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Why You Are Suffering from a Modafinil Deficiency

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People familiar with The Bulletproof Executive soon come to realize that I am obsessed with things that cause a big impact with little effort. Call it enlightented laziness or the relentless pursuit for personal perfection, if there is any difference between them. It’s time to write about Modafinil, the performance-enhancing smart drug that belongs in your bag of biohacker tricks, at least some of the time. This post shares the experience of several people who use it, including first time users and an interview with a biomedical engineer who, like me, is a long-time Modafinil user.

I’m not shy about the fact that I use smart drugs and have for years. I used Modafinil (aka Provigil) when I got my Wharton MBA while working full time at a startup that sold for $600 million. I even hazard to mention it in my LinkedIn profile which made more than a few Silicon Valley exec friends open up to me that they had used it, at least on occasion.  More and more people are becoming aware of the positive effects Modafinil can have on their cognitive performance and overall wellbeing.  Students are starting to hack their intelligence too.  There are numerous stories about college students using Modafinil to get an edge on their schoolmates. It worked for me as a student.

Unlike some college studying tricks, there’s a good deal of evidence to back up the effects of Modafinil.  It has been shown to increase your resistance to fatigue and improve your mood.  In healthy adults, Modafinil improves “fatigue levels, motivation, reaction time and vigilance.”   A study published by the University of Cambridge found Modanfil to be effective at reducing “impulse response”, i.e., bad decisions.  Modafinil even improves brain function in sleep deprived doctors.  There is some evidence Modafinil only helps people with lower IQ, but after years of experimenting (and upgrading my IQ), I can tell you this is not the case. In fact, we have another post coming up outlining how Modafinil works.

I’m a fan of using food and supplements before drugs, but unlike some health experts, I’m not dogmatic about it. I decide to use something to improve my performance or health by looking at risks and rewards. It’s the same calculation whether I’m looking at a laser to speed wound healing (really) or a food, drug, herb, or supplement.

Recently over lunch with a few friends, including a very successful television producer, a top artificial intelligence researcher, a hypnotherapist, and a published author, I shared some info about how I used Modafinil. All decided to get some (with prescriptions or legal mail order). The next week, as I expected, I had some excited phone calls.

  • In one night, the TV producer finished a proposal for the Dalai Lama Foundation that had been evading completion for months, and believes the proposal is far better than it would have otherwise been.
  • The AI expert said he was able to make new connections he hadn’t made before and suggested Modafinil should be widely available.
  • The author powered through his writer’s block and made more progress on his current book than he had in months.
  • My hypnotherapist friend felt she had huge breakthroughs in cognitive performance and made new connections in her mind on a new hypnotherapy technique she is perfecting.

These aren’t unusual responses to Modafinil. The reason you don’t often hear about them in mainstream blogs is that people are worried they will be seen as “cheating” or somehow weird. I admit it, I am cheating, and I’m weird too. But you’re reading this anyway.  I get these reports from people because I “outed” myself as a Modafinil user.

I recently interviewed Jonathan Reilly, a biochemical engineer and longstanding user of Modafinil, about his experiences with it. He eloquently explained what it did for him, and I’ve done my best to record it here.

Jonathan is a very successful biochemical and biomedical engineer in LA who works on med devices and does project management. He used modafinil for years but switched to a newer analogue of it called Nuvigil. As he explains, “I un-f*ck things for a living. On Nuvigil I can see connections in a system even when I don’t know the process I am troubleshooting.” He says it helps with systems thinking, one time letting him double the capacity of a manufacturing line in one week, even though he didn’t know much about what was being manufactured.

Interesting. Applying systems thinking to the process of upgrading myself is what led me to create the Bulletproof Executive. I have no doubt that Modafinil has helped me make some of my personal breakthroughs.

When he started taking Provigil, Jonathan says he felt like he was in a scene from “Flowers for Algernon,” the famous book about a retarded man who becomes a genius using technology.  Except Jonathan was already successful and certainly not lacking in cognitive skills. He says, “For the first time in my life I felt like I was awake; I got stuff done that I had put off, and I felt optimistic and energetic.” But he says that Nuvigil is, “like 2x Provigil.” (Sadly, I haven’t tried Nuvigil because it’s not available in Canada where I live.)

He continues, “I’m not an 8am morning person. I naturally perk up at 11 am and do great to 3:15, then nap, then I’m good from 7pm-10pm. Those aren’t hours that work for my career. Modafinil lets me go to bed normally get up and get to work functional and coherent in the morning. In my work with implantable devices, everything starts at 6:30am, so you have to be there when it’s open.”

“Career-wise Modafinil has let me work at my best at any hour of the day. I’m inquisitive, I’ll dig, I’ll write great things. It makes any time of the day high performance. I don’t have the ‘I am a great golden god’ feeling but I feel good all the time.”

“It  has let me see connections I wouldn’t have seen before. Is it because I’m more awake? Or some activated level of understanding unavailable without lots of sleep and nutrition. Without it, I’m still good, but it’s a bandwidth expander. It lets you step back and learn things. The effect doesn’t go away when the chemical leaves your blood. The connections it gives you stay with you. It helps me have a rational not emotional response to irritants.”

More reecntly, Modafinil was featured in an article from Tech Crunch titled,

How Many Silicon Valley Startup Executives Are Hopped Up On Provigil?

I have two answers, “Not enough” and “More than are admitting it.”  Here is a quote from the author,

“For me the most memorable thing was that I was about to brush my teeth and realized that instead of passing the toothpaste from one hand to the other, I had tossed it.  The effect for is an extra dose of energy or jauntiness, not a speediness.”

Another actual user of modafinil was a writer who needed to draft a proposal for the Dalai Lama Foundation.  After taking 70mg of modafinil, he smashed through his writer’s block and finished the proposal.

“I can say categorically that 1/3 of a pill (70mg) helped me break through a writer’s block I was having to complete a draft proposal for the Dalai Lama Foundation.”

As much as I love my Bulletproof Coffee and the boost in performance it gives me, I’d never trade it for my Modafinil. Both are parts of my high performance morning regimen. If you have serious energy lags during the day, or if you suffer from jet lag (and sleep hacks don’t work), or if you are just staying up late to drive somewhere, you should have Modafinil in your backpack. I’d never head out on a business trip without it
.

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  • anonymous

    This sounds great actually, but looking it up there seems to be a long list of side effects, can you relate your experiences with any chronic or occasional side-effects for those of us thinking about following your lead? Thank you.

    • Jonathan Reilly

      The only side effects I’ve encountered with Provigil was a slight bit of irritability and a low level headache after 4+ days of continuous use. When I switched to NuVigil these side effects went away and were replaced with a heightened interaction (vertigo) between NuVigil and Caffeine.

      • Stephanie

        I’ve had headaches with it too, every time I use it. I gave Modafinil what I considered a decent trial period to work out the side effects – 3 weeks – but they didn’t go away or decrease in severity. I begged my doc for the script after my R.N. best friend told me how it had changed her life so dramatically. She said she’d gone from barely being able to lift herself off the coach by 10am every day, to being a “whirling dervish”, getting so much done in a day, up until 10pm every night, then getting a beautiful, sound sleep, that her husband started calling the medication her “energy” pills and he would ensure that she was never without them, no matter what…

        I suffer from many medical ailments, including a permanent, apparently unfixable herniated disc that’s impinging on the nerve going across my entire left flank (for which I receive 70 Botox injections at a time every 10 weeks, with no anesthetic or pain block…), Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome, Gastroesophageal Reflux Syndrome, etc, etc.

        So, as you can imagine, I am on pretty heavy duty pain meds that make me pretty sleepy, and the CFS, IBS and Fibro don’t help matters at all… I thought Modafinil would be my “wonder drug” and “save” me, but it didn’t. Not by a long shot.

      • Stephanie

        So, my family doc actually prescribed me 200mg, at the start! And he prescribed 1 in the morning and 1 before bed! Of course, I didn’t take it as he prescribed. I’m not an idiot… I read up on it quite a bit before asking for it and also asked my nurse friend many questions, so I knew that if I took it before bed I’d most likely be wide awake for 24 hours, continuously if I kept taking the pills every day. Not a good way to get healthy for a person with all my medical conditions!

