Do you remember the movie “Limitless”? In the film, the hero uses a drug that makes him super-intelligent – but suffers severe consequences as a result. What if there was a drug that could do that in real life, but without the repercussions? It seems that Modalert could be that drug.
Sometimes, drugs become more popular for their off-label uses than for the condition they were initially intended to treat. Modalert was initially introduced as a medication for people with conditions that made it difficult to stay awake. But somewhere along the line, people discovered that Modalert keeps them so wide awake that they’re able to think more clearly, think faster, and concentrate for longer.
Nowadays, more people use Modalert as a mental performance enhancing drug than to combat narcolepsy or night shift disorder, and there have been press reports on high-flyers who say that using it is common practice among fund managers, software developers, and top business people. But what is Modalert really? Is it safe to use, and what’s the worst that can happen if you do?
Modalert: What Is It?
Modalert is a commercial name for the drug Modafinil, and although it has only recently been getting a lot of attention as a nootropic (mental performance enhancing) drug, it has been around since the seventies.
It was developed for people who suffer from narcolepsy, a condition in which people experience extreme daytime sleepiness. Night-shift workers also struggle with their sleeping and waking cycles, and Modalert is prescribed to help them remain alert when working. Some drug companies sell Modafinil under the name “Provigil.”
Principles of Action
Instead of working directly on the brain, Modafinil promotes alterations in the brain’s chemistry. Dopamine, Histamine, Norepinephrine, Serotonin, and Glutamate levels are all elevated. These neurotransmitter molecules are responsible for the alert state of mind that people using Modalert experience. Dopamine is also involved in feelings of reward and well-being, and many people who use Modalert say they feel more positive about the tasks they undertake when using the drug.
Lastly, GABA, a substance that makes us feel sleepy, is reduced. It is believed that these effects are brought about because Modafinil changes orexin levels. Orexin works on the hypothalamus and is believed to play an important role in our sleeping and waking cycle. The hypothalamus has neurons that are activated by orexin, and when this happens, the “stay awake” neurotransmitters are secreted.
However, animal studies have shown that Modalert still works when the orexin receptors are disabled, so this is only one of the mechanisms that make Modalert work. There is still an element of mystery surrounding the drug, and its full mechanism of action is not fully understood.
Are the Performance Enhancing Properties of Modalert Real?
One thing is certain: Modafinil works and mainstream science publications have confirmed that it really does boost cognitive performance, raising ethical questions about performance-enhancing drugs outside of the sporting world.
Scientific American has gone so far as to say that Modalert is a “Safe drug to boost brainpower”. The article cites a study in which various research studies were compared. It concluded that people using Modalert were more accurate when performing tasks that required thought. Other studies point to a better ability to retain information and plan complex tasks. Decision-making was also found to be enhanced.
Those of us who are of average to below average intelligence will see the greatest benefits, but even high-performing individuals say they are smarter when using Modalert. However, this could be a placebo effect. One study found that Modafinil boosted the IQs of students with IQ scores of around 106, but the second group with IQs of 116 and over did no get better results when using Modalert.
Modalert Case Report
NY News and Politics interviewed a man who used Modafinil when performing a complicated qualitative analysis for a startup. He describes the effects of the drug and says it made his thinking remarkably clear. He was able to concentrate for hours without taking a break, and the complex task suddenly seemed incredibly easy.
When comparing it to Adderall, another drug often used to boost concentration, he explains that it does not give the “speeding” effect that most stimulants induce. He says that its use on Wall Street is incredibly common, but warns that he found it did not mix well with alcohol. He also notes that when you come off Modalert after a few weeks of using it, you really feel the difference.
Based on his personal experience, the subject of the report says that although Modalert is a “great hack”, he only used it for three weeks because he was afraid of becoming addicted to the feeling of absolutely clear, artificially enhanced thought.
Although some people report that a 100mg dose is enough, the standard dosage is 200mg of Modafinil. Some Modalert users report using much higher doses, but this increases the risk of side effects and is not recommended. You genuinely can have too much of a good thing. That’s just how it works!
The medication is taken at the start of the day because it will interfere with sleep if taken too late. Since sleep is also important to clear cognitive function, using Modafinil to stay awake for extended periods could be counter-productive in the long run.
Warnings and Precautions
If you are considering using Modalert for its off-label, performance-enhancing effects, you need to consider the following warnings.
Modafinil is a prescription drug, so it is not legal to use it if you do not have a prescription. However, there appear to be no records of prosecutions. There are reports of Modalert being seized by customs, but authorities took no further action.
Like all pharmaceuticals, there are contraindications. In other words, certain people should not use it, or should only use it under medical supervision. Check with a doctor if you suffer from:
- outbursts of aggression;
- high blood pressure;
- heart problems;
- chest pain or angina attacks;
- liver disease;
- Kidney disease or kidney impairment;
- mental health issues.
Be aware of side effects and discontinue use if you experience them.
