Modafinil belongs to the class of drugs called “smart drugs” or psychostimulants. These medications can significantly improve concentration, cognitive skills, and also have a stimulating effect on the nervous system, allowing to increase patients’ efficiency and reduce the need for sleep.
The active ingredient of the drug (modafinil) is a psychostimulant produced in the 1970s by Cephalon Inc. and intended to treat narcolepsy. Provigil was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998, and still is an excellent alternative to caffeine, amphetamine, and other popular stimulants of synthetic origin.
Large-scale clinical trials demonstrated that Modafinil increases the level of serotonin in the anterior cortex and amygdala and stimulates an increased ejection from the synaptic gaps of dopamine, norepinephrine, and other monoamines. Under the influence of the drug, the hypothalamus intensively produces histamine and causes the activation of alpha-1 receptors.
What does Modafinil do?
One of the most important and pronounced effects is an increase in concentration, cognitive functions, and the assimilation and accommodation of knowledge. Although Modafinil is not an antidepressant and does not cause euphoria like some illegal stimulants, it can have a profoundly positive impact on mood and anxiety.
As mentioned above, initially Modafinil (Provigil) was developed to treat narcolepsy and obstructive sleep apnea. It eliminates the effects of the chronic lack of sleep and drowsiness that occur as a result of the consequent shifts work. Unlike amphetamine, which causes euphoria and side effects in the form of hangover and addiction, Modafinil significantly improves concentration and performance without side effects. The drug is used in military and space missions.
What is Modafinil used for?
Scientists suggest that the drug could be used to treat dependence on cocaine and some other addictive stimulants. The drug is able to cope with the withdrawal symptoms, but a positive result is not guaranteed and depends on a number of psycho-emotional factors.
Numerous clinical trials have confirmed that the drug reduces appetite and promotes intensive weight loss. Modafinil also demonstrates outstanding results in the therapy of cognitive impairment, is used to improve memory, and eliminates excessive daytime fatigue and drowsiness that are caused by primary biliary cirrhosis.
Since 2004, Modafinil tablets have been used to treat adolescents and children suffering from hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder. Modafinil and its analogs like Provigil are currently used to alleviate symptoms of multiple sclerosis such as neurological fatigue and depressive conditions.
Modafinil should not be used by children, despite the fact that the results of the studies demonstrated the relative safety of the drug for adolescents and children aged 9 to 17 years.