        200mg, even taken in the morning (and yes, I found Modafinil MUST be taken no later than 7am or there was no way I’d get to sleep at a half-way decent hour of the night), was way too much for me. I found it gave me bad headaches behind my eyes, made me feel nauseous, and scariest of all, made me so dizzy every time I tried to stand up I had to lie back down again or risk falling down or throwing up from the dizziness. Nice, eh? Like I said, I gave it a decent 3 week trial, most of it on the 200mg level, then the last part of it on the 100mg level. The positive things I noticed were that I slept so much better at night, with no dreams whatsoever, which was a bit of a bummer, because I really like my dreams, but I was getting a good, solid few hours of sleep, all at once! Along with that, I couldn’t nap during the day, no matter how hard I tried or how much I wanted to! That was a positive and a negative. It made my night sleep so much better, but I gotta tell you, there were times I was just so exhausted and I desperately wanted/needed to sleep, but just couldn’t due to the Modafinil. And, due to my CFS/ Fibro, when I get run down/exhausted, everything on my body hurts 1000 times more, so you can imagine what those Botox injections directly into the damaged nerve in my back are like…

        My final say on Modafinil? Don’t have one yet… Started re-testing it today – @ 100mg @ 7am – promptly put me to sleep for a few hours – haha! – and then kept me up for the rest of the day, but I’m still up now, @ 1:17am, so we’ll see. I’ll update further on in my progress…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Reece/1031331117 Andrew Reece

    Could you talk a little about the negatives (in your experience or otherwise) please?

    • Takecare111111

      modafinil and other stimulants shouldn’t be used by all types of anxiety disorder patient.however,I felt modafinil(provigil) is more efficacious and safer than armodafinil(nuvigil).modafinil’s side effect was slightly increased BP and dry mouth and armodafinil’s side effect was high BP,agitation(can cause accidents/can’t wait for my turn),hypomania.though I’m healthy person.modafinil has slight mood elevating effect at 400mg(but it acts as opposite in any anxiety disorder patient).yes modafinil doesn’t inhibited my sleep.

  • http://www.gorawhavefun.com Lenette

    Sounds great….So where can we get some? :)

    • Anonymous

      You know, asking a question like that is begging for a spammer to visit you. But whatever; you may find http://www.gwern.net/Modafinil#suppliers-prices useful.

    • Josh

      Modup.net if you’re from the US and the other countries listed on their site. ModafinilCanada.com if you’re from Canada.

    • Guest

      edandmore dot com

  • http://twitter.com/jamiesonjohnson Jamieson Johnson

    What doses do you recommend taking?

  • Michael

    A few questions (interesting topic) –

    What brand do you take? What kind of dosage do you take, or do you have to vary it? How many days a week? Allegedly you really should not drink alcohol for at least 36 hours after taking Modafinil, as it’s not a pleasant experience, do you know if this is true? How do you manage to eat 4500 calories a day when one of the side effects is lack of appetite? Is it not true that Modafinil and NuVigil somehow set the brain to ‘stay awake’ (lack of REM) during sleep, causing a diminished performance overtime if you are not using a CES machine? Do you have any concern about long-term effects (considering your thoroughness in other aspects I’m sure you’ve seen the research!)? I personally seem to get the low-level headache much quicker and on a lower dosage than you do, does this mean my physiology has to adapt or I’m not compatible, or I’m using the wrong brand e.g. not NuVigil? What is this ‘vertigo’ interaction you describe? Is Modafinil conducive to learning or does it simply keep you alert, as I remember reading that it can diminish long-term memory production whilst your on it (I have seen the research about the improved memory recall, but nothing about production) – although this could be alarmist?

    Thanks again for a great site!

    • Michael

      It also just occurred to me, it also makes your urine reek. Or at least it does for me, unless it is the brand I’m currently using! Do you have this same issue?

  • Steve

    I’ve seen a couple of sketchy online pharmacies that have 60 100mg tablets for around $90, how much does Modafinil cost from a normal pharmacy with an actual rx for it?

    • Francispaulson

      Steve, I read an article by a London journalist 2 months ago that made Modafinal seem identical to the expirimental drug used by Bradley Cooper in the movie LIMITLESS. After about 2 weeks of research I bought some Modalert made by Sun Pharmaceuticals in India. I believe that what I received really was Modalert, a generic form of Provigil…
      But to me, some-one who has a 40 year history of actively experimenting with stimulants, it came off as a weak, bufferred, amphetamine. I was Not driven to clean my apatment, Not driven to finish my great novel, I did NOT learn a different foreign language in a weeks time, and I did not become physically motivated to work out hard and fast. I did NOT lose a lot of fat… Hell! I didn’t losed any weight at all!

      Unless Provigil is radically different than the modalert, I fear that we are all being taken for a ride…

      • Francispaulson

        Uh, as you can see, Modalert has not really helped my typing much either! Sorry for those errors.

        Cost? Sun Modalert costs about $135.00 for 30, 200 mg pills. USA made Provigil runs about $800 for the equivalent amount. I found that the proper dose seems to depend on your weight, and how often you use it. For example, a 200 pound man just starting off should see some increase in wakefulness and focus of mind with a 200 mg pill. I needed 300mg to compensate for my fat ass.
        Listen, as far as I can tell, at least subjectively, 25 mg of ephedrine hcl taken 3 times a day will give you the energy, drive, and focus that many of us were looking for with modafinil. You can still purchase a 6 month supply of ephedrine hcl, 8mg per pill, in Canada for about $100.
        Don’t fall for the hype!

      • Dave Asprey

        Francispaulson, thanks for your comments! Modafinil is closest to the Limitless drug; I’m certain the cameraman or director tried Modafinil. The “brightness effect” they used was so familiar to me.

        I don’t think you got real modafinil from your online pharmacy. It feels nothing like an amphetamine. I’ve tried prescription amphetamine and there is no comparison. Modafinil is not even in the same category as amphetamine – totally different experience. Amphetamines are not something I recommend to people who want to be Bulletproof because they have all kinds of side effects.

      • http://profiles.google.com/jwdavis1957 J D

        You might be right. A friend gave me four 200mg generic Indian modafinil, and I took 200mg day 1 and 100mg day 2, then stopped because I have a headcold. I did get a lot of technical work done on day 1 @ 200mg, but right now I am calling that a simple goal that I met. Tomorrow (Friday) I think I will feel a lot better and hit 200mg again per day until I finish my short trial.
        Great offer for nuvigil at nuvigil, by the way.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll add to those asking – downsides and side effects?

  • Mark

    Organic?…Natural?…Disappointing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mr.WonderfulsoIncredible Brian Kerr

    Is this the same stuff you gave my friend Nilesh before an exam? If not, what did you give him?

  • Jacob Haskins

    So, this seems like a cool hack. But, I have moral problems with consuming synthetic hormones/neurotransmitters and with taking prescription drugs as if they were candy.

    Reading about Modafinil, I found that it is suspected to work because it increases dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin[1]. It turns out that there are various foods that also increase those chemicals’ levels, and (at least) one food that increases all three. Banana fruit increases serotonin[2]. Banana peel contains significant amounts of dopamine and norepinephrine.[3]

    I wonder if bananas could act as a natural analog of modafinil?
    Some precaustions would need to be taken, like rinsing it first in water to remove any excess dirt and then in vodka + grapeseed extract to kill any remaining bacteria and fungi. Also, consuming it with cinnamon to dampen the body’s insulin response to the banana’s fructose would probably be wise for the Bulletproof Dieters here. Also, to eat the banana peel easily, the whole thing would probably need to be blended into a mush.

    [1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modafinil#Pharmacology
    [2]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seratonin#Effects_of_food_content
    [3]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norepinephrine#Nutritional_sources

    • Dave Asprey

      That is hilarious but very biohacker, Jacob. Banana extract maybe, but the fructose (and mycotoxins) in bananas would be major health issues.

      I wonder if our ancestors, living in caves, had debates about whether they had ethical issues about using fire to stay warm? It wasn’t natural; it was synthetic (after all, God made it…). But I’m pretty sure my ancestors are the ones who chose fire. :)

    • Jimantha

      I have no problem with synthetics. More human than human is my motto.