Modalert Side Effects
How shows testimonials – Modalert side effects are extremely rare, but some people do experience them. Nine out of 24 studies reported side effects in test subjects. Some people experience weight loss because of a lack of appetite or gastrointestinal disturbance. The most common of these are headaches or nausea. Side effects and their frequency are listed in the table below:
|System Affected||Side Effect||Frequency|
|Dizziness, tremor, abnormal movement||1 – 10%|
|Amnesia, poor coordination, impaired speech or movement||0.1 – 1%|
|Involuntary movements, convulsions||Less than 0.1%|
|Dry mouth, diarrhea, indigestion, constipation, gas, mouth sores, stomach pain||1 – 10%|
|Acid reflux, vomiting, inflamed tongue||0.1 – 1%|
|Cardiovascular system||Raised blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, chest pain||1 – 10%|
|Irregular heartbeat, slow heartbeat, low blood pressure||0.1 – 1%|
|Chest pain from constricted coronary arteries||0.01%|
|Skin||Sweating, fever blisters||1 – 10%|
|Rash, acne, itching||0.1 – 1%|
|Eczema||Less than 0.1%|
|Urinary||Abnormal urine, blood in urine||1 – 10%|
|Frequent urination||0.1 – 1%|
|Strong-smelling urine||Less than 0.1%|
|Metabolism||Anorexia, loss of appetite, increased feelings of thirst||1 – 10%|
|High cholesterol, high blood glucose, diabetes, weight gain||0.1 – 1%|
|Muscular||Back and neck pain||1 – 10%|
|Leg cramps, other muscle pains, twitching.||0.1 – 1%|
|Muscle weakness||Less than 0.1%|
|Eyesight||Vision anomalies such as blurred vision, sore or red eyes.||1 – 10%|
|Psychiatric||Inability to sleep, anxiety, depression, inclined to greater irritability||1 – 10%|
|Lower libido, anger, personality changes||0.1 – 1%|
|Psychosis, hallucinations||Less than 0.1%|
|Other||Flu-like systems, difficulty breathing||1 – 10%|
Finally, allergic reactions, although a rare side effect, become more likely when high doses of Modalert are used. Since these allergic reactions can be dangerous, it is inadvisable to use more than 200mg of Modalert daily. If you experience side effects at regular doses, you should consult a doctor.
Anything Else I Should Know?
Although the above list of side effects may seem extensive, the percentage of people experiencing moderate to serious side effects is very low indeed. The FDA would never have approved Modalert if it was not considered to be safe and well-tolerated.
To minimize your chances of experiencing side effects, carefully follow the instructions indicating how to take Modalert. Do not take multiple doses daily.
As a schedule for the drug, Modalert has a low potential for addiction. However, experts warn that some people may become psychologically addicted to Modalert if they use it every day. There is also a possibility of tolerance developing. In this case, Modalert will become less effective over time, and those who use it may feel the need to take higher, potentially unsafe doses.
The wisest way to use Modalert is to use it for its intended purpose. If you choose to use it for cognitive enhancement, use it occasionally at times when you need to outperform. So far, there have been no studies on the effects of prolonged use. Marathon spells without sleep can be dangerous and will be counterproductive, so do not take Modalert after your midday meal.
How to Get Modalert
Because Modalert is a scheduled drug and therefore a controlled substance, you will need a prescription to get it from a local pharmacy. As a result, and also because drugs are cheaper when bought from sources outside the US, many people prefer to purchase their Modalert at an online pharmacy.
People who choose this route should be cautious about receiving fake drugs. A reliable generic has all the ingredients found in US-manufactured Modalert and will have the same effects. When a pharmacy offers a free trial pack, you can be reasonably sure that they are selling the real thing. After all, if the Modalert has no effect, clients won’t be back for more!
How to Prevent Tolerance
The last thing you want is a situation in which you are placing yourself at risk of overdose or severe side effects by taking enormous doses of Modalert. Possible strategies for preventing tolerance from building up to include:
- Using Modalert only on three to four days of your working week.
- Don’t take it on two days that follow each other.
- Don’t use other stimulants (including coffee) when using Modalert.
- Take a week to a few months off every six to eight weeks.
- Monitor the effects of your Modalert. If your regular dose stops producing the desired effect, stop taking Modafinil for a month or two.
Only for the Well-Informed
If you are contemplating using Modalert to complete a challenging task or when studying, it is important to be well-informed. After reading this article, you are certainly better-informed than most people who choose to use it.
If you decide to go ahead and use Modalert for its off-label benefits, monitor yourself carefully for side effects, and plan ahead, specifying dates when you will take a break, and a date when you will stop using it altogether.
When you do stop using Modalert, it might be helpful to choose a time when adjusting back to the way you usually think will not be as much of a challenge. You will feel strange when you return to normality, so consider taking a couple of days off.
“Smart drugs” that make you cleverer are no longer science fiction. They are science fact. Now, it’s up to us to use them wisely.