Modvigil is a powerful nootropic supplement, a stimulant used to treat narcolepsy and other sleep disorders. In recent times, it has been adopted by those wishing to improve alertness and focus. It is related to similar drugs like Provigil and has seen off-label implementation by militaries and students, who also report that the drug enhances memory and work efficiency.
Modvigil is a generic form of a compound called Modafinil. Modvigil, along with related products in the Modafinil family, can induce wakefulness. It also used as a cognitive enhancer, sharpening a user’s focus and combating fatigue.
Modvigil differs from other kinds of stimulants in the respect that there is little evidence that prescribed dosages are tolerance-forming. There are also fewer reported side-effects when compared to other stimulants options. It differs from similar Modafinil offerings, like Provigil and Modalert, in price and potency. Most sources note that while Modvigil is less expensive than its relatives, its efficacy is also slightly reduced.
Currently, the drug is classified in the United States as a Schedule IV Controlled Substance. According to the DEA, Schedule IV Drugs have a low potential for abuse along with an approved medical use. An authorized practitioner is capable of granting a prescription, which can be refilled “up to five times in six months.” Regulations regarding Modvigil/Modafinil are somewhat more strict in the United States than in other countries, where there are fewer concerns about the addiction potential.
In comparison to other stimulants and cognitive boosters, Modvigil doesn’t give you the same “peppy” form of awareness. Instead, its effects are commonly described as being more subtle. It reduces constant attention breaks when performing tasks, allowing users to stay on target longer and continuing to work without interruption.
Overall, focus on single tasks is improved, causing you to “zone out,” so to speak. Depending on what you’re doing, this can be a huge benefit or an extreme detriment.
Modafinil is sold under several other names, including Modalert, Alertec, and Provigil.
I had first heard about Modvigil from reading about its prevalent use by students. Apparently, kids have been using it to log lengthy study sessions and get a leg up in preparing for difficult coursework. Even though it doesn’t provide some of the more fanciful proclaimed benefits (immediate 50 point IQ jump?) It does put you in a good state for getting stuff done.
You might go in expecting the effects to be similar to drinking an energy drink or a large cup of black coffee, but this is not the same experience. I wanted to see how it stacked up to my typical alertness routine, so I did that first: a strong energy drink and few hits from my vape pen, 12mg nicotine level. As usual, I was alert, in the typical “enthusiastic” manner that a big boost of caffeine and nicotine will do. I got plenty done, and, when the effects wore off in a few hours, I was back to my regular level of productivity, though, with a bit of a crash.
The next day, I gave the Modvigil a try. It was a standard 200mg dose, and the feeling was quite a bit different. Instead of feeling “amped up,” I was alert, but still calm, the effects were much more subdued. Far from bouncing around from task to task, I was able to maintain a laser-focus on writing and not breaking for several hours. This was good for banging out a big chunk of repetitive work, but I can see some potential drawbacks here too.
Becoming that focused creates a kind of tunnel-vision. I was engrossed to the point that I was ignoring everything else and even felt a tad anti-social. There are some instances of mood swings associated with Modvigil, but these, I felt, were slight.
Digging around the web, I found some similar accounts. Vice ran a short piece on students who use various drugs to help their performance. Modvigil/Modafinil was repeatedly mentioned, with students noting that it gave them an “all-day” level of focus and allowed them to power through tough study sessions. Some were also adamant about the fact that Modvigil didn’t cause the same crash that Ritalin and similar “study drugs” did, making it a more desirable alternative.
Even cautionary tales, like this article from the Guardian, don’t deny the positive cognitive effects. They simply stress the importance of monitoring the potential long-term consequences of continuous use.
Modvigil/Modafinil has many well-documented effects. Most have been verified through multiple, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies.
Using Modvigil has a noticeable effect on fatigue and energy levels. In instances or sleep deprivation, it can counteract the feeling of tiredness and enable you to continue working in an alert state for several hours.
Studies bear this out, with one that monitored 41 military personnel over a 64-hour period noting that:
“Supplementation of modafinil (300mg) daily for three days during 64 hours of continuous work in military personnel (i.e., two nights without sleep) was able to prevent a decline in mood and cognition seen with sleep deprivation in placebo with a potency similar to 20mg amphetamine.”
Both subjective and objective measures of assessment noted that Modvigil kept subjects alert even after continuous mental strain. Performance markers like reaction time, logical reasoning, and short-term memory also showed significant enhancement.
In both persons with sleep deprivation and taking Modvigil normally, there is an improved level of focus and attention processing. While taking Modvigil, overall mood is not typically affected. However, you will normally feel a notable sense of tranquility that allows for intense focus on single tasks. The result is increased effectiveness in productivity thanks to a lack of boredom.
On placebo-controlled study revealed that a 200mg dose of Modafinil administered on “non-sleep deprived healthy volunteers,” led to improvements in spatial memory, planning and decision making, and visual pattern recognition, three crucial elements of overall cognition.
The increased alertness also affords improved reaction times. When taking Modvigil, you’ll feel as you have a better grasp of your surroundings, and, as a result, can respond to changes more quickly. It doesn’t just enable you to react fast. However, it also has some mechanism that allows you to react more appropriately, reducing the prevalence of impulsive responses to stimuli.
A study performed on sixty adult male subjects showed that in addition to the aforementioned cognitive benefits, the men showed a “slowing in latency” on the various tests administered, likely a side-effect of being hyper alert.