      That said. Apple bananas from Hawaii will brighten anyone’s day and certainly give you a boost. But, certainly not the same effect as Modafinil.

      • Dave Asprey

        There is also the problem of digesting the neurotransmitters that may be in banana peels…
        But I have moral issues with eating fruit that doesn’t grow near where I live. ;)

        • Tara

          Is the wink sarcasm, I can’t tell. Moral issues with non locally sourced fruit, but off label drugs tested on animals for which you most certainly lied to your doctor about is okay?

    • Jjl7

      I’ve heard that you can just roll-up and smoke the banana peel…

  • Nootropicsmartdrugs

    I couldn’t agree more. Everyone wants to improve their mental capacity, and in the modern world where there are an endless number of distractions it is important to be able to focus on the task at hand. But the misuse of prescription drugs is not the answer, and if anything casts a shadow of the debate of smart drugs. Thankfully they have started to create alternatives using nootropics and other natural smart drugs that are being called Adderall Alternatives. Hopefully this new wave of smart drug will change the debate about smart drugs.

  • Hank

    Many of the same questions as Michael – studies on long term side effects (particularly worse long term memory and REM sleep), possibly kidney/other damage if taken around the same time as alcohol (3 days?), dosage suggestions, ways to get trusted “clean” sources (rather than just googling random shipping services), etc.

  • Joe

    Great info! Have you tried Piracetam?

  • http://twitter.com/nthmost Naomi Most

    Maybe Modafinil just increases the probability that you will think any given thing you do will turn out great.

    …What? you didn’t have any snarky comments yet, so I thought I’d make one. :-D

    • http://www.influential.com.au/ Dallas McMillan

      That could still be a great feature nthmost!

  • Bram

    Here in Belgium, doctors only prescribe provigil in some cases of narcolepsy. It costs 134 euros for 100mg
    http://www.bcfi.be/ggr/index.cfm?ggrWelk=/nindex/ggr/stof/IN_M.cfm

  • Howard

    Provigil and Nuvigil are prescription-only. I have had some positive results with adrafinil, which is only available from overseas. All of them are expensive, even the adrafinil, which is over $1/tablet for a recommended dosage of 4 tablets a day. At that dosage for a couple of months, it may cause liver damage, which nuvigil apparently doesn’t — but a daily dose of nuvigil is on the order of $10 — if I could get it, which I can’t, because my VA doc won’t write a prescription for it.

  • http://www.ridiculouslyextraordinary.com Karol Gajda

    Fascinating. How do you ask for the prescription? Just a straight up, “Doc, can you give me provigil/nuvigil?”

  • Pingback: 140 Ways To Bulletproof Yourself In 2012 | The Bulletproof Executive

  • Steve

    Great article, enjoyed reading this!

    http://www.helpmestudy.net

  • Jimantha

    Modafinil is not for everyone. And if you are used to other stimulants it will seem weak to you. The best way I can describe it is when you have that first cup of coffee in the morning and your mind goes from sleepy to suddenly awake and functional.. That is how it is, but all day long.
    It doesn’t feel like amphetamines, it just feels like you are well awake and normal

    I suffer from excessive sleepiness. I was always falling asleep at work, I could barely function drinking 5 pots of coffee a day and nearly killed myself every time I tried to drive because I would fall asleep.

    After seeing a doctor about my sleepiness and getting Provigil I got promoted 4 times in less than 12 months and now hold an executive position. I don’t feel it really increased my IQ, It just allowed me to unlock my full potential without being hindered by constant tiredness.

    • Dave Asprey

      Wow, 4 promotions in a year! Provigil at work… ;) congrats.

      • BARF

        What’s your take on Modvigil?

        • Michelle

          I got modavigil from modup.net and its exactly the same as Provigil which cost me $40 a pill.

      • Eric Horn

        Hey Dave, I use the VA, how can I talk my doc into prescribing it?
        I am having trouble staying awake during the day and have myoclonic body jerks. Any advice…Thanks man

  • zman1593

    How does Ritalin compare with Modafinil in terms of efficacy and side effects? I have previously taken Ritalin for ADHD. I haven’t taken it in a while and I just tried it again after having started drinking BP coffee, and the interaction between the caffeine and Ritalin makes me feel jittery. Does this not happen with modafinil? Thanks

  • Rob

    Have you considered that both you and your friends were all experiencing a placebo effect.

    Btw I take Modafinil daily for the purpose it was intended for – treating sleep disorders. If I had a choice I wouldn’t take it at all – it raises your blood pressure and most certainly screws your liver over time.

    I’m sorry to say if you think taking powerful drugs when you don’t really require them to function if a good idea, then you need more help than modafinil alone can provide.

    • Adam L

      In this article: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/brain-and-nervous-system/medicines/provigil.html

      A change in blood pressure is an uncommon effect, only affecting between 1 in 100 to 1 in 1000 people.
      If you have noticed an increase in blood pressure, you should report this to your doctor if you haven’t already.

      This article: http://livertox.nih.gov/ModafinilArmodafinil.htm
      reports that there is no evidence that Modafinil causes any damage to the liver.

      I think you misinterpret why they take Modafinil. It is not a *requirement*. As stated in the article, the Biochemical engineer is sharp as it is and could make do without it. However, he would like to get better performance, which he has.
      And with people all around the work experiencing the same effects, I find it unlikely that they were simply experiencing a placebo effect.

      If you are using Modafinil for its intended purpose, narcolepsy, then chances are that you won’t be feeling it to the full extent of non-narcoleptic people. Meaning you have your own preconception of the effects which doesn’t match up with those who aren’t narcoleptic.

      • Leon Ousby

        Your liver enzymes will swell over a period of time as all intakes are filtered through our life force liver. Feed it crap and work out the math.

        • John Hurley

          I’ve actually just been perscribed Modafinil for ADD. I coincidently get liver checks via blood monthly for another medication. Let’s see if this changes anything.

      • William Carr

        I’ve been using the Indian Modafinil for just over a week.

        My Doctor’s visit yesterday yielded a BP of 116/68.

        Well, a month ago it was 132/76.

        I’m a bit puzzled.

        • heafy

          day to day fluctuation. the modafinil has had no effect.

    • Matthew

      Rob your down playing how beneficial modafinil is. I just received an order of 100 tabs from modup.net and trust me its not placebo, this stuff is amazing and I thank Dave for sharing it with the community. I can see cognitive enhancers such as modafinil being as normal as a cup of coffee in the morning. I had no side effects other than a mild headache, which goes away if you stay well hydrated.

      • MBBS

        MED STUDENT HERE… I regret to say that I am a bit lazy. Not a good quality to have in a medical student. For my first year,which consisted of 4 blocks each of which has a block exam and then one final UNIVERSITY exam thats 70% of the grades ; 4 blocks make up 30%.

        I pay attention in class but NEVER study or read during my free time. I take 100mg of modafinil the day before the exam and power through the entire years work. Disclaimer – this is incredibly irresponsible and stupid but i managed to get grades ranging from a pass to an above average with 1 nights work. Note that i mentioned that I do pay attention in class though.

        I find it incredibly easy to commit information in the forms of flowchats or lists to memory while on Modafinil. Definitely not a placebo, but not a MIRACLE drug either – use responsibly

        • kate

          How sad that you’re lazy never study and you’re the future of medicine.

        • Guest

          We are all humans.

        • Rick

          hes the type that says, “oh its just a virus, pretty normal at this time of the year” and then fucking turn zombie

        • heafy

          so. kate, guest and rick. what qualifications do your opinions on MBBS’s work ethic come from?
          i found his comment helpful?

      • Riley

        Thanks for sharing the link, I’ve been looking for these online for over3 years now since the supplier i used closed down. ORdered and now waiting for these magic bullets. I used to take them before a heavy night of drinking and I never got that alcohol slump

    • Jason

      I couldn’t agree more. The fact that synthetic drugs are promoted as if they were just a supplement like fish oil is beyond ridiculous. All drugs have side-effects, which can sometimes be profound and even life changing.

  • Bill

    What are your thoughts on ampakines?

  • Joshua

    I have experience with both Provigil and Nuvigil.

    The best way to know if either are for you is to buy it in bulk using the manufacturers discount, available from the cephalon website.

