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Modafinil – How To Maximise It’s Potential

Modafinil Structure

Modafinil (Provigil, Modalert) vs Armodafinil (Nuvigil, Waklert)

Before delving into the pointers, it’s important to discuss the differences between Modafinil and Armodafinil. Modafinil is a 50/50 racemic mixture of S isomer and R isomer modafinil while armodafinil contains the R isomer only.

One study comparing the two suggests that modafinil suggested that armodafinil had a greater peak in blood levels than modafinil (cmax 5.44 ug/ml vs  4.61 ug/ml respectively),  the study also showed the total area under the curve was 40% greater for armodafinil. Interestingly modafinil also demonstrated a biphasic elimination, with S isomer being depleted first and R isomer being last. R isomer modafinil is typically 3 times longer lasting than the S isomer modafinil.

In summary, on a milligram for milligram basis, armodafinil could be considered to be 40-50% more potent than modafinil.

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Modafinil Makes Me Anxious

I suspect I’m not the only one as well.  It’s certainly worse when I’m not sleep deprived (i.e when I’m taking modafinil for enhancement rather than to support a normal state).  I’ve found that 500mg of Phenibut taken around an hour or two after my modafinil is highly effective and virtually eliminates the anxiety issue.

Less Is Sometimes More

Ideally you should be looking to take the minimum effective dose for your needs. The two main reasons are to avoid side effects and to minimise tolerance. Consider taking a half tablet (100mg modalert / 75mg waklert) before trying out larger doses.

Creativity Cancelled – Focus Enhanced

After experimenting with modafinil for the better part of a year, I can safely say it enhances my focus, concentration and ability to stay awake.

With a 100mg+ dose of modalert I find my ability focus on the minutia is enhanced and I become borderline obsessed with getting the job done. I find modafinil aids my ability to “power through” boring and repetitive tasks while reducing the impact of distractions in my life.

However, I quickly realised that modafinil doesn’t enhance my creativity. My ability to think outside the box is vastly reduced on modafinil.  In other words, I lose sight of the “big picture”. This can be considered both a good and a bad thing depending on your requirements.  I tend to find that lining up my days tasks in the morning, taking modafinil, then systematically working through them works best.

Respect Tolerance

Modafinil works best when used sporadically. Prolonged use will likely result in diminished effectiveness.  Most users will find using modafinil once a week keeps you sensitive. Still, there are people who wish to take modafinil for extended periods, in these instances consider cycling modafinil to maintain sensitivity and reduce tolerance. Some example cycles below:

Short Term Modafinil Cycle

  • Maximum 3 days Per week
  • Increase doses over the week if tolerance sets in
  • Take a 3-5 day break if 200mg has no effect.

Example:

  • Monday – 100mg
  • Wednesday – 150mg
  • Friday – 200mg

Long Term Modafinil Cycle

  • Maximum 2 weeks “On” one week “Off”
  • Increase doses if required.
  • Retest tolerance after a full 7 day washout.

Example:

  • Days 1-7: – 150mg/Day
  • Days 7-14: – 200mg/Day
  • Days 14-21: – No modafinil / washout
  • Day 21/22: – Test tolerance with a small dose. Day one starts if effective. If ineffective, consider a further 7 days off.

Please note these are just example cycles. Everyone’s tolerance is a little different. Get a feel for how the drug works for you personally before attempting any prolonged use.

7 comments

  1. Health & Nootropics Blog   •  

    Thanks for the article and other great content

  2. Julian Garrett   •  

    Well, as an almost daily user for over 10 y ears, I have a few comments to the above. Your comments regarding losing sight of the big picture I can relate to, but this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. I certainly think that less is more with this stuff, you want it to be an adjunct to your normal functioning, not something that takes over, and anything more than 100mg at a time feels like your just using it to escape. And plus it doesn’t help with clear thinking at anything above this level.

    Creativity – I’d have to disagree with your comments – I find it helps quite a bit here, but then I guess you have to define creativity. Mine is as an engineer developing new products in telecommunications, make of that what you will. But yes I find it helps. Maybe makes me more tenacious in looking for answers. Not entirely sure there.

    As for anxiety – this was why I had it originally prescribed. It is the best counter to anxiety I have ever come across, and I suffered from a crippling case of it. But there again – different effects for different people.

    • J   •     Author

      Hi Julian,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. 10 years is a long time – out of interest have you had your liver enzymes tested? I must say I’m shocked that modafinil was prescribed for anxiety! While it’s originally a narcolepsy drug, it’s off label uses are for chronic fatigue and depression. Was your depression linked to anxiety? The noted side effects are anxiety and nervousness (among others). When I glanced over the research this seems to make sense as it appears Moda can inhibit gaba. Still – who cares what the research says – your experience is excellent – I’m pleased to hear it’s so helpful for you.

