Modafinil in South Africa: By Prescription Only
Think you know all there is to know about Modafinil? There’s a plethora of information across the web on this (sometimes mysterious) compound, and loads of hype about it’s “clinically proven smart-drug” status has muddied the waters somewhat over what is fact and what is fiction.
This effect is further exasperated by Hollywood, as movies and shows like Limitless portray a future where a simple pill is able to provide the user with previously unfathomable levels of creativity, intelligence and focus.
Does it grant users hitherto unprecedented levels of mental clarity and focus? Does it keep you running on all cylinders, even in situations where your willpower reserves would otherwise be drained?
What about the supposed memory and mood enhancements that nootropics users bandy about, are those real?
Furthermore, where do you get the stuff? Modafinil isn’t the sort of thing you just head down to the corner store and grab. Or is it? With so much information, it can be difficult to parse fact from fiction.
The fact that different countries tend to take different stances in regards to Modafinil’s legality further complicates the issue. Some parts of the world are freewheeling in how they deal with it. Others are a bit more restrictive.
Can you buy Modafinil in South Africa? We’re going to take a look at some of the current regulations, along with essential information about Modafinil in general and potential alternatives you should look out for.
In this article:
What Is Modafinil Supposed To Do?
Let’s start at square one. Modafinil is a eugeroic drug, meaning its effects promote a state of wakefulness and keep users from falling asleep. Sounds simple enough, right?
Physicians will often prescribe Modafinil to patients suffering from certain sleep disorders (like narcolepsy) to help them stay awake when they need to and to fall asleep naturally during the evenings.
This is possible because Modafinil doesn’t result in the same kind of post-use sleep disruptions that may occur with other stimulating substances.
Modafinil isn’t just prescribed for these clinical uses, however. Some physicians will recommend it as an off-label mental booster, since it can enhance cognitive function in several areas.
Specifically, Modafinil has been shown to increase working memory, improve reaction times, enhance motivation and alertness—generally, all the things that you need to be more productive when working for extended periods of time.
In fact, Modafinil has become the go-to pill for fighter pilots, who are often tasked with long and strenuous missions that require their constant and undivided attention for long periods of time. Since World War II, the United States Air Force has experimented with prescribing their pilots’ different medications to increase their alertness and ability to perform under pressure.
Unfortunately, all of these prescriptions carry a wide range of side effects and many are addictive and dangerous. Modafinil on the other hand provides the benefits of heightened alertness and focus without side effects typically seen in many other medications.
Modafinil is sold under various brand names. Provigil, Modalert, and Modvigil are popular options, along with many others that vary from country to country.
Does Modafinil Do A Good Job?
No need to dance around this question. Yes, Modafinil works. The better question would be how well does it work and for which particular claims.
By no means will it provide you with any superpowers, but, if you control your expectations regarding the drug, you might find it quite useful.
As we mentioned, Modafinil’s primary use is as a wakefulness-promoting agent. For this use, it is exceptionally effective.
In addition to the aid it provides narcoleptics, it can also help otherwise healthy people address sleepiness and fatigue.
When given to individuals experiencing sleep deprivation, it can coax them back into a state of alertness in which they can complete complex tasks with renewed vigor.
When taken before periods of sleepiness, it can help combat the urge to doze off and give users additional hours of productivity.
What’s particularly interesting about Modafinil’s ability to fight off sleep is the fact that it does not usually result in bouts of rebound hypersomnia post-use.
When using other stimulants like amphetamines, users have a tendency to become more tired after the effects of the drugs wear off and the body has to compensate for the additional lack of sleep.
Not the case with Modafinil, users can resume their regular sleep and get back into the swing of things with fewer troubles than amphetamine options.
Modafinil’s Off-Label Effectiveness
While it’s certainly great that Modafinil does in fact do a good job of treating the issue it’s prescribed for, unless you’re suffering from a sleep-related disorder, you’re probably more concerned with its usefulness as a nootropic.