This benefit is somewhat subjective but is still documented. I, along with others who have tried Modvigil for “nootropic purposes,” reported a sense of ease associated with the drug. The ease of focus also brought with it an increased sense of enjoyment while plowing through even mundane tasks.
Research bears this out, with two of the aforementioned studies also noting that “contentedness” and “tranquility” were two major feelings reported by subjects who took Modvigil. This effect occurs regardless of sleep deprivation levels, suggesting that it is equally viable for healthy individuals seeking a mood-enhancing edge.
Though the method through which Modvigil works was previously unknown, research has provided a general understanding of its efficacy. The current understanding is the Modvigil, and other Modafinil products, are dopamine reuptake inhibitors. In simpler terms, they increase the levels of “stimulatory neurotransmitters” in the human body, leading to a host of varying neuropsychological effects.
After entering the body, Modvigil binds to the same dopamine transporter that cocaine does, but the effects are much different. Modvigil is weaker and more selective in its actions. After binding to sites in the body, it blocks the absorption of dopamine, increasing concentrations within the body and leading to pronounced wakefulness and subsequent effects.
More study is necessary to determine the full extent of its properties, and whether or not there are other mechanisms that influence its abilities. Some research suggests that it elevates histamine levels in the hypothalamus, and may also exert some control on the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin. These compounds can have a profound effect on mood and cognitive function as well.
Modvigil goes to work within an hour of ingestion, and its effects can last for up to 14 hours on a single dose. Current studies indicate that there is no evidence suggesting a buildup of tolerance to Modvigil when taken in recommended therapeutic dosages. Some reports show that even extended periodic use (as long as three years) still result in no tolerance formation.
Overdoses, however, are possible, and there are side-effects associated with heightened doses, which we will discuss momentarily.
For nootropic use, standard Modvigil dosages of 200mg, administered through oral tablets are appropriate. Tablets come in 100mg and 200mg strengths. You should take tablets before a focused work session, or when starting to feel the effects of fatigue in order to counteract them. You can take Modvigil with or without food.
200mg is also the normal dosage for those using Modvigil to combat Narcolepsy, Shift Work Disorder, and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. in these cases, users take one tablet either in the morning or an hour before the beginning of their shift.
Evidence shows that 400mg dosages are tolerable. However, there is not enough data to suggest that a 400mg dose is more effective than a 200mg dose. Older individuals should consider reduced dosages until they can gauge how Modvigil will affect them. In addition, pregnant or soon-to-be pregnant women should avoid taking Modvigil and related Modafinil products.
In addition to the mild gastro-intestinal distress that you might experience when taking Modvigil, there are a few serious side effects to note. The most prominent is the possibility of serious rashes:
“In clinical trials of Modafinil, the incidence of rash resulting in discontinuation was approximately 0.8% (13 per 1,585) in pediatric patients (age 17 years); these rashes included 1 case of possible Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and 1 case of apparent multiorgan hypersensitivity reaction.”
Furthermore, the rashes can occur in conjunction with headaches, nausea, nervousness, insomnia, anxiety, and occasional dizziness.
Modvigil has a very limited (but still non-negligible) chance for addiction and dependence. It shares characteristics with habit-forming stimulants but rarely becomes a problem when used at recommended dosages.
Modvigil stacks are not particularly common, though a few combinations exist. Most notably, Coffee, Aniracetam, Noopept, and Phenibut.
With coffee, the stimulating effects are magnified. You’ll feel the alertness of Modvigil combined with the extra boost that a hit of caffeine provides. One cup of coffee combined with the normal Modvigil dose will do the trick.
Aniracetam is another cognitive enhancer. Taking it along with Modvigil increases focus to a greater degree while allowing for greater social interaction. The typical dose is the standard 200mg of Modvigil, accompanied by a typical 400mg Aniracetam dosage.
Noopept is a more potent cognitive enhancer with similar effects to Aniracetam. It should be taken with a lower dosage than Aniracetam, typically 10mg accompanied by the 200mg of Modvigil.
Phenibut “rounds off” the effect of Modvigil, making you less irritable and more capable of serene focus. Modvigil in a 200mg dose, along with 250mg of Phenibut is usually enough.
There are several other compounds with similar effects to Modvigil, though, with different side effects. Don’t overlook these other options:
Other Modafinil Products
Provigil and Modalert are the most common. They work in a similar fashion but are more expensive and more potent as well. Most estimates put them at 10%-15% more powerful, with an increased “off the bat” effect as well. Some users report that Modvigil has a longer lasting effect, however.
- Similar to Modvigil
- More powerful
Ritalin is commonly prescribed to combat ADHD. Like Modvigil, it is a stimulant and controls focus/impulse decisions. Unlike Modvigil, though, there is a greater chance that Ritalin will cause anxiety and tension with continued use.
- Stimulant used for ADHD
- Causes increased anxiety
- Schedule II drug
This amphetamine directly stimulates the central nervous system, with effects similar to Ritalin. There is also a greater probability that Adderall will become habit forming. Moreover, individuals with blood pressure or heart issues could run the risk of severe complications.
- Stimulant used for ADHD and narcolepsy
- Can cause heart complications
- Schedule II drug
Modvigil and its Modafinil relatives are quite effective at treating sleep disorders but have great nootropic use as well. Those wishing to squeeze a few extra hours of productivity out of their normal routine might find this an attractive option to do so. It is also great for those trying to gain increased focus for a singular task or work session.
As mentioned, the feeling with Modvigil is one of heightened alertness combined with abnormal “tunnel vision.” Provided you take it in the right setting, you’re likely to experience some marked benefits from