How to take Modafinil for the first time

The question I get asked more than any other is this:

“I’m going to take Modafinil for the first time – do you have any advice?”

Modafinil is mainstream now, no longer some weird nootropic drug belonging to internet denizens and government experiments.

All of my friends have tried it at least once.

So it’s no wonder that I wake up with the same question in my inbox every day: What’s the best way to take Modafinil as a first-timer?

I’m not a medical expert here. Really.

I’m just a guy who has been taking supplements for almost 15 years.

So take what I say with a grain of salt, and not a crutch to use the drug without paying attention to its effects.

That said, there are a few things you should do when taking Modafinil (whether it’s your first time or 50th time).

First time taking Modafinil? Do this.

Step one: get your Moda from a reputable vendor (any one of these is fine).

Compared to prescription stimulants, Modafinil has few side effects.

If anything, you’re probably a little curious and somewhat excited about taking it for the first time – embrace it.

With that in mind, get the following handled and you’ll have a pleasant and productive Modafinil experience: timing, dosage, and food.


Take Modafinil 30-45 minutes after you wake up. This is not an exact science and based on personal experience.

Just as you wouldn’t drink coffee right after waking up, giving your body a little time to naturally wake up first, wait a bit before taking Modafinil in the morning.

I’m not sure when you wake up, but I recommend taking it no later than 8 AM.

It takes anywhere from 25-40 minutes for Modafinil to start working.

The effects last 10-12 or more hours, so any later than 8 AM and you may have trouble falling asleep, which would kill your productivity the following day and the negate Modafinil’s productivity gains.


If it’s your first time, take half a pill. For Modafinil, half is 100 mg. For Armodafinil, that would be 75 mg. (more recommendations for Modafinil dosage here).

It’s easy to break the pill in half; you don’t need a pill cutter or knife.

I take mine with a cup of green tea or decaf coffee (total 30-50mg caffeine). Modafinil and caffeine are fine to take together, but you don’t need caffeine to help wake up or focus. Go easy on the coffee.

In the past, I’ve used ModUp (update 2018 – they are no longer in business), and more recently gave DuckDose a try (update 2018 – they are no longer in business). Another good option is AfinilExpress (update 2018 – AfinilExpress continues delivering high-quality products), who was recommended by the folks at ModafinilCat.


Modafinil is best taken on an empty or semi-empty stomach. You will still get the full effect if you take it after eating, but it may take longer to start working.

The important thing is to remember to eat throughout the day as you normally would. Modafinil suppresses your appetite (some people use it for weight loss), so skipping meals might seem like no big deal.

Don’t skip meals unless you use Modafinil to lose weight. Stick to a normal eating schedule and avoid any unpleasant side effects.

Most importantly: drink LOTS of water when you take Modafinil. This is especially true when taking it with caffeine.

The most common negative side effect of Modafinil is a dehydration headache the next day (again, this will kill your productivity gains and negate the whole experience).

It’s a tool, not a crutch

Again, Modafinil is pretty harmless so don’t worry too much about how things will plan how. Just nail down the 3 variables – dosage, timing, food – and you’ll be in good shape.

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Justin - November 5, 2017

I desperately need to find out if I can take Moda with Duloxetine which I need for nerve pain. Thanks so much


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