In the past two decades, there has been a great interest in the use of what are called nootropics, or “smart drugs”, to give their users an edge in the accomplishment of tasks requiring enhanced cognitive ability and a strong focus on the task at hand. No doubt you, too would like to augment your intelligence and ability to stay alert for an extended period of time!
In the fast-paced, demanding world in which we live today, sometimes it just does not seem possible to keep up with the tasks expected of us every single day. For as long as people have had these demands, we have tried various supplements to stimulate ourselves to remain wakeful and alert to better accomplish those tasks. Caffeine is the classic example, used for centuries in coffee, tea, and other natural sources to provide an energy boost. Drugs such as cocaine have also been around for a long time, and in the twentieth century amphetamines became extremely popular to help people stay awake and alert, but also carried with them many detrimental side-effects.
In the twenty-first century, Modafinil has become the drug of choice to maintain a state of wakefulness and alertness, without the side-effects that gave amphetamines a bad name. It works in a dramatically different way from those earlier drugs, as it produces monoamines which stimulate the hypothalamus to produce more of the hormones which control your sleep patterns. In other words, it’s a kinder, gentler way to keep awake and focused!
While it was first developed to treat those suffering from narcolepsy, research has shown that it has many benefits for the treatment of diseases such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, myotonic dystrophy, multiple sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy, and Parkinson’s disease. It has even proven successful as a therapy for methamphetamine abuse and geriatric memory loss, and some people have used it successfully as part of a weight loss program, as it can help decrease caloric intake by as much as 38% a day.
Most people know Modafinil as the drug of choice for students wanting to stay awake to write a paper or study for exams, or professionals who need to extend their working day well beyond the limits of their natural wakefulness and alertness, or members of the military whose tasks such as piloting a plane for long hours or overnight sentry duty cannot be safely accomplished without Modafinil’s help.
Studies have shown that Modafinil, when used responsibly, is safe, effective, and has a beneficial impact on cognitive abilities. It is a huge step forward in the development of smart drugs, and is being used successfully by people all around the world. Is it the right nootropic for you?
While today Modafinil is primarily known as a study aid and cognitive enhancer, it was originally developed to target a specific sleep disorder, narcolepsy, which causes its sufferers to drop off to sleep at any time, and when awake to be excessively drowsy. In the late 1970’s in France, neurophysiology professor Michel Jouvet at Lafon Laboratories developed a drug called Adrafinal to help those people stay awake during daytime. Lafon Laboratories later developed a different version which was metabolised more easily and was less likely to cause liver damage, called Modafinil.
Before then, amphetamines had been the drug of choice for such conditions, and also for people who, while not suffering from narcolepsy or associated sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnoea or shift work sleep disorder, wanted or needed to stay awake, including students, long-distance drivers, and air force pilots.
However, amphetamines have some serious side-effects that made it less desirable than Modafinil. They are extremely addictive, can cause anxiety, and interfere with falling asleep at night. Modafinil has none of those side-effects. It was approved as a treatment for narcolepsy in France in 1994, and in 1998 in the United States, with the FDA approving its use for sleep apnoea and shift work sleep disorder in 2003.
The American pharmaceutical company Cephalon leased the rights to Modafinil from Lafon in 1993. When the original patent for Modafinil expired in 2007, Cephalon got it extended, but from 2012 on, it has been legal to produce generic versions of Modafinil.
Even before it was approved for use in France, the French Air Force was experimenting with its effectiveness in the Gulf War in 1991. By the time of the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003, it had become the drug of choice for fighter pilots. Many studies have concluded that it is an effective way to ensure wakefulness in military personnel. It is routinely given to fighter pilots, paratroopers, and naval personnel in the armed forces of countries including the United States, France, United Kingdom, India, and Canada. It is seen as safer than amphetamines, which were considered a contributing factor in the friendly-fire death incident in Afghanistan in 2004, when American fighter pilots who had taken amphetamines dropped a bomb on Canadian troops, killing four of them.