      Out of interest Have you noticed zero decline in efficacy over the 10 years? Have you ever taken a few days off to note the effects?

      On the creativity – I hear what you’re saying. I think it’s about how you define creativity, for me it puts me on an almost relentless quest to find a solution. Almost obsessive, but in a good way (typically at the expense of doing the rest of my daily tasks and occasionally at the expense of eating).

  3. swift   •  

    I agree with 100% of what you have just written!
    after being on modafinil (without an actual prescription for it) for about a month, the past 3 days is the first time ive taken 200mg 3 days straight and from what i experienced last night and 20 minutes ago, in retrospect, it wasn’t a good idea.
    last night during my Uni tutorial, i believe, was the first time i have ever suffered anxiety. That shit was intense! couldn’t stop shaking when my hands were just resting on my laptop keyboard. not to mention walking back to my car, my chest was beating like crazy. it was like the feeling you get before doing a big ass speech in front of peers, but for the whole night and for no reason.
    as of 20 minutes ago, i just suffered a random nose bleed that lasted about 3 minutes.
    definitely going to leave it for a week to make sure it’s all drained from my system and stick to randomly taking only 100mg and with a minimum 3 day split.

    • J   •     Author

      Hey Swift,

      Thanks for your comments. I’ve found that a small dose of phenibut does alleviate the anxiety (when taken a few hours after the Moda), but that’s not a long term strategy at ALL due to phenibut tolerance. Interestingly it would appear that modafinil has some anti-gaba properties, which is perhaps why phenibut totally “fixes” it for me. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8977135

      I’ve tried 5-HTP and I’ve tried beta blockers to “fix” moda, but neither worked.

  4. John   •  

    Thanks for sharing your experients with managing moda.

    Me : male, mid 50’s, 185, starting to feel CRS ( Can’t Remember S@@t ), have experimenting with Nootropic for several year, part IT contracted, have realized I was at least part ADHD since before we knew what it was.

    I’ve had the best results with Phenibut. Piracetam, Noopept, Sulbutiman and Aniracetam barely worked.

    I’m naturally nervous and wired – green tea and the online help a bit. Phenibut does wonders for me if I cycle doses carefully. Through experimentation I’ve learned how to get good effects from Phenibut in the 500 mg to 1 gram range. Previously I was taking 1.5 mg 2 to 3 times a week.

    I just started getting Modafinil where I am semi-retired. I can also get Tramadol OTC ( ah Mexico – Piracetam, Modafinil and Tram are all OTC and the weather in Baka Calif is San Diego.

    I was so looking forward to Midafonil at $40 – $50 for 200 mg QTY 14. My first day was a wonder ( 100 mg ) I picked up a biography of Einstein with lots of math and just jammed through the chapters like I was reading The DaVinco code. My second day was almost as good but by the third it merely like a mild amphetamine – more nervous energy great for cleaning closets and cupboards.

    I tried skipping a day between doses of 100 mg but one day wasn’t enough to manage tolerance.

    I’m back in the US for the holidays so no Mexican bought meds.

    I’m going to try 3 days on 3 days off when I get back to Baja.

    One thing that occurred to me is the sex and approx weight of the user. I sometime take RoxyLean
    I got from GNC for energy ( it stacks really well with Phenibut ) I learned that many women are far less tolerant of “stim” with caffeine like ingredients.

    I’m curious about the differences for sexes, age and weight and metabolism differences when ith comes to Moda.

  5. Ken   •  

    I have been on Nuvigil (armodafinil) for 40 days now. It was prescribed for opiate-induced sleepiness, due to the intrathecal pump I have for pain and spasticity due to RSD. It has completely changed my life! I’m able to remember and complete tasks with ease. I can become completely focused on one item, see connections I couldn’t before, and see it to completion. I’m calm, without any jitters. One very positive improvement is in impulsiveness. I used to spend money at the drop of a hat. It was ruining my finances and my marriage. Now I’ve become a spendthrift, and sometimes my wife jokes I out-miser Ebenezer Scrooge! I’m awake for somewhere between 14-16 hours before the effects wear off. I can then sleep at night easily. The only negative effect I’ve noticed is that if I get focused on an unsolvable problem, I can become “locked” into it for hours, trying solutions over and over. Not necessarily good for marital relations! I haven’t noticed any tolerance, and today’s dose at 150 mg was just as noticeable and effective as the first. Sadly, I can’t afford the Nuvigil ($850+ for a 30 day supply), so I’m trying Waklert 150 next month.

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