Studies have shown that while Modafinil doesn’t provide any additional enhancement as far as simple tasks are concerned, it does exhibit a positive effect on executive functions, like complex problem solving, planning and decision making.
Modafinil also seems to have a positive effect on the user’s ability to focus their energy, especially during times of sleepiness.
Studies have also shown that Modafinil also exhibits a positive effect on non-verbal and verbal short term memory.
Can it be Purchased Legally?
In some areas, yes, Modafinil is legal. Large portions of the world list Modafinil as a regulated substance—legal to have and use, but controlled so that you need a prescription.
Canada is one such example. There, you can buy Modafinil as a prescription drug but can’t import it legally without the proper authorizations.
Imports that lack this justification are subject to seizure and could be confiscated before reaching their destination.
In Japan, these regulations are even more strict, with reports that the border security services aggressively check for what they deem illicit drugs (Modafinil is a Schedule I Psychotropic in Japan) and will sometimes follow up with investigations to learn more about what you were trying to do if they intercept one of your packages.
In South Africa, Modafinil is sold under the Provigil brand name and is considered a Schedule V drug. This means you need a prescription to buy it in the country, and other methods of obtaining it are technically illegal. This makes it very difficult to obtain Modafinil without a prescription in South Africa.
How Can You Purchase it in South Africa?
Without a prescription, your options are technically outside the bounds of the law, but it is possible to get Modafinil into the country from online vendors.
You’ll either have to find one that is willing to ship to South Africa or have your package sent to a proxy who will.
That second method adds yet another layer of challenge and risk to your efforts and might end up being more expensive to boot.
All three choices provide a similar level of selection and service, with slight differences in exactly which generics they stock, pricing, ship times, and their independent verification process.
If this all sounds like a lot of work to you, you’re not alone. Many individuals decide that the Modafinil rigamarole is a bit much, and instead opt for alternatives.
Here’s what you need to know about that.
A Non-Prescription Option
If you don’t feel like jumping through all of those hoops just to get some Modafinil, you could instead try Adrafinil.
It’s a non-prescription compound that is very similar to Modafinil and belongs to the same family of drugs.
Like Modafinil, it will provide the much-needed energy boost and alertness enhancement that you’re probably looking for. Just a few things to note…
Adrafinil was created in the 1970s by French researchers looking for substitutes for amphetamines.
The drug went on sale in the 1980s under the brand Olmifon but was discontinued in 2011. Now, supplies of Adrafinil come from a few select retailers, who still stock a powdered form of the drug.
Adrafinil does not work as fast as Modafinil since it has to be processed by the liver first. Since it must be processed by the liver, there’s also a chance of liver damage with prolonged use.
Whereas Modafinil might take effect in twenty minutes, You won’t start feeling the effects of Adrafinil for an hour or more.
Other than that, though, you’ll receive a relatively similar experience using Adrafinil and might actually prefer the option to Modafinil. Considering that Adrafinil is legal to obtain in all countries, including South Africa, it’s certainly a less risky option than trying to obtain Modafinil in South Africa through back channels.
Shall we review? Modafinil is a powerful wakefulness-promoting agent that was developed for its stimulating properties.
It enjoys use as a prescription drug targeted at individuals with sleep disorders like narcolepsy and helps them stay awake during the day and fall asleep at night to get back to a relatively normal sleeping pattern.
Off-label, Modafinil provides cognitive benefits, in the form of heightened levels of attention and reaction time, improved memory and alertness, and a greater motivation to work.
This makes it popular as a supplement among nootropics enthusiasts.
It is legal in many parts of the world but regulated so that anyone wishing to obtain it needs a prescription to do so.
South Africa falls into this category, though, there are ways to circumvent the traditional rules and get shipments of Modafinil from online vendors.
As an alternative to Modafinil, some people turn to Adrafinil, which is a non-prescription drug that is similar in composition.