A Canadian study found that Modafinil could increase endurance by 30% in athletes, and it became popular to use in the early 2000’s to improve performance. Athletes such as the American baseball player Barry Bonds and several American track and field champions, including 2003 100-metres world champion Kelli White were found to have used them. Modafinil was banned for use by the World Anti-Doping Agency as a performance-enhancing drug just before the 2004 Summer Olympics, and remains on the banned list today. However, many non-competitive athletes continue to use them to make it possible to extend training sessions beyond what would otherwise be possible: maybe they can help you!
Recent scientific studies:
In a 2015 study, Dr Ruairidh Battleday of the University of Oxford, and Dr Anna-Katharine Brem of Harvard Medical School, after reviewing twenty-four studies conducted from 1990–2014, concluded that the evidence clearly shows that Modafinil is a cognitive enhancer with negligible side-effects, and that it can be truly called the first real “smart drug”. In fact, they found that the benefits of using Modafinil increased along with the length and complexity of the tasks being performed.
Here are the commonest brands of Modafinil:
Provigil was the original brand of Modafinil released to the public, produced by Cephalon. It is available in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, Israel, and Finland.
Modalert is manufactured by Sun Pharma in Mumbai, India, and is mostly sold to customers in the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada. It has a film coating for extended release over a longer period.
Provake is the generic brand of Modafinil most commonly sold in India. It is manufactured by Ranbaxy Laboratories in Gurgaon, Haryana, India, a part of Solus. It was the first generic version of Modafinil.
Modvigil is manufactured by Hab Pharma in India. It is sold in Australia and New Zealand.
Modapro is another Indian brand of Modafinil, made by Cipla in Mumbai, India.
Modiodal is manufactured by Hilltop Chemist in the United States. It is sold in France, Denmark, Greece, Cyprus, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, and Japan.
Alertec is manufactured by Shire Pharma Canada, and is sold in Canada and Ecuador.
Adrafinil, the precursor to Modafinil, is still available, and without a prescription in many countries. In larger doses, it can have the same effect as Modafinil, but the body has to first convert the Adrafinil to the Modafinil form. However, that conversion can cause damage to the liver, and so is not recommended for frequent use.
When Modafinil is prescribed for narcolepsy, the dosage is 200-400 mg per day, divided into two dosages, taken first thing in the morning and then at noon. The dosage usually starts at 200 mg and is gradually increased to 400 mg until the physician is satisfied that the patient is reaping the full benefits of the medication. For obstructive sleep apnoea, the standard dosage is 200 mg a day, taken in the morning. Shift work sleep disorder sufferers are instructed to take their 200 mg an hour before they start their work shift.
Using Modafinil as a brain enhancer
When Modafinil is taken to enhance cognitive ability, it is recommended that you start with 100 mg in the morning, and then a further 100 mg, if necessary, at noon. Modafinil remains in the system for 15 hours, leaving you ready to sleep normally when your bedtime comes around.
However, different people react differently to the drug, depending on weight and body chemistry, and the tasks facing them on any given day. Whereas a woman of 140 pounds juggling the normal stresses of working and caring for her family might find 50 mg at noon and an additional 25 mg at 5 pm sufficient for her needs, a student staying up all night writing an essay or studying for an exam might need more than 200 mg, spread out over 24 hours.
Often 4 mg per kilogram of body weight is recommended as a daily dose. Studies indicate that anything more than 600 mg a day is not safe; a 1999 study found that dosages of 800 mg a day led to increased blood pressure and heart rate, and should be avoided. It is recommended to start with a low dose and work up until you achieve the desired results for you in alertness, increased cognitive function, and wakefulness.
The practice of “stacking” or combining cognitive enhancement drugs and supplements to increase effectiveness is very popular, and there are many possible combinations suggested in chat rooms and forums on the Internet. Not all of them are a good idea.
Caffeine has been used for centuries as a drug which helps alleviate sleepiness. Often taken as a cup of coffee or tea, it can also be ingested in capsule form. Caffeine and Modafinil can be an effective combination. Some evidence exists, in fact, that Modafinil helps clear caffeine more quickly from the body, since it stimulates the production of the liver enzyme CYP3A4, which metabolizes caffeine, along with other drugs.
