Is Modafinil Good for Studying?

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Modafinil, a wakefulness-promoting agent has found extensive off-label use among students and professionals globally as an ‘anti-sleep’ drug. A recent study helmed by Dr. Ruairidh Battleday from the University of Oxford and Dr. Anna-Katharine Brem from the Harvard Medical School suggests that Modafinil has a proven positive effect on enhancing cognitive capacities.

What is Modafinil?

Modafinil is a eugeroic drug, one of the first and most popular in its class. Chemically, Modafinil is a diphenylmethyl-sulfinyl acetamide molecule that functions as a central nervous system (CNS) stimulator. To be specific, Modafinil acts as a mild DRI, we will discuss this in greater detail in the next segment.


Modafinil
Source: researchgate.net

Modafinil was originally developed for treating sleeping disorders such as narcolepsy, a neurological illness where patients lose the capacity to regulate their sleep-wake cycles and become prone to oversleeping. Modafinil is also prescribed to individuals who struggle with regulating their sleep-wake cycles due to shift work. Additionally, Modafinil is also known to be effective in the treatment regimen of obstructive sleep apnea. It is an oral medication that is easily metabolized in the liver mainly by protein hydrolysis. It is a very safe drug that you can easily access since now it is possible to buy Modafinil online.

How does Modafinil work?

To put it in simple terms, Modafinil increases dopamine in the body. Dopamine is a hormone in our bodies responsible for increasing physical activity, pleasure, motivation, and memory. Naturally, more dopamine results in increased activity, alertness, and motivation to work.

If you are curious about how Modafinil manages to achieve all this, well, physicochemically, Modafinil is a Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor (DRI), as I previously mentioned. It directly causes the hypothalamus to produce an elevated amount of dopamine in the body. Additionally, Modafinil also acts as an atypical DAT-inhibitor or Dopamine Transporter inhibitor, which further assists its DRI function. Together, these affect the frontal cortex of humans and increase locomotor activity. Modafinil also shows a marked increase in extracellular dopamine concentration in the body.

Although it enhances the prefrontal cortex activity, Modafinil dampens the activity of the amygdala, a structure present at the very center of the brain. Among other things, the amygdala is responsible for causing the fear response to environmental stress. So, to put it simply, by decreasing the amygdala activity, Modafinil allows you to avoid panicking under stressful conditions.


Modafinil work
Source: europepmc.org

Does Modafinil make you smarter?

Modafinil is proven to reduce drowsiness and make people more alert. For this reason, the drug is widely used by professionals as well as students during long work hours to keep off sleep. Especially during exam preparation and assignment submission periods, students from pioneering universities and colleges are reported to actively take Modafinil. A question naturally arose if Modafinil has any further good effects on the brain capacity besides simply staving off sleep.

Dopamine, as we now know, is responsible for enhancing physical activity, focus, motivation, and pleasure in our bodies. So, does Modafinil result in increasing all these by increasing dopamine production? The answer is yes, and no. A recent study by Dr. Ruairidh Battleday from the University of Oxford and Dr. Anna-Katharine Brem from the Harvard Medical School has shed a lot of light on this matter. Dr. Battleday and Dr. Brenn went through a large number of studies conducted between 1990 to 2014 testing whether Modafinil has positive effects on human cognitive capacity.

In other words, does Modafinil make you smarter? A whopping 70% of these studies suggested that Modafinil has a marked positive effect in increasing cognitive performance. Especially decision-making, planning, and attention-focusing capabilities are found to be enhanced in individuals who have taken Modafinil. However, no prominent effect on increasing memory has been established yet.

Does Modafinil affect the brain?

Yes! But not in a bad way. As we discussed, Modafinil directly affects the central nervous system, which is the conscious, thinking, and processing part of our brains. It does so by increasing the amount of dopamine in the body. Dopamine, in turn, makes you active, focused, and motivated.

It is normal to think that something that affects the brain might be harmful in the long term. Especially since we already know of certain DAT-inhibitor substances to be narcotics. One of the major benefits of Modafinil is that it is clinically proven to be non-narcotic. Additionally, it is also found to run next to no risks of drug dependency or drug addiction. This is because Modafinil is a very mild DRI and an atypical DAT inhibitor.

This implies you can take Modafinil only when necessary and discontinue taking it at any point without worrying about having withdrawal symptoms or any other unpleasant effects.

Is it okay to take Modafinil daily?

The permitted daily dosage of Modafinil is a maximum of 200mg. It is perfectly safe to take up to 200mg of Modafinil without worrying about side effects and overdosing. In fact, experts suggest that to make the most out of your Modafinil dosages, take your Modafinil pills daily at a fixed time. Modafinil is an oral medication. Take Modafinil with water as whole pills without breaking or crushing them. Remember to buy Modafinil pills suited to your prescription dosage and never take more than 200mg a day without a physician’s instructions.

What are the side effects of Modafinil?

Modafinil is not known to have any mild or severe side effects among the majority of the population. However, under extreme conditions, as well as in some unusual cases, Modafinil can show some side effects. Side effects of Modafinil mainly involve headache, back pain, excessive thirst and urination, sweating, blurry vision, difficulty breathing, and increased heart rate. If any of these conditions occur after taking Modafinil, it is advisable to immediately seek medical help. Modafinil is not known to be a common allergenic, however, in some rare cases, individuals with a Modafinil allergy have shown signs of skin rashes and redness.

As Modafinil directly increases body activity, it can increase heart rate. Therefore, individuals with chronic heart problems should consult a doctor before taking Modafinil. Individuals with chronic liver problems are also advised the same. Modafinil is not known to adversely affect pregnant or lactating mothers, but again, it is safe to consult a doctor before taking Modafinil during pregnancy or breastfeeding periods.

Modafinil can have some unpleasant effects when taken with caffeine or alcohol. It would be wise to not consume these with Modafinil. Lastly, it is also highly advised to not drive while one is under the effect of Modafinil.

Final Words

Modafinil is now considered a life-changing drug for individuals to strive to remain focused and motivated during their work hours to achieve maximum productivity. The drug also does wonders for people looking to fix their sleep cycles. With sleeping disorders on the rise owing to the modern fast lifestyle, Modafinil is finding a larger user base. However, it is also important to understand that Modafinil is not a substitute for actual sleep. Once your crunch time is over, make sure to sleep it off to fulfil your resting needs.

Lastly, there is increasing proof that Modafinil enhances cognitive capacities besides warding off sleep. This means it can be next to a magic pill for students during exam preparations as well as for the rest of the year!

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