Molecule Description

Modafinil is a medicine that stimulates the brain and is used to treat patients ...
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Uses of Modafinil

  • Improving wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness -
  • difficulty to stay awake and falling asleep at improper times (e.g. at morning or evening), a condition called narcolepsy
  • Sometimes, excessive sleepiness may be associated with extreme muscle weakness (the patient may collapse but remains conscious) combined with intense emotions such as laughter, crying, feeling scared ...
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  • Modafinil can be given for excessive sleepiness with or without cataplexy

Contraindications of Modafinil

When should one not use Modafinil

  • Allergy to Modafinil or any of its component
  • Severe, high, uncontrolled blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeats

Side effects of Modafinil

Common side effects of this drug are:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling very tired, sleepy or difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • Fast heartbeats, which you can feel
  • Chest pain
  • Redness (flushing)
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach problems – pain, feeling sick, loss of appetite, indigestion, diarrhea or loose motions
  • Weakness, numbness or tingling of hands and feet (‘pins and needles’)
  • Blurry vision
  • Increased liver enzymes
  • Irritability
  • Skin rashes, itching, extreme mood swings (aggression, hyperactive, severe depression, suicidal thoughts), anxiety, nervousness
  • Inform your doctor immediately if you notice any such symptoms

Precautions and Warnings of Modafinil



Can I take Modafinil during pregnancy?
Modafinil should not be used in pregnancy as it is known to cause harmful effects on the baby.

Breast Feeding

Can I take Modafinil while breastfeeding?
Modafinil is secreted in breast milk and may harm the newborn baby, hence should not used during breastfeeding.


Can I drive if I have consumed Modafinil?
As Modafinil is taken for excessive sleep, be aware that it will not drastically improve your symptoms but will only decrease the intensity. Hence, it is generally not advised to drive in such conditions.


Can I consume alcohol with Modafinil?
Alcohol causes drowsiness and may interfere with the actions of Modafinil and is not recommended.

Other General Warnings

Talk to your doctor if
  • If you are allergic to Modafinil or have any other allergies
  • If you have any heart problems or high blood pressure
  • Mood swings (severe depression, low mood, psychosis, extreme highs or mania), anxiety, hallucinations (loss of contact with reality)
  • If you have any kidney or liver problems (because you will need to take a lower dose)
  • If you had any issues with alcohol or substance misuse in the past

Mode of Action of Modafinil

How Does It Work?

Modafinil works by regulating the action of certain substances in the brain by increasing the levels of certain elements called Dopamine and orexins that transmits signals in the brain (neurotransmitt...
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Interactions of Modafinil

Interactions with other medicines

  • Anti-seizure medications (Carbamazepine, Phenobarbital, Phenytoin)
  • Certain medicines used to treat HIV/ AIDS (Ritonavir, Indinavir)
  • Anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medicines (Amitryptiline, Citalopram, Fluoxetine, Diazepam)
  • Blood-thinning agents (Warfarin)
  • Certain blood pressure medicines (Amlodipine, Verapamil, Propranolol)
  • Cholesterol reducing agents (Statins)
  • Cyclosporine (an immunosuppressant)
  • Omeprazole (reduces stomach acid)

Interactions with food items

Modafinil does not interact with food and can be taken before or after meals. Usually, it is taken in the morning.

Dosage of Modafinil


Accidental overdose may not be life-threatening and may cause sleeplessness or restlessness. Extreme doses may cause psychotic symptoms such as agitation, disorientation, feel something which is not t...
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Missed a Dose

If you miss a dose, then skip it. Do not take a double dose.

Content Details


Dr. Ritu Budania

MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Q: What should I know before taking Modafinil?

  • Do not self-medicate or self-adjust the dose with Modafinil
  • If you feel the medicine does not have the desired effect, consult your doctor. He may adjust the dose.

Q: Can Modafinil cause weight loss?

  • Modafinil causes a decrease in appetite due to which some people may lose weight
  • But using Modafinil for weight-loss in the absence of prescribed symptoms is strictly not recommended

Q: When and how to consume the medicine?

  • Use Modafinil as directed by your doctor
  • Check the label on the medicine for exact dosage instructions
  • Take Modafinil orally with or without food
  • Take Modafinil in the morning unless directed by your doctor
  • If you take Modafinil for shift work sleep problems, take about 1 hour before starting to work.
Last Updated on: 05 Oct 2020 | 10:47 PM (IST)

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