Addiction A-Z

Modafinil

Modafinil was discovered by a French researcher in the 1970s and is marketed as Provigil in the U.S. It is a generic substance that can significantly improve a person’s mental state. Not only does the drug enhance memory and elevate mood, it also allows users to stay awake for up to two days without losing mental acuity. The drug could overtake amphetamines, cocaine and even caffeine as the “go to” drug for preventing sleep, especially because it performs its task without the usual jitters that go along with stimulants. Although scientists do not yet have a clear understanding of how modafinil works, it is believed that the drug increases the availability of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain and may increase histamine levels. Some off-label uses for this wonder drug include treatment for depression and other mood issues, for both elevating mood and counteracting the physical fatigue that often accompanies these disorders. Modafinil has also been shown to help suppress appetite in overweight people; although amphetamines can be used for the same purpose, modafinil does not come with a corresponding increase in heart rate.

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