Does modafinil help with ADHD?

Does modafinil help with ADHD's picture

Modafinil is a wonder drug that has gained a lot of attention lately. Although developed for treating sleeping disorders, Modafinil is now famous for its anti-sleep effect on healthy individuals making Modafinil for sale be widely available online. Students and professionals pursuing a high-performing, fast-paced life choose to take Modafinil to boost their energy and focus. For this reason, Modafinil is now considered one of the few effective Smart Drugs available on the market.

Modafinil is also prescribed for several disorders apart from sleeping disorders like narcolepsy. Specialists now advise taking Modafinil to help individuals with ADHD and MDD. The most typical prescription drug for ADHD is Ritalin. The mode of action of Modafinil and Ritalin are very similar so it does make sense to prescribe Modafinil for ADHD treatment.


This blog would help understand ADHD and the workings of ADHD medication to better asses whether Modafinil can help with ADHD.

ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Before we delve into a deeper discussion about modafinil, how it works and whether or not it can help with ADHD, let us briefly discuss ADHD first.

ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a cognitive disorder. Individuals with ADHD find it difficult to maintain focus or stay calm. They are also observed to be impulsive and restless. Aside from these obvious signs, people with ADHD also struggle with time management, stress management, and following instructions properly. The onset of ADHD takes place in childhood but without therapy can persist in adulthood.

The causality of ADHD is entirely unknown to us at the moment. It is thought to have a genetic basis. However, poor lifestyle choices during pregnancy, or premature birth can also cause ADHD in children. Much like the cause, the mechanism of ADHD is also unknown. We are yet to know what biochemical functions in the body occur differently in people with ADHD that results in them having ADHD.

As a result of this, there is no definite treatment for ADHD. Some even say that ADHD is not a disorder altogether and does not need treatment. It is possible that people with ADHD simply have a different kind of cognitive process that sets them apart from people without ADHD. At any rate, people with ADHD definitely struggle with fitting into regular life in society. To help this, the primary strategy involves providing cognitive and behavioral therapy (CBT) and prescribing medications to reduce symptoms. Since people with ADHD struggle to focus, it is common to prescribe them narcotics that help in gaining and maintaining attention. One such drug is Ritalin. However, Ritalin also has strong risks of dependency, which is why experts are continuously looking for a safer alternative than Ritalin to manage ADHD.

In the next section. Let us understand how modafinil words to judge if it is suitable to treat ADHD.

Modafinil - a brief history

Modafinil is a eugeroic drug first developed in the 1970s. Eugeroics are a new group of drugs that promote wakefulness. Before eugeroics, there were no CNS stimulants available specifically targeted to promote wakefulness. Modafinil is the first eugeroic to have been developed. By the 1990s, the use of Modafinil as a treatment drug for sleeping disorders had become prevalent. In 2004, the FDA approved Modafinil for mass use in the US.

As I briefly mentioned, Modafinil is a CNS stimulant. What is a CNS stimulant? A CNS stimulant or central nervous system stimulator is any drug or molecule capable to stimulate the brain. By stimulation, it simply means that these molecules can activate the brain or specific functions of the brain. As a CNS stimulant, modafinil is responsible for stimulating wakefulness. Further studies have shown that modafinil can also stimulate cognition, especially memory and focus.

The fact that Modafinil can enhance focus makes it a suitable treatment for ADHD as individuals afflicted with ADHD mainly struggle with maintaining focus. More important, the CNS stimulation carried out by Modafinil takes place through a simple process of manipulating the dopaminergic pathway in the body. The most prevalent treatment drug for ADHD, Ritalin also functions by manipulating the amount of dopamine in the body.

Let us now understand how modafinil alters the dopaminergic pathway in the body so we can later assess whether it is suitable for treating ADHD.

The working of Modafinil

We now know that Modafinil is a psychostimulant medication that affects the dopaminergic pathway in our bodies. To be more specific, modafinil works by altering the amount of dopamine present in the neural synapses.

Dopamine is a small molecule that works are a chemical messenger, neurotransmitter, and neuromodulator in the body. The neurotransmitter activity of dopamine involves starting or relaying messages of activation, focus, pleasure, and reward in the nervous system.

Given that Modafinil is a stimulant, that is a molecule that helps switch on specific activities in the brain, while the primary function of dopamine is also to switch on the above-mentioned functions in the brain, it can be said that Modafinil increases the amount of dopamine in the brain. While modafinil does not help produce dopamine, its pharmacokinetics does involve increasing the perceived amount of dopamine in the brain.

Modafinil inhibits the reuptake of dopamine from the neural synapses making dopamine stay in the synapses for longer, which in turn, prolongs the effects of dopamine in the body. For this reason, modafinil is considered a DRI, that is, Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor. Receptors in the neurons remove dopamine from the neural synapses as soon as dopamine has relayed the necessary message. Modafinil binds to these receptors in delays the reuptake process. Dopamine stays in the neural synapse for a longer time, elucidating its effect for a longer time. As inducing focus is one of the important functions of dopamine, taking modafinil helps increase focus.

Conclusion - Does modafinil help with ADHD?

The answer is that modafinil works well to treat ADHD. Modafinil is now widely prescribed by medical professionals all over the world to assist people with ADHD in better regulating their attention span. Modafinil is a superior medication to Ritalin since it has no dangers of dependence or addiction. Ritalin became a street drug due to its addiction problems, and its distribution was heavily regulated. While performing the very same function as Ritalin, modafinil is better than Ritalin.


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