    Have your nearest compounding pharmacy fill the prescription and compound either into 10mg capsules. Use multiple capsules of this precise amount to determine the exact dose that is right for you.

    This is important because the recommended dosages are meant to treat sleep and shift/wake disorders.

    Crumbling or breaking at home is not precise enough for this drug. You gotta get the dose just right or else you cross the threshold between benefit and amphetamine effects.

    I have determined that 40mg then 10mg every 2 hours is perfect.

    Nuvigil feels more like an amphetamine that provigil, which is ironic considering that it is meant to be to the newer formulation. But in this case, newer means molecularly newer and not necessarily better.

    Best of biohacking to all!

    • Dave Asprey

      Joshua, that’s genius! What a great idea! I love compounding pharmacists; they’re the O.G. Biohackers….well after those buddhists anyway. ;)

    • Howard

      I have not tried either of those, since I have not found an MD willing to prescribe them (despite my history of OSA and CPAP use). I have tried Adrafinil, with some curious results. One 300mg tablet seemed to have minimal effect, and two of them gave me a little boost, which increased slightly over the 4 weeks that I took it. The recommended dosage on the insert was 4 tablets/day, which I did not do for a couple of reasons, 1) it appeared to raise my blood pressure, and 2) it’s expensive.

      Surprizingly, when I discontinued it (mainly because of the expense), I did not notice any withdrawal or rebound. In fat it was as if I was still taking it, and the effect persisted for several months, before tapering off. I had a few left, which I took on a day when I had a poor night’s sleep before a long drive, and the effect was not as pronounced as I remembered from before, although I do think it made me a safer driver.

      My wife also tried some Adrafinil, but she reported very little effect (if any). This may be due to her gastric bypass; there are several drugs and supplements that she must have in specific forms (usually liquid chelates, sometime sublingual) in order that she can actually absorb enough of them to be effective.

      • Howard

        typo above: s/in fact/in fat/

    • MB

      Joshua – How do you buy in bulk? Do you just call and tell them you’re a manufacturer?

  • ARI

    So I have taken it a few times now: On an empty stomach, with food, before studying, before exercise. So far no reaction whatsoever. My wife seems to think a quarter to half pill is a functional dose for her, but a full 200mg dose does nothing at all for me. I’m about 200lbs, 15% bf. Mostly follow a combination of BP diet and IF. (bp coffee in the morning, whey in the afternoon sometimes, grass fed protein + leafy greens at night, 1-2 liters of water a day).

    Do you know if there are any sort of limiting reagents or catalysts with modafinil? Like how Choline works with other nootropics such as racetams. I didn’t find anything online, but you’ve had more experience. I’m about to go back to school after more than a decade out and was really looking forward to having this in my toolbag. I’d appreciate any help.
    Thanks.

    • Dave Asprey

      So weird…this is Pharma grade (not generic from India) and it works repeatable for your wife? It just may not be right for you. Check out low dose deprenyl for cognitive benefits too.

      • ARI

        It is from india, modalert 200s from mymodafinil, and has worked 2/2 for my wife. I grabbed some of the armodafinil as well, but haven’t experimented with it yet. I’ll check deprenyl out. Thanks.

      • Howard

        Deprenyl comes with some interesting warnings on the insert: “Adverse effects have included hypertension, nausea, confusion, psychosis, hallucinations, and increased dyskinesias.”

        • Dave Asprey

          It’s all about the dose…

        • Howard

          Yes, from what I was able to get from my reading, the effects are highly dose-dependent. Less than the “effective” dose gives you essentially no effect, and more than the “effective” dose is worse than nothing, and I didn’t find any clear indication about how to determine the “effective” dose. Not sure I want to play with something that has such a sharp J curve.

    • Gabriel
  • Endymion

    So you take modafinil daily? Although it is not officially documented as causing tolerance, there are many anecdotal reports of the effects wearing off with regular use – have you noticed this at all, or are its effects consistent?

  • http://boldanddetermined.com/ Victor Pride

    Modafinil is the real deal. If there are any gym rats here I would suggest adding it to your supplement stack. The focus it gives you in the gym is unreal. Focus beyond focus.

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  • Steve

    Check out these glasses they are awesome — a big part of Vergence Labs mission is to extend and “enhance humanity”:

    http://www.indiegogo.com/socialvideoglasses

    Thought you all might be interested, thanks!

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  • Alex Berghuis

    Dave, first of all, love the diet. My life and studies have significantly improved after implementing the dietary strategies you have recommended in the Bulletproof Diet.

    I am strongly concerned by the apparent contradiction between this particular recommendation and your puritanical dietary protocol. The apparently “harmless” mechanism underlying this drug’s efficacy is unclear at present, however, Modafinil’s pharmacological profile suggests a mishmash of reuptake inhibition throughout the brain. This does not in any way serve to promote the natural functionality of the human brain on a physiological level. Furthermore, the drug apparently enhances levels of glutamate in the brain-the same excitotoxic elevations of which have been clearly identified as an inherently neurotoxic process (i.e., MSG)! This appears to be the last thing one would want to consider if they were indeed interesting in promoting cognitive performance on a long-term basis. I can understand, however, how this might promote short term performance benefits due to the excitation of the hypothalamus and subsequently promote effective learning, memory, etc.

    Am I missing anything here, or is it somehow a brilliant idea to pop heavy duty pharmaceutical pills like candy to force academic success or vigilance? I have noticed this disturbing trend in my own academic environment, and to me, it’s yet another indicator of a disturbing societal trend towards arbitrary dosing of psychological “brain boosters” such as Modafinil or amphetamines.

    I also understand that performance is the primary objective in this instance, but the long-term ramifications of Modafinil use are not well understood. Consequently, a claim that one might be “suffering” from a “deficiency” of a substance that never will occur naturally in the brain is both irresponsible and, in my view, potentially dangerous.

    • Dave Asprey

      It’s a question of what your goals are. You are suffering from a deficiency if your goal is to feel great all the time. Everything you do is a trade-off. I believe that the trade-off of performance and quality of life versus potential but undefined risk for modafinil is well worth it. If your goals tend towards limiting performance and quality of life because you are more risk-averse, I totally respect that. With respect to glutamate toxicity, I have not seen evidence that modafinil has the same mechanism of action as msg. I am violently sensitive to msg but not too modafinil. (and that was the case before I started taking it!)

      • Leon Ousby

        Lost in a cave – Dave

        You’re talking proverbial **** and you know you are. You’re a dealer selling this chemically unproven drug by what you say on your blog. Valium in 1963 was the wonder drug and they couldn’t prescribe enough of it. In 1988 a document was issued to every medical practitioner and practice to slow down the prescribing of this benzodiazepine to pretty much stopping all together due to the millions of people that are suffering the long term effects from this family of drugs. The new wonder drug they were now being told to over prescribe and that’s 5 repeats or refills was for the SSRIs. The long term effects of Modafinil are unknown, just like swimming in uncharted waters. When’s the great white going to appear on the effects of this chemical.
        Chemical induced equals chemical imbalance and that my simple minded solider is simple psychology, chemical fractions and common sense. Take ecstasy or MDMA for the intelligent and you’ll love everyone… For a little while… Grow up.

        • Alpha Elite

          You do realize that modafanil has technically been around since the 1970′s right? I think if it was truly dangerous we would know by now. Major News Networks love to dig up every possible potential horrible effect and even the ABC news team could not come up with anything dangerous to dramatize.

          Look at the other things Dave is advocating for. He’s developed a specific and healthy diet to go along with all of this stuff. Its a life style and healthy eating is a HUGE part of any type of PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT. As well as spiritual and mental edge to be your best.

          Kindly present your opinion with some scientific data to back it up (This site is filled with credible references) and I will be happy to take you seriously. Other then that kindly stop your fear mongering and go Rage against the Machine else where as you have clearly done no real research.

          —An Actual Scientist

        • your fellow human

          while i understand your verbs you must understand i never skydive without a chute nor do i subscribe to fear as a basis for reasoning and if simple does not work for you then clearing the air between your ears would be more benificial.

