinil might affect executive and higher cognitive functions, particularly when difficult or complex tasks were being completed.

It was concluded by a German clinical trial that Provigil produced “subtle” benefits to boost memory. A lot of the information that suggested that major memory improvements are created by the drug have been relayed by word of mouth.

It appears that Modafinil improves concentration and helps an individual remain focused on a specific task. However, it doesn’t appear to directly affect memory’s physiology if the person is not sleep deprived.

For people who have poor memories or are lacking in sufficient sleep, there seems to be a greater improvement when Modafinil is considered for learning and memory activities. That is why so many students attempt to obtain Modafinil to take when studying for a major exam.

The greatest improvement takes place in the short-term span of verbal memory. It is suggested by studies that some individuals show improved visual memory and spatial planning.


Research Into Modafinil’s Effects

coffee cup labelled with wake up

There was an informal survey conducted that included 1,400 participants who stated they had taken Ritalin, Provigil, or beta-blockers in order to stimulate their concentration, focus, or memory.

Out of the group, 44 percent had taken Provigil. The satisfied users had either purchased it online or obtained the medication via prescription for off-label purposes.

It has been concluded by some small studies that Modafinil slows an individual down instead of increasing cognitive abilities. There was a double-blind placebo-controlled study with 64 volunteer subjects that were considered to be healthy and young. Modafinil was taken by half of the subject. The other half were given a placebo. Afterward, they all took sentence completion and reading tests.

Although the two groups of subjects had results that were fairly equal, it those who took Modafinil a bit longer to answer the test questions. That suggested that although alertness is improved by the drug in some individual, it doesn’t necessarily mean their performance was improved.

Due to limited evidence on the effectiveness of Waklert 150 and its other stronger forms in treating memory issues that are linked to attention deficits, the drug is considered to be an alternative treatment for certain conditions like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Some individuals with ADHD who were prescribed Ritalin or Adderall and who experienced negative side effects might be interested in speaking to their doctor about having Modafinil prescribed for the off-label use. In the United States, there are more prescriptions written for off-label users than approved on-label uses.


How Modafinil Affects Memory and Focus

To date, researchers have not been able to precisely isolate how brain functions are affected by the drug that involves cognitive processes.

Neuropharmacology is the study of medications interacting with brain neurons involving sensation, thinking, behavior, and mood. There has been a great deal of interest in studying the brain and modafinil.

Although it is still not known what the exact action mechanism is, numerous research believe that the drug’s activity centers within the ventrolateral nucleus of the thalamus, the amygdala’s central nucleus, and the subregions of the hippocampus. A couple of animal studies have suggested that modafinil is capable of boosting glutaminergic transmission within the thalamus and hippocampus.

Modafinil’s effects, unlike amphetamines as well as other stimulants affecting the central nervous system, do not appear to be mediated by dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter.

Modafinil is called a nootropic drug. It is referred to as a so-called smart drug as well. These drugs increase an individual’s motivation, learning abilities, memory, and attention. Those who advocate all-label usage of this medication state that it improves an individual’s performance who is suffering from not enough sleep or who is fatigued. Many looked for cheaper meathods of getting their modafinil needs, and many have found satisfaction in Modvigil as a great alternative.

The way the medication works has not been extensive research to the point that scientists can list all of the various factors that govern the way it operates. It is suggested by some research that it affects memory and learning by changing the levels of histamine within the central nervous system, which results in elevated locomotor and histamine activity.

Using Modafinil to study is very appealing to college students who think that it helps them focus intently on their academic work. It allows them to sustain cognitive levels that are higher than normal while sleeping significantly less. It is an example of where a medication that is designed for treating a disorder being used by healthy individuals for other reasons.


Modafinil for Studying Side Effects and Dosage

Since taking Modafinil to study is an off-label usage, there are no recommended dosages that are available. For prescribed conditions like shift work disorder and narcolepsy individuals frequently take 200 mg per day.

Reviews from individuals who use Modafinil for other reasons often start with a lower dosage of about 100 mg and increase their dosage up to 200 mg per day as necessary.

Although MOdafinil might be used by some people on a regular or daily basis, most individuals state that they don’t take it every single day. Instead, they take a dose whenever they need it to study for an exam or for a very busy day at work.

For users that do not relate to sleep disorders, many individuals take their dosage early on in the day, since Modafinil promotes wakefulness. When it is taken later on in the day and too close to going to bed it may cause insomnia.

The FDA has approved Modafinil for use as a drug in adults. The FDA has not approved its use in children.

There was a study conducted on the use of a form of Modafinil called Sparlon to improve attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms in children. A severe mucous membrane and skin side effect called Stevens-Johnson syndrome was seen potentially in a small percentage of the study participants. Since that time it has not been recommended for use in children.

The most common side effects experienced by adults when taking Modafinil are nervousness, nausea, headaches, and anxiety. More serious and rare side effects include rash (might be a sign of having Stevens-Johnson syndrome), peeling, severe skin blistering, muscle weakness, pain, numbness, severe tingling, and vomiting. If you are experiencing any of these side effects, see your doctor.


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