What is modafinil?
Modafinil (2-(benzhydrylsulfinyl)acetamide) is a stimulant drug marketed as a ‘wakefulness promoting agent’ and is generally used in the treatment of narcolepsy, sleep apnoea/hypopnea (shift work sleeping disorder), excessive tiredness and fatigue. It assists sufferers by increasing alertness and improving cognitive performance. Although the exact mechanism of operation is unclear, it is thought to work by altering the concentration of natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain.
Modafinil belongs to a larger group of substances known as nootropics. Put simply, nootropics are supplements, drugs, or functional foods, that enhance cognitive functions such as intelligence, memory, and focus. As a rule, nootropics must not be harmful, have significant side-effects or be addictive.
I’m searching for modafinil and keep coming across this stuff called armodafinil. What is it?
Armodafinil is almost the same as modafinil; as in it is also 2-(benzhydrylsulfinyl)acetamide. However, armodafinil refers the product made up purely of the R-enantiomer of 2-(benzhydrylsulfinyl)acetamide. Modafinil, on the other hand, refers to the product made up of a 50/50 mixture of both the R and S-enantiomers.
What is an enantiomer you ask? An enantiomer is essentially a mirror image of a molecule that cannot be superimposed onto the original molecule. In other words, they are the same but their structures don’t line up when placed on top of each other. One of the structures would be referred to as the S-enantiomer and the other, the R-enantiomer.
In terms of therapeutic use, being similar in structure, the main effects are said to be extremely similar between modafinil and armodafinil. However, some consumers have noticed slight differences in their action and side effects.
Under the guidance of a health care professional, be sure to research which one is right for you. Here, we’ll be focusing on modafinil only.
What products are available and what are their names?
Modafinil is marketed by many different pharmaceutical companies under various names. Here, we’ll list the most common by region.
- Australia and New Zealand – Modvigil (sometimes spelt Modavigil)
- USA, UK, some parts of Europe – Provigil
- Canada – Alertec
- India – Provake, Modalert, Modapro and Modafil
- Other parts of Europe – Modasomil, Modiodal, Vigil
If you are purchasing online, the products you will most commonly come across are Modalert and Modvigil. The difference between these two products is simply in the company that manufactures them. Modalert is manufactured by Sun Pharma, whereas Modvigil is manufactured by HAB Pharma. Both companies are based in India.
Where Can I Get Them?
Modafinilcat, a well-known supplier of modafinil, is no longer in operation. There are, of course, many other companies from which you can obtain modafinil. We’ve compiled a top 5 based on customer reviews.
The suppliers in the following table claim to ship worldwide (with some exceptions) and can definitely ship to Australia, US, and UK. We’ve also included a simple supplier review out of five and a summary of other notable features to help you with your choice. Click on the links to go to that company’s website and to find out more about cost.
Possible Modafinil Side-Effects
Of course, before purchasing modafinil, you should always consult with a health professional such as a GP.
The side-effects associated with modafinil use seem to be minimal and uncommon. However, some patients and some trials have reported side effects such as:
- Serious rash (Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, Drug Rash with Eosinophilia) and other allergic reactions,
- Multi-organ hypersensitivity reactions and associated symptoms (one fatality),
- Adverse psychiatric experiences including mania, delusions, hallucinations, and suicidal ideation,
- Adverse effects to judgment, thinking, or motor skills,
- Reduced efficacy of hormonal and steroidal contraceptives,
- Common symptoms such as headache, nausea, nervousness, rhinitis, diarrhea, back pain, anxiety, insomnia, dizziness, and dyspepsia,
- Chest pain, palpitations, dyspnoea and transient ischemic T-wave changes.
If you have one or more of these symptoms while taking modafinil, them stop taking it immediately and seek medical assistance.
- In many countries, including Australia, the US and the UK you will need a prescription from your doctor for modafinil. It is likely that your order will be held up at customs without one because it is illegal to import it without a prescription.
- There are always risks associated with buying therapeutic goods from countries other than your own, that have less stringent government requirements and quality control procedures.
- Ensure that modafinil doesn’t affect your judgement, thinking and motor skills before operating machinery or driving a motor vehicle.
- Use modafinil with caution if you have known heart defects such as myocardial infarction or angina. Also, use with caution if you have renal impairment.
- It has not been established whether modafinil is passed on to infants through milk.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and limit your caffeine while taking modafinil.
- The medicine is not approved for use on children.