Many people suggest taking caffeine to augment the effects of Modafinil, but it needs to be used with caution. It is important to carefully monitor your intake of caffeine when using Modafinil. Too much caffeine in combination with Modafinil could lead to nervousness, insomnia, headaches, and dizziness. You should not exceed 100 mg from all sources in a day.
Piperine or Bioprene is derived from the pepper vine plant, and can greatly increase the bioavailability of certain nutrients and drugs. This may include Modafinil. Some users have found success with combining 25 mg with a 200 mg dose of Modafinil. It would be best to start at a much lower rate of 5 or 10 mg and work your way up until you find a level that works for you.
L-Theanine is derived from green tea, and can be used to temper the effects of Modafinil. It can ease the occasional feelings of anxiety or jitteriness that some people experience with Modafinil, and some swear by its ability to increase creative thought in conjunction with the focus obtained from Modafinil. 200 mg with the Modafinil, or taken later as needed, seems to be effective.
The B-complex vitamins, especially B2, B6, and B12, can help maintain energy levels and promote mental acuity. They also contribute to dopamine production which augments the effect of the Modafinil. Besides, it’s always a good idea to take your vitamins!
L-tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid which can have significant benefits when taken with Modafinil. It helps to regulate epinephrine and norepinephrine levels, which can lower stress levels, which can sometimes be elevated by Modafinil.
Oxiracetam from the racetam group of nootropics, is often used as a study aid, as it boosts intelligence levels, memory, and energy levels. When combined with Modafinil, the two provide strong benefits. Another racetam that is often used is Aniracetam. It is important to include a choline supplement to keep up acetylcholine levels, as the racetams deplete this in the body, leading to severe headaches.
There are many more combinations or stacks that are being experimented with to make the most out of the effects of Modafinil. It is important to approach any of these combinations with caution; start slow with low dosages until you know what impact the combinations will have on you.
Binding agents also influence the efficacy of a drug. While they are non-medicinal ingredients, they are important to help deliver the drug effectively. While Cephalon uses lactose in its Provigil, most Indian manufacturers use cellulose, which fewer people are allergic to.
Most users of Modafinil do not experience any negative side-effects, but some have been noted in a few users:
- loss of appetite
- back pain
- elevated heart rate or palpitations
- difficulty sleeping
- stuffy or runny nose
- upset stomach and throwing up
In some cases, simply reducing the dosage will eliminate the symptom.
More serious symptoms of an adverse reaction include:
- dizziness or fainting
- mood swings
- chronic sleepiness
- signs of liver problems (such as yellowing of the eyes or skin, abdominal pain, darkened urine)
- skin rash
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should stop using Modafinil and consult with a doctor.
The most serious reactions are:
- chest pain
- signs of severe allergic reaction, including the swelling of airways
- fever, blisters, and skin peeling off. This is called Steven-Johnson syndrome and is extremely serious. It can lead the Toxic Shock Syndrome.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical help immediately.
Negative interaction with foods and other drugs
Modafinil can interact negatively with some foods and other drugs, and so those should be avoided while using Modafinil.
Grapefruit can have a serious effect on how Modafinil is removed by the system after ingestion. It can build up in the body and lead to serious problems. Anyone taking Modafinil should avoid eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice.
Alcohol should not be consumed while taking Modafinil, or in very strict moderation. It can have varying negative effects. Some users report that the combination intensifies the effect of the Modafinil, extending the period of wakefulness well into the desired sleep period. Others have experienced a much-decreased tolerance to alcohol, leading to much quicker inebriation. Most worrying is that some people have experienced black-out periods, where while they have been wide awake, walking and talking, they later have no memory of these periods of time. Overall, great care should be taken in the consumption of alcohol on days that you have taken Modafinil.