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  • Joe

    Interesting comments. I’ve suffered from an inability to focus (ADD?) on any one thing for an extended period of time for years and while in my previous job, where multi-tasking was the rule of the day, I used this to great advantage, where I could juggle multiple projects like balls in the air, since I’ve left to start my own business, life has been a bit difficult. Once I added apnea and hypertension to the mix, the drugs really drag you down, it became unsupportable.
    My doctor gave me a scrip for 100mg, Modafinil and I will say it has made an unbelievable change in my life. One thing is I’ve been able to balance the fatigue from the BP drugs with the Modafinil. One of the reasons my BP was so high (besides the obvious, diet etc) was that I refused to dose for BP as consulted because of the effects it had on my concentration and the fatigue and sexual performance side effects. I am sure I am not alone in this. Now I dose for BP at bedtime and take Modafinil in the morning. What it has done is allowed me is to clear thoughts. The best way I can describe it is, I awake with an endless stream of soft thoughts literally assaulting my brain and somewhat exhausted. Once I take Modafinil, it seems to quiet the racket and I am able to focus on the next task at hand, or even identify the most important task. My wife also mentioned that my mood has improved as have a few other things, ahem ;-).
    I do find though that it is important to plan activities. You can still end up clearheaded but muddling around if you don’t identify your day. Once you do, it easy to stay on task, whether it’s a novel, a painting or a blog or just the mundane tasks of everyday life.

  • Ling

    I like your ethos Dave! (why else did I surf up here?)
    Way to go. Will be reading your future posts with interest. :)
    L

  • felix

    Hullo!
    I have been consuming Modafinil for a long period of time (over three years) on an almost daily basis. Two days ago, i went to the doctor and he told me that my liver seems to be in swollen.

    Does anybody know if taking Modafinil for long periods of time may lead to liver failure?

    It seems there is a ton of pages where people tell their experiences while taking it but, is there any page where you can read .. “security steps” to take while taking it? For instance, i have read that alcohol is not recommended while taking Modafinil.

    Cheers,
    Felix

    • Cami

      I have been taking Nuvigil for about 18 months due to narcolepsy, and according to my doctor, Provigil can cause liver damage over a period of time but Nuvigil doesn’t have that problem.

      I can tell you that I had A LOT of side effects when I first started taking this drug (headaches, dry mouth, COMPLETE loss of appetite, stomach pain, dizziness, etc.), but my quality of life was so much better that they didn’t even matter. Alcohol is not something you should drink, especially in the first 2-3 months of treatment. If I drank (and I mean just one beer with dinner) I had severe stomach pain, and I was seriously crazy. Now I have no problem with a drink at dinner, but it took quite a long time for my body to get used to the medication.

      Please talk to your doctor before getting prescribed anything like this. Not only is it expensive (I pay about $300 per month for a 30 day supply AFTER insurance), but you really don’t know how it will affect your body in the log term. My doctors (and all of the research I have done online) can’t even tell me exactly how Modafinil promotes wakefulness. They just know that it works and it’s FDA approved. Just be careful what you put in your body unless it is out of necessity, like me.

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  • Rudy

    A practical question that I don’t think has been answered yet: What should you say to your MD in order to get a prescription?

    I think this drug was originally targeted towards narcoleptics. If you don’t have that affliction, what will convince a doctor to write a script for you?
    Thanks.

    • Dave Asprey

      There are 2 other blog posts about that on here!;)

      Sent from my nobile phone. You understand…
      -Dave

      • JLLV

        What are the titles of them…can’t seem to find them from my phone.

        • JLLV

          Nevermind, they came up once I was at a desktop computer.

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  • Memphis

    Hey Dave,

    what about taking Ampakine in combination with Modafinil? Dangerous? Recommended?

    I personally love Modafinil and recently stumbled upon a newspaper article adressing Modafinil and Ampakine as supplements of the future. I agree in regards to Modafinil, but have never heard of Ampakine before.

    Thanks!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ISUPBCECWK5NUCM7VFI24RSQOM Kathy

    I have narcolepsy and have been taking Provigil for 9 1/2 years now. It is a real blessing to have this drug. I am hypersensitive to amphetamines and other stimulants that I took in the early days for my narcolepsy. Work was horrible, fighting to stay awake all of the time, since the only stimulant that I could tolerate was coffee, which made me very nervous and had limited effectiveness on my narcolepsy. I began taking 100 mg of Provigil and this was sufficient for a long time. I now take about 200 mg a day. Since I am retired, some days I take only 100 mg or occasionally I skip it altogether due to the cost. If I am going to be home all day and have no big demands on me 100 mg. works fine, but otherwise I take 200 mg or even 300 mg, depending on what I have to do. If I am making a very long drive, which happens rarely it is more than likely I will take at least 300 mg for that day or even 400 if necessary if that is what it takes to stay alert. I also take about 300 mg if I have a lot to do which requires driving and other tasks that require me to stay mentally clear and focused if I am sleep deprived due to sometimes being kept awake at night due to allergy and sinus problems. My prescription is actually for 400 mg a day, but it is extremely rare for me to take that much. I am 66 years old and it doesn’t raise my blood pressure much. I take a weak high blood pressure medicine and I sometimes suspect that I wouldn’t need anything at all for blood pressure if I didn’t have to take Modifinal most every day. Skipping it entirely really makes my quality of life suck, because I am constantly getting sleepy from about noon on and it makes it hard to enjoy passive activities like watching a TV or reading. One of the commenters seemed to think that it gave him liver trouble. After using this drug for 10 years and also taking a couple of other medications, my liver has suffered no ill effects. If one is taking illegal Modafinal instead of the expensive and legal prescription Modafinal that I take, it could possibly have fillers and impurities in it that might be bad for the liver. I once read a blog by someone taking the illegal stuff and he said that it made his pee smell bad. I have taken the legal drug for 9 1/2 years and it has never done anything to my pee, so there could be bad stuff in some of that non-prescription Modafinal. All and all, I would say that the legal prescription stuff is a very good drug that doesn’t make you jittery and it isn’t even addicting like amphetamines. There are some days, when I am particularly alert in spite of my narcolepsy and am stay at home all day, when I even forget to take it until very late in the day at which point I will skip it so that I get a good nights sleep. I can go on or off the drug and change the amount that I take according to my activities with no ill effects at all. The main problem with this drug is that it is so expensive.

    • Tom

      Nice to see it works so well for you without side effects. the strong pee odor is normal in legit drug due to some sulphur compound. I did not try the origimal but another legal product and the smell is strong. I am just saying this so people don´t worry.

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  • Ricky C

    Hi! I’m wondering if you need to be on a special diet when taking modafinil or is the bullet proof diet fine ? Are there certain foods you should avoid eating when on Modafin? Thank You.

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  • BARF

    Can anyone provide insight. I started taking Modvigil, an India Pharm version of Modafinil which they tell me is Provigil generic. My first day was AWESOME! Increase productivity, felt like I could rule the world. But since then I haven’t had the same experience as Dave Asprey. Is this Modivigil a version of Provigil or no?

    • JJl7

      I had the same experience as you. First day was productive…all days after that, I feel more alert, but run down….yawning thru out the day….I sleep better at night. I really wanted the “stay up long hours & be highly productive” effect. : (

      • BARF

        How long have you been taking it? Any tips or improvements?

      • Adam L

        What are your sleep patterns like? Do you still get a full night sleep or are you expecting to be able to get by on 4 hours sleep?

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  • Rich

    I take modafinil on a semi regular basis (prescribed for a sleeping disorder) – i’m not sure how much effect it has, and neither can you be.

    The evidence for modafinil’s efficacy is on the whole weak, mostly undertaken by industry (making it much more likely to present a positive result) and hasn’t been subject to proper independent meta-analysis.

    It could possibly help, but we’re not sure, your experiences using it are not a reliable guide as to whether it ‘works for you’ particularly for such a subjective and unmeasurable outcome such as sleepiness – if you take a drug believing it is going to be a wonder drug you’re almost certainly going to feel like it is, when you could in reality just be wasting your money and exposing yourself to side effects.

    Individuals need to be more critical when it comes to self medication. Remember that there is a massive Cephalon PR machine trying to get people thinking that this is a wonder drug.

    (sources: doesn’t necessarily make me right but I’m a medical doctor, UK. competing interests: none)

    • Rich

      Just had a look at this site and realised that it’s selling plenty of psuedo-scientific quack products anyway, so guess you’re probably not that interested in real evidence!

