Modafinil Side Effects: What we know so far

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In modern times, the use of nootropics has seen a massive surge. Individuals are increasingly turning to nootropic consumption as a means of stress relief amid their hectic lifestyles. Hence, it’s paramount to be aware of the side effects of Modafinil

While popular in its own right, caution should be taken when venturing down this road, for nootropics do not come without their own share of side effects. Of course, nootropics, by definition, have significantly milder ones than other substances.

Of the large variety available in the market today, Modafinil is one of the most widely consumed nootropics worldwide. However, it, too, is not safe from the tell-tale lurker of side effects. Of course, the Modafinil side effects are significantly milder and less risky than Adderall or Ritalin. Hence its categorization as a schedule IV substance, while the latter two are marked as schedule II.

Let us take a closer look at what we can ascertain about the side effects of Modafinil so far, and how to practice safe consumption. But before we go any further, it is a good idea to know the basics of Modafinil itself.

Modafinil – What is it?

Modafinil, which is most popularly known by its brand name of Provigil (the first brand and the one that’s officially prescribed in the US), is the synthesized version of the active metabolite. It contains both right-handed and left-handed enantiomers in what makes a racemic mix. These qualities make Modafinil an effective medication, one that can work efficiently. Staple uses of Modafinil are as a cognitive and wakefulness enhancer as well as a substance that improves memory retention and focus. Common generic versions of the drug are sold under the names of Modalert and Modvigil. Armodafinil is available as Waklert and Artvigil. As a side-note, its effects have been noted to be milder than Modafinil.

While Modafinil is a nootropic that has been certified as being fit for human consumption, it is not completely without the possibility of side effects. In order to be better geared for combatting these effects, it is a good idea to be aware of them as this makes prevention easier. Let us take a closer look.

Acute side effects of Modafinil

Modafinil consumption has been linked to several serious side effects, although most of these have proven to be rare in their occurrence.

However, like any stimulating substance, Modafinil does feature mild side effects which can be avoided through responsible use.

The most common of these include:

–      Headaches

–      Dizziness

–      Nausea

–      Diarrhea

–      Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

–      Nervousness

–      Anxiety

–      Agitation

–      Dry Mouth

–      Sleep-related problems, such as insomnia 

–      Backache

–      Vomiting

–      Decreased Appetite 

–      Agitation 

However, while highly unlikely, some can also experience slightly more serious effects, which would require them to seek prompt medical directive. These can be:

–      Fever

–      Bleeding

–      Depression

–      Chest Pains

–      Irregular Heartbeat

–      Confusion

–      Hallucinations 

–      Vision problems 

–      Dyskinesia (a movement disorder)

–      Asthma

–      Anaphylaxis and Angioedema (specific allergic reactions) 

–      Suicidal Tendencies 

–      Water Retention

–      Heartburn 

–      High Blood Pressure

–      High Blood Sugar

–      Peeling Skin

–      Blistering Skin

–      Hives

–      Skin Rash

Although these side effects can cause worry, they should not put off an individual from Modafinil consumption as the chance of them appearing is extremely low. The best course of action is to consult a medical professional before starting the nootropic and to consult them again in case of any signs of discomfort appearing. 

Long-term side effects

While we have emphasized time and time again that, in a general sense, Modafinil is a safe nootropic choice, this does not mean that it does not have the potential to have severely deteriorative effects. Prime among these is the development of long-term side effects. Consistent consumption of the nootropic can prompt significant physical and mental reliance that reflects the impacts of habit.

Although this is more likely to apply to those with a history of addiction issues, first-time people can likewise be influenced. To curtail this from happening, it is highly recommended that users limit their daily consumption to a maximum of 400mg, after which Modafinil has been deemed harmful for the human body. 

Precautions and preventive measures

So, now that we have outlined the main side effects associated with Modafinil consumption, it is time to look at the precautions. What can you do to protect yourself from experiencing these side effects?

Well, the first step is to seek proper medical consultation from a licensed practitioner before you start consuming the drug. In this way, your doctor can guide you about the best way for you to consume Modafinil so as to minimize the chances of it having adverse effects. 

It is a general rule that those consuming nootropics should cut off alcohol consumption as the two do not tend to mix well. Similarly, pregnant and lactating mothers are advised not to take Modafinil as it could have undesirable effects for the young or unborn child.

When it comes to prevention, there are some easy steps individuals can take to ensure that they only experience the benefits of Modafinil. Some of the best are:

1.    Have a healthy diet

Eat right, and you will be good to go! Try to have a balanced food intake that includes food from all nutritional groups. A strong and healthy body will be better able to resist long hours of focus and attention dedicated to whatever it is you’re taking Modafinil for.

2.    Water, water, and water

Water is a necessary part of life and should be consumed in abundance, especially before and during the Modafinil expereience. Individuals taking Modafinil should aim to drink around 2.5-3 liters of water a day. Modafinil dehydrates you, which could lead to headaches, irritability and nausea. Most people who experience either of the three symptoms do so because they haven’t gotten their necessary water supply. 

3.    Get in some exercise!

Having an agile body and good stamina is key to experiencing the positives of Modafinil. A stronger and fitter body is more resourceful, hence your mind is more likely to draw out its benefits. 

So, there you have it, a complete rundown on what we know about the side effects of Modafinil so far, and what is the best way to go about consuming the drug. 


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