Hormonal Birth Control Methods may not be as effective when taken in conjunction with Modafinil. Barrier methods such as diaphragms and condoms should be used as well for complete protection
One of the reasons that you should always obtain medical advice before using Modafinil is so that a doctor and pharmacist can review the other medications you take so that they can determine whether it is safe for you to use Modafinil in conjunction with those medications.
Who shouldn’t take it: Pre-existing health conditions
Heart disease: There has been some evidence that people with a history of left ventricular hypertrophy, mitral valve prolapse or arrhythmia should avoid the use of Modafinil.
Decreased Liver Function: Because Modafinil is metabolized in the liver, it could potentially cause some issues. While it puts less stress on the liver than Adrafinil, which has to be broken down in the liver to become Modafinil, it still could pose a risk for those suffering from liver disease, and should be avoided.
Seizure disorder: Since Modafinil interacts with the central nervous system, it can cause seizures in those who have a pre-existing condition. If a patient who has suffered previously with seizures wishes to try Modafinil, it should be under close supervision, and use should be discontinued if there are any signs of Modafinil exacerbating the condition.
Mental illness: Modafinil should not be used by someone with anxiety or agitation disorders.
Pregnancy and Breast-feeding: No studies have been conducted regarding the safety of using Modafinil by pregnant or lactating mothers. Its use should be suspended for the duration of the pregnancy and breast-feeding.
There are different laws on obtaining and using Modafinil, depending on where you live. In Mexico, for instance, no prescription is necessary. On the other hand, almost any use of Modafinil in Russia and China, even with a prescription, is illegal.
In the United Kingdom and many other countries, it can be obtained legally with a prescription for conditions such as narcolepsy. It is not prescribed for cognitive enhancement use.
In 2016, there have been some drastic changes to the British laws regarding Modafinil and other nootropic drugs. The new Psychoactive Substances Act has outlawed the production, supply, import, export and possibly even possession of any drug which “by stimulating or depressing the person’s central nervous system, [affects] the person’s mental functioning or emotional state.” However, since Modafinil is also classified as a “medicinal product”, it is still legal to import it.
Under the new law it is still not legal to be using Modafinil without a prescription, and the penalties go as high as one year in prison for a first-time offense. So, it is a good idea to not carry it around on your person. This makes the use of a discreet and reliable source even more necessary in the United Kingdom today.
When you have decided that you wish to use Modafinil for its cognitive enhancement properties, you should take the time to research your various options to obtain it as easily as possible, while at the same time ensuring that your retailer can guarantee that what you receive will be safe and effective. Not all brands are made alike.
Without a prescription, you will have to look to mail-order sources from abroad to get your Modafinil. There are many retailers available, but you need to be confident that the source that you select will deliver to you the most reliable brand of Modafinil on the market in a discreet and timely manner.
You need to be aware of which brand of Modafinil you are buying. If a retailer cannot confirm which factory has produced their stock, you should not purchase from that source. Modalert, manufactured by Sun Pharma in India, is the brand approved for use by NHS England, and has a UK office in London.
Modafinil may be a safe drug, but it is still a drug, and you should take precautions to ensure that it is safe for you to use. It is therefore a good idea to have your medical history checked over by a medical doctor, and the order checked over by a pharmacist as well. A good supplier will do this for you.
No doubt, if you are ordering a supply of Modafinil from abroad, you want it to be delivered as promptly as possible. Take this into account when you are selecting a supplier. The best suppliers will offer you a guaranteed delivery date, and also a refund or redelivery if your parcel gets stuck in customs.
Price is an important consideration. You want a supplier who can offer you a price guarantee. This is an issue when your shipment goes through customs and you can suddenly be landed with an import duty bill.
Finally, given the legal complexities surrounding the importation and use of Modafinil, it is of paramount importance to have a supplier who understands the laws regarding it. You want your shipment to be able to make it through Customs and be delivered to you quickly and discreetly.
So, why order from brainsupplements.co.uk?
- Uses a reliable supplier, Sun Pharma, for Modalert, the same brand used by the NHS
- Guarantees your despatch within 24 hours of receiving an order
- Money back guarantee
- Free Delivery
- Ensures delivery in discreet packaging