      Good luck with you “being my own guinea pig” school of medicine, also known as the most meaningless level of research ever, hope it makes you plenty of money!

      • MShowers

        Interesting. Enjoy your tight sphincter of a mind.

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  • Steve

    hi Dave,

    I love the blog. I have a couple questions about Modafinil,

    1. Are you concerned about the long term effects modafinil could have on your brain?

    2. Do you ever have alcohol after having Modafinil? I dont know if I could add something to my daily routine where I would have to give up wine lol

    3. Is it possible to take this drug and maintain a normal sleep schedule.

    Thanks,

    keep up the great work

    • hassa

      been trialing it this week. up at 7, pop one, work till 7p flawlessly, research stuff till 11 (side effect lol) watch tv shows and drink wine till 2am, rinse and repeat. this shit is awesome.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vitaly-Klitschko/100003020592266 Vitaly Klitschko

    Modafinil makes you into an arsehole. Simple as. The same effect on the brain as Cocaine. Imagine your doctor, dentist or attorney waiting for a Modafinil fix with the false confidence it brings.

    Modafinil means I get madder every day because what you do and what you say affects my life in such a way
    I learn to hate it every minute.

    I don’t want to be subject to your Modafinil Decisions, I’m not interested in your Expensive Ugliness.

  • http://twitter.com/tuddyrose Craig

    because of this blog. i hounded my doc to perscribe provigil. My life has improved 10 fold. I dont drink do drugs. respect the medication, and you too can benefit. I am not concerned with “shouldnt i be doing these things without medication” its about quality of life. i NOW have it

    • Ronny Rok

      Can u please explain your diet regimen and/or maybe your doses??? What is your recommendation on diet and dose?

  • Chad

    Is 200mg to much for someone that doesn’t need it for any other reason then they want to perform better at work and school

  • drows

    I take modafinil 100mg, 3-4times a day for narcolepsy. I wish it had the effect on me that people describe. Im lucky if i get 12 hours awake without crashing and needing a nap, but by comparison to how I was, its deffinetly had a massive positive effect.

    First time I took it, it affected my eyesight really badly, everything looked out of focus for a day or so. Since taking the medication continuously my ‘field’ of focus as gotten much smaller, so I can ‘focus’ on what im writing better, whether I want to or not doesn’t change. My motivation is the same.

    If I forget to take it for a day, and retake it, my eyesight will be affected again. I’ve read that modafinil cant cause tolerance. Im not so sure on that, I’ve felt its effect has decreased slightly, but i’ve also been told that it accumulates, so some people take ‘breaks’.

    I wouldnt recommend using it if there was no need to…

    Because despite there being no real side effects, drug interactions are pretty horrid. I’ve had eczema for years, when I first took modafinil, I continued to use ‘betnovate’ cream. Betnovate is very strong and absorbed through the skin.

    my hands and feet looked like they were bleeding underneeth, couldnt stand up right, my lips were swollen and looked red. I was extremely itchy. Doctors then arguing with eachother, Some thought I was experiencing early signs of steven johnson syndrome. I was told to discontinue all medications.

    After about a week of back and forth conflicting advice, neurologist told me it was likely the betnovate, and since ive stopped using the cream, im ok to take the medication.

    It was really scary moments though, I looked frightening. I know the risk of a serious side effect like steven Johnson syndrome is extremely rare, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving anyone my medication if asked. Id sooner give someone my old anxiety medication with lots of side effects, but none quite as serious.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for sharing about interactions with betnovate! I use it as well, allbeit only when needed, and would have never made that association. Very useful to me! Many thanks.

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  • jake

    How do we get modafinil or provigil if our doctor does not prescribe it?

  • Scott

    I got my order form http://modup.net and have been taking modafinil for week on and off when needed. I found it to be a very powerful compound and imo a game changer. Thanks Dave!

    • Hgo

      I have been taking Modafinil on and off since I was 21 (4 years ago) the 2nd week I took it I felt like I could solve any problem and had complete control and the ability to rationalise any fleeting thought or emotion. You are basically no longer hijacked by your emotions. I came up with a business idea that netted 45k in 2 months. I felt very clear, and at peace with life, but more importantly I was fearless because I knew I could solve any problem I was faced with. Furthermore it nullified the effects of sugar, alcohol, and any other illegal drugs I consumed.

      I at one stage took it 6 days per week for about 18 months straight. I can say that there are little (if any) physical effects. Occasional light headaches (which could be from sleep deprivation) were the only thing I noticed.

      However there were some drawbacks. The 2 that I noticed were that 1) People felt (disconnected) from me (because I was no doubt on a whole new level to them) and did not trust me. I also felt myself feeling slightly anxious and prone to over-analysing other peoples reactions and was ergo unable to connect with them on an emotional level. People commented how I had”changed” when I was NOT taking it.
      2) It made me so intelligent that I was reckless with many decisions as it suppressed my moral/emotional compass that previously would have made me “feel” aware of the consequences.

      If you decide to try it I recommend taking it daily for around 10-15 days and you should start noticing peak performance and insights around day 3-5. From my experience the main risk lies on the potential impact on your relationships.

      • Anonymous

        Funny, I just posted a long “withdrawal” post to this thread. Like you, I started to perform at a higher level, and it effected my interpersonal relationships….but the expectation was raised at my contract and I almost lost it over the last month waiting for my shipment. I just took two of those wonderful little pills and it’s like a light-switch was switched back on. I did find something of a disconnect, I don’t want to exaggerate, it is slightly like that John Travolta movie, but f-em, it’s not your fault if you can suddenly start understanding Post-Modern Philosophy and advanced math…time to get new friends IMHO. Everything this poster says is true, it DOES impact your relationships. It helped my relationship with my kids and my wife. It hurt my relationship with some of my friends. But overall, I felt my higher performance makes up for it. Focus the energy on trying to help others, try asking questions. But, just don’t run out of this magical little pill…or you’ll have hell to pay. ;-)

        BTW: I don’t think it makes you smarter, I think it clears out the cobwebs and allows you to use what you’ve got better. A dope is going to be a dope on Modafinil. Someone smart, who might be tired all the time so can’t think clearly, is going to be able to better utilize his or her “smartness.” That’s my opinion and I think medical studies back this.

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  • Anonymous

    Regarding the placebo effect….there is no way it is….read this and decide if this is all in my head.

    Okay. I commented before about how if I took too much, I’d feel mighty, but my mind would want to do everything and nothing. Once I found the right dosage, I was mighty. Well, instead of taking rarely for special “focus events,” I fell into taking it daily and sleeping only 5 hours a night. If you are overworked, overstressed, and can’t get enough sleep, Modafinil is a wonder drug. Over last few months to a year, it became my “normal” state and who “I am”…Modafinil is part of my personality now. Well, now the flip side.

    I didn’t order my latest batch via the slow boat from India until I had ran out. Mistake. Although not a physical or emotional withdrawal, there IS a sort of withdrawal, and it is every bit as miserable as quitting a real addiction IMHO. Watch the news piece on Dave and how he performs without Modafinil and how he performs once he takes it. THAT is the effect of stopping, once hooked.

    While waiting for my stash to arrive, I have almost lost my contract due to nonperformance and come close to flunking out of graduate school. The problem is that the new “normal” had become being able to sleep 5 hours a night, work full-time in a “thinking” job (computer programmer), go to graduate school at night in CS, raise two kids in middle school, lift weights, ride my bike in spirited competitive group rides, and still have time to read recreational books. The last year I have experienced a sort of mini-renessaince. Despite being middle-aged. I have been on testosterone therapy for several years, but all it really does is make Janet Reno as attractive as Kate Upton as far as I can tell….but maybe it’s because I long ago became accustomed to that new normal…but Modafinil, whoa Nelly, it’s the real deal, it is life-changing.

