Modafinil, whose chemical name is Benzhydrylsulfinylacetamide, is a relatively new stimulant developed by the French company Lafon Laboratories under the trade name Provigil, which can also be marketed as Mododal, Vigil, Alertec.
It is a psychostimulant approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of narcolepsy, a physiological disorder characterized by sudden and uncontrollable attacks of deep sleep, mental exhaustion or chronic drowsiness. Its effects and potential in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, depression and concentration disorders are studied.
Modafinil belongs to psychoactive substances in the class of the so-called Eugerotic or “positive stimulants”, which cause the mental state of alertness and concentration. The substance acts as an alpha-1-adrenoreceptor agonist and as such increases vigor, vitality and improves overall mood by increasing the release of dopamine in the central nervous system and altering local levels of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate.
As a stimulant, it has many advantages compared to amphetamines – it does not create extreme states of euphoria, has fewer side effects due to a more moderate stimulation of the central nervous system, minimal effect on blood pressure and does not affect normal sleep.
For these reasons, Provigil is also used by the US Army to stimulate energy, endurance and concentration in pilots and infantry when required to perform long missions without the ability to sleep. The results are excellent cognitive abilities even after 40 hours without sleep, without any of the side effects of the previously used amphetamine Dexedrine – shaking, overworking, misjudgments and sudden “crashes” and breakdowns of the nervous system.
Among bodybuilders it is used for its excellent results at the same time as a stimulant, a means of focus and concentration, and increased endurance. A study conducted in Canada in 2004 showed that a dose of 4 mg. per kg. weight or 200 mg. for a 100-pound man for 3 hours increases the maximum aerobic power of an ergometer by 85%, as well as endurance by 30% with increased volume of oxygen uptake, which also causes fatigue during exercise.
The intake allows for periodic bursts of power, such as competing in bullet pushing, hammer throwing or spear throwing, maintaining high levels of performance throughout the day and increased aerobic capacity, and thus endurance. Its doping activity was revealed by the International Olympic Committee in 2004 and its use was banned, and its presence was detected by standard urine tests.
The recommended effective dose for both men and women is 100-400 mg taken 2-3 hours before a race. At high doses, the possible side effects of nausea, headache, nervousness and tension become more noticeable. Therefore, it is advisable to start the intake from the lower limit and gradually increase it by 50-100 mg. to the limit of tolerance.
Provigil was later approved for the treatment of two other sleep conditions: sleep disorder shift work and obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome.
While the cause is different in both conditions, they both have a common side effect, excessive drowsiness. As seen with use in narcoleptics, Provigil is able to increase alertness and reduce excessive somnolence in people with sleep-shifting disorder and obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome.
One of the most popular off-label applications of Provigil uses it as an alternative to conventional stimulants prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Many different studies across all age groups (children, adolescents, and adults) have shown that Provigil improves symptoms of ADHD, better than placebo, as measured by improved results from various ADHD tests, including a DSM-IV ADHD Behavior Checklist, Conners Rating Scales, Clinical Clinical Impressions-Improvement Scale, and ADHD Rating Scale-IV School and Home Versions.
Provigil has also been tested for effectiveness as a treatment against traditional ADHD drugs, dextroamphetamine. It was noted that both active drugs significantly improved outcomes in DSM-IV ADHD Checklist Adult Behavior compared with placebo patients.
Provigil patients produced a similar result of improvements as dextroamphetamine patients, and researchers have suggested that it should be considered a viable alternative to the traditional one.
Another time, a total recommended dose may be too high for some people. Try taking a lower dose for a while (at least one week) then slowly increase back to a regular dose if you need to
Insomnia is a common side effect, which is usually only due to the dose of time. Provigil has a very long half-life (12-15 hours) and can cause sleep disturbances if taken too late in the day. Try to take doses in the morning to avoid insomnia.