Side effects of Modafinil

2nd April 2019

Nicknamed the ‘smart drug’, Modafinil is a powerful nootropic and eugeroic drug that promotes daytime wakefulness. It’s licensed to be used in the treatment of narcolepsy; a chronic and fairly rare condition that sees sufferers falling asleep, uncontrollably, at random times during the day. And while the condition may be pretty uncommon (affecting only 25,000 people in the UK), use of Modafinil certainly isn’t.

Because of its ability to promote daytime wakefulness, Modafinil is continuously compared to the NZT-48 pill in the film, Limitless, where Bradley Cooper takes a pill that allows him to learn languages, beat the stock market and essentially become a new kind of superhuman. While Modafinil isn’t some sort of magic pill, its ability to increase efficiency and boost focus does make it easy to see where the comparison comes from.

Side effects of Modafinil

No drugs are without side effects though. The most common side effect when taking Modafinil is Insomnia, which makes sense seeing as the drug is quite literally intended to keep you awake. Modafinil stays in your system for 10-15 hours after taking it so in order to avoid problems sleeping, be sure to take it at least 10 hours before you plan on going to bed.

If you have problems falling asleep, you may be suffering from Insomnia. If you are diagnosed with Insomnia, your doctor may prescribe you strong sleeping medication. Prescription sleeping tablets may be able to assist you to receive a good night's sleep.

Another common side effect is headaches, which some people can’t seem to avoid while others don’t get them at all. These headaches can be caused by the way the drug actually works in the brain, but more often than not it is a knock-on effect from being dehydrated. Modafinil allows users to become very focused on what they’re doing, which means they often forget to drink enough water at the same time. You should be aiming for 2 litres of water a day, whether you’re taking Modafinil or not.

Like with any drug, Modafinil can also cause diarrhoea or other stomach problems; this is a common side effect of any medication because the gut is sensitive and all medicines contain chemicals and foreign substances that the body can struggle to process normally. Although it’s sometimes hard to avoid, taking tablets (like the Modafinil one) at the same time as food can lower your risk of suffering from digestive issues.

Other side effects of Modafinil to be aware of include dry mouth, poor appetite and anxiety. If you are ever worried about any side effects you are experiencing then you should contact a doctor. You should also contact a doctor or go to your nearest emergency department immediately if you notice any serious side effects such as hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, chest pains or signs of an allergic reaction (like skin rashes or swelling in the mouth and throat).