    Modafinil becomes part of who “YOU” are…stop taking it, and suddenly your back to a middle-aged guy who needs 9 hours of sleep a night and is still tired and cranky. But, then, because of your “mightyness” using Modafinil, life is expecting your performance that you had when sleeping only 5 hours. So you sleep 6 hours…uh, oh. You suddenly stop being able to churn out as much code, as if you were twenty. You start to resemble the tired worn-out older coders who should have left the business already. You stop being able to do the advanced math like you did back in college. Yahoo “news” starts to compete for your attention while at work. You yell at your kids when helping with homework instead of thinking how much fun their homework is. You sleep on your long train commute to Manhattan rather than do your homework. You are tired, miserable, and you just want to go on a long vacation doing nothing….

    Then, that little beautiful brown package from India arrives, you pop your 2 pills, and within an hour the world is back to being wonderful. You feel as if you slept a full night’s sleep. You assure your boss that you WILL get what you didn’t get done, done this weekend. Your clear-headed, ready to work, and you can’t wait to tackle the day’s challenges. Life is back to “normal.”

    What will be the long-term effects? I dunno, what will the long terms effects of my testosterone therapy be? But I do know one thing, this was NOT all in my head. Modafinil is a wonderful drug, but if you allow it to become the new normal – and become part of who “YOU” are – then I’m afraid you will have to spend that three bucks a day on pills for the rest of your life. Of course, how much is Starbucks these days?

    Hope this helps someone when considering Modafinil. If your a high-school kid still growing, I’d tread carefully, like testosterone, this can probably screw you up with not as many benefits. But there is no denying it is life changing if tiredness is a major part of your life. Modafinil is truly wonderful, but once it becomes ingrained in your life, trying to stop is like asking yourself to go back to being tired, cranky, and….well, old. I cannot stop taking this drug. I will not stop taking this drug. This drug is part of who “I AM”….If you decide to take it regularly, it will become part of who “YOU ARE.” That much I am certain….not making a judgement call. Well, back to that deadline…. ;-)

    • joe

      If I write like this on the stuff I’m going places in life!

  • Shivkumar

    FYI, ‘enlightented’ is not a word.

  • anon

    Im actually suffering from memory loss. Ive used it sporadically before exams and im just wondering if its because of modafinil. there have been studies about this. I have co-morbid depression. maybe the two dont go together. Im scared of messing with it any further.

  • Leon Ousby

    You deleted my previous post and I understand why you would, as a prescription junkie is no different to a street junkie. I always have meth, crack and H in my back pack. Unlike yourself, I’m not being paid by street dealers to promote these soul destroying substances. The pharmaceutical dealers pay you better.

    People, watch the documentary ‘The marketing of Maddness’

    You’re consciously creating addicts Dave. It’s not your IQ that has increased by 20%. It’s your bank balance.

    Be careful.

  • Anthony

    I have a question about dosage takes and long term use
    Would it be better to take 100mg half a pill or full daily 200mg
    And long term use taking it daily is there any risk i heard that people lose memory and never gain memory back from fda reports i have a healthy diet no sodas or junk good only water green tea and healthy foods and mealsi exerciseand eat Brian foods i also use neuroscience programs like lumosityand i will only use this for getting stuff done taking it in the morning and never to stay up late and pull all nighters i will always try and get a fill night sleep.
    And is there times when i should stop for periods of time and then start taking it again.?

  • rogerio gretz

    Seems very useful for lazy procrastinators, so I guess it’s good or the world (there aren’t many effective ways to make lazy procrastinators productive).

    I still rather just man up/woman up? and power through 20-hour sessions of work/study without missing a beat.

  • Kim MS patient

    So….You and your colleagues are the reason that I can’t get my Modafinil…..They have run out at the moment and I am having to wean myself off of it cause there is no telling when it will be available again. Thanks a lot !

  • fflintstone

    wow, the new cocaine, how exciting, not.

    • Jimantha

      Wow, someone on the internet has no idea what they are talking about. How exciting.

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  • dhunt

    My experience with Provigil is mostly a good one. One recommendation: do not take it before consuming large amounts of alcohol. I don’t know if Provigil itself damages your liver, but its “I am fucking awesome” aura it gives you probably does because of the more than average amount of alcohol you will drink. It is similar to cocaine (but do not snort this stuff) in that you think can drink more than when you are not taking it.

    As for its use as a study aid: similar to adderall, but not as potent. If you have to study for an exam or are engaging in an activity requiring a similar level of cognitivity, you will probably do it better on Provigil. If I am pulling an all-nighter before an exam, I take a half pill (100mg of the 200mg) every 4 to 5 hours.

    This drug postpones sleep, but it does not replace sleep. Its usefulness is in increasing the productivity of your waking hours, not transforming yourself into a Renaissance Man that outsmarts Robert De Niro. At least not in one sitting ;)

  • Thomas

    Dave…do you recommend cycling on/off modafinil as a precaution? Also, are there any supplements that you recommend take to counteract any potential negative side effects of taking modafinil on a regaular basis.

  • sandra

    how can I order this medication? do I have to have a prescription from a dr to get it? and how much does it cost? thanks

  • David

    The site BritishMedStore.com is selling Modafinil (Sun Pharma Modalert) cheaper than myModafinil is currently.

  • Dance Smart

    All you Modafinil haters are crazy! There’s a reason the pharmaceutical company is charging $500-$1000 plus for a month supply of this stuff… Bc THEY KNOW IF everyone got their hands on it they’d be screwed money-wise! So far I’m a firm believer in this stuff. I’ve been over-using Phentermine 37.5 ‘s for years now & my diet doctor, who I know is over-prescribing for money, lets me have 2pills a day. I’ve only met him once. I’m 5’1 125 LOL, NOT COOL! Another diet place only wanted to give me 15mg and would make me see the doc every week. The phentermine was starting to kill my brain completely. Sometimes I’d pop more than 2 a day. Started to take adderall instead but only got a month supply of 10mg, it was better but still not what I was looking for. I want to feel healthy not feel like a crack head. I’m a dancer w/ a BFA & have worked my ass off to get where I am. So far Modafinil has changed my “attitude” about life & has kept me from turning to illegal street drugs. I never wanted to be a coke head & I never will be but I also never wanted to be a diet pill popping addict & I was so you the do the math. I didn’t want to get caught up in Adderall bc I’ve seen it Destroy friends & lovd ones. Phentermine was destroying me & destroying my brain, Modafinil has saved my life.

  • Alpha Elite

    Skeptics….. Heres an accurate profile of why this works.

    Imagine all the things you would do if you had plenty of energy and focus to do them. Every idea you had that sounded to hard or you simply felt to tired and you didn’t have enough time to accomplish.

    Well now you consistently have the energy to do that and now the “cob webs” so to speak are swept away and you think clearly.

    More over the opinions of other seem to bother you less because your happier and feel more secure.

    Often times this is all the average person needs to execute a great idea or pursue a goal.

    Positivity
    Energy
    Mental Toughness
    Persistence

    All things we have in abundance if we have enough energy and the right amount of neurotransmitter.

    Because we are at the top of our game of course we feel smarter

  • michaeldane

    I’m 53 and have been taking Modafinil for a couple years. I work on the north slope of Alaska, 12 hours a day three weeks at a time and then I have 2 weeks off. I was burned out, had trouble concentrating, focusing on my work (engineering/design) I thought I was just at the age where these things start happening. But, I told myself they didn’t have to happen if I refused to participate in a trip toward old age and a dull brain. Anyway… Modafinil and a little shot of “Test” and I’m kicking ass again. Promoted 3 times in 4 years and my income has more than doubled. Not a bullshit story, and not all due to Modafinil and testosterone. I’m good at what I do and I work hard. But the combo of the 2… and I’m back. I feel sharp, energetic etc. my only side effect is a minor headache at times. I’d recommend to anyone. I take one 200 mg a day. Maybe a second pill sometimes if I have a challenging afternoon.

    • Joss

      Hi Michael, Im just wondering where you get your supply of Modafinil from, im quite interesting in trying this out but am quite wary of buying pills from illegitimate sources. Thanks

  • Mia

    Are there any online sources that sell This drug

  • Sarah

    For modafinil and armodafinil http://www.BritishMedStore.net seems the most reliable and priceworthy

    - as I think others have found too, the customer Service from Emily is second to none!

    • CoffeeMinded

      My experience with Modalert is mostly a good one. One recommendation: do not take it before consuming large amounts of alcohol. I don’t know if Modalert itself damages your liver, but its “I am fucking awesome” aura it gives you probably does because of the more than average amount of alcohol you will drink. It is similar to cocaine (but do not snort this stuff) in that you think can drink more than when you are not taking it.

      As for its use as a study aid: similar to adderall, but not as potent. If you have to study for an exam or are engaging in an activity requiring a similar level of cognitivity, you will probably do it better on Provigil. If I am pulling an all-nighter before an exam, I take a half pill (100mg of the 200mg) every 4 to 5 hours.

      This drug postpones sleep, but it does not replace sleep. Its usefulness is in increasing the productivity of your waking hours, not transforming yourself into a Renaissance Man that outsmarts Robert De Niro. At least not in one sitting ;)

      But yeah definitely recommend BritishMedStore.net – just nice people, who’ve had personal experience with modafinil themselves which is always refreshing.

      • Richard

        I have narcolepsy and have been taking Provigil for 9 1/2 years now. It is a real blessing to have this drug. I am hypersensitive to amphetamines and other stimulants that I took in the early days for my narcolepsy. Work was horrible, fighting to stay awake all of the time, since the only stimulant that I could tolerate was coffee, which made me very nervous and had limited effectiveness on my narcolepsy. I began taking 100 mg of Provigil and this was sufficient for a long time. I now take about 200 mg a day. Since I am retired, some days I take only 100 mg or occasionally I skip it altogether due to the cost. If I am going to be home all day and have no big demands on me 100 mg. works fine, but otherwise I take 200 mg or even 300 mg, depending on what I have to do. If I am making a very long drive, which happens rarely it is more than likely I will take at least 300 mg for that day or even 400 if necessary if that is what it takes to stay alert. I also take about 300 mg if I have a lot to do which requires driving and other tasks that require me to stay mentally clear and focused if I am sleep deprived due to sometimes being kept awake at night due to allergy and sinus problems. My prescription is actually for 400 mg a day, but it is extremely rare for me to take that much. I am 66 years old and it doesn’t raise my blood pressure much. I take a weak high blood pressure medicine and I sometimes suspect that I wouldn’t need anything at all for blood pressure if I didn’t have to take Modifinal most every day. Skipping it entirely really makes my quality of life suck, because I am constantly getting sleepy from about noon on and it makes it hard to enjoy passive activities like watching a TV or reading. One of the commenters seemed to think that it gave him liver trouble. After using this drug for 10 years and also taking a couple of other medications, my liver has suffered no ill effects. If one is taking illegal Modafinal instead of the expensive and legal prescription Modafinal that I take, it could possibly have fillers and impurities in it that might be bad for the liver. I once read a blog by someone taking the illegal stuff and he said that it made his pee smell bad. I have taken the legal drug for 9 1/2 years and it has never done anything to my pee, so there could be bad stuff in some of that non-prescription Modafinal. All and all, I would say that the legal prescription stuff is a very good drug that doesn’t make you jittery and it isn’t even addicting like amphetamines. There are some days, when I am particularly alert in spite of my narcolepsy and am staying at home all day, when I even forget to take it until very late in the day at which point I will skip it so that I get a good nights sleep. I can go on or off the drug and change the amount that I take according to my activities with no ill effects at all. The main problem with this drug is that it is so expensive.

        • O’Hay

          I took modafinil for about a year. It was 2007, I couldn’t concentrate on anything and I read about people taking it in the guardian. So I ordered some from a company in India. Back then it wasn’t as easy to get, and was fairly expensive. I paid about £70 for a pack of 40.

          The first time I took it, it was amazing. I took three which was way too much, read three quarters of a novel in one night, did an interview the next day, and felt fine. What the author says about needing to go to the toilet all the time is true. It also makes you feel nauseated.

          I used it primarily to write essays, and it was really really great for the first four or five, but there was a drastic trailing off, and the physical side-effects got worse. Those who say they could sleep on it – that’s pretty good, as I never could, and would often wake up feeling wrecked when I finally did get to bed.

          So I stopped for a while and would only take it to pull through an all-nighter. Once I’d finished university, I stopped all together and have never taken it since.

          However, if you have a big project coming up, and you’ve not taken it yet, I recommend it. Remember to drink a lot of water, take two or three medium doses over the course of the day, and focus on a specific task. Stretch a lot (I found myself sitting in crazy positions for hours), eat even if you don’t want to, and then give yourself a few days off. Taking it long-term, just to get through school, is a very bad idea as there are other ways you can improve your concentration / productivity.

        • Gabriel

          Hi. The pee smell has nothing to do with prescription or not prescription generic drug.

      • ExperiencedBiohacker

        Bought a starter pack off http://www.BritishMedstore.net which is 40 pills and and an extra 10 pills for free – was worried they’re weren’t going to get past customs, but luckily they did!

        As the name suggests I’ve tried lots of other Nootropics but Modalert 200mg is still the best imo

    • AnnaS

      I have experience with both Provigil and Nuvigil.

      The best way to know if either are for you is to buy it in bulk using the manufacturers discount, available from the cephalon website.

      Have your nearest compounding pharmacy fill the prescription and compound either into 10mg capsules. Use multiple capsules of this precise amount to determine the exact dose that is right for you.

      This is important because the recommended dosages are meant to treat sleep and shift/wake disorders.

      Crumbling or breaking at home is not precise enough for this drug. You gotta get the dose just right or else you cross the threshold between benefit and amphetamine effects.

      I have determined that 40mg then 10mg every 2 hours is perfect.

      Nuvigil feels more like an amphetamine that provigil, which is ironic considering that it is meant to be to the newer formulation. But in this case, newer means molecularly newer and not necessarily better.

      Best of biohacking to all!

  • Sam
    • Jason

      Anyone using mod.ph, I see they are cheap according to gwern.

  • JDG

    Dave, could you write about Modafinil tolerance? I haven’t seen this mentioned much, but after taking 100mg a day for 6 months, I feel like it’s not affecting me as much as it used to…is Modafinil tolerance a well documented phenomenon or am I imagining things?

  • Mick

    Have you ever used Provigil at the same time with amino acids like arginine, tryptophan, lysine etc?

    • Jerome Wilson

      Very late reply but you should be fine with most amino acid supplements. You might just want to avoid or be careful with tyrosine as it’s a dopamine precursor and Modafinil is a dopamine reuptake inhibitor.

  • Mick

    Does any body knows if it interacts with amino acids?

  • George_A35

    I have a question, about this I have been taking modifnal for about 2 months for ADHD, the first week best switch i ever made other then the fact I felt tired early on in the day at first I thought it was caused from changing of the medications, 2 months I still seem to be excessively tired but can focus on a project once I get started, is this a known side effect?

  • John C

    Effect on sleep is briefly mentioned in this article. Looking for some insight into that since I have constant trouble getting to sleep at bedtime. Does this modafinil make it easier to sleep, as long as you don’t take the drug near bedtime?

  • Jerome Wilson

    I’ve used Modafinil quite a bit and it is amazing but I won’t continue with it because it’s far too ‘cokey’ for me. I know that’s not everyone’s experience by any means but even relatively small amounts reveal a side of me I don’t like. Also, I find it particularly anxiogenic in the ‘come down’ phase.

    • Sam

      I notice the same anxiogenic in the ‘come down’. Do you have any idea what it is due to or how to avoid it?

      • Jerome Wilson

        Glad it’s not just me, Sam. There’s a couple anecdotal reports that might point towards choline depletion as the culprit but I’ve only just dug them up so I haven’t got any personal experience of whether choline supplementation might help. Can’t hurt to give it a try though. In the past I’ve tried to take the edge off with 5-HTP and phenibut (careful with that, it’s quick the develop tolerance and withdrawal effects apparently).

        I might give armodafinil a try to see if it gives any different effects.

        • Sam

          Jerome, it does not seem that modafinil affects acetylcholine much, but lowers GABA
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1620245
          Maybe trying some calming supplement works?

        • Jerome Wilson

          You’re right, that looks a lot more promising as the possible cause of the anxiety. It could be that using GABA supplements and / or L-Glutamine (and possibly high dose inositol) should help then.

          I’ve suffered from GAD anyway, on and off, and L-Glutamine has helped to a certain extent with that in the past but I’ve never tried supplementing GABA itself so I might give it a go.

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