What are the long term effects of daily Modafinil usage?

You’re here because you, like me, wanted something more out of your life. At some point, you chose to perform better.

So you went ahead and unlocked the full mental prowess of your brain with nootropics, particularly Modafinil.

focus and concentrationBut have you wondered what the aftereffects of something that is this powerful are? Well, you’re not alone.

Optimizers like Tim Ferriss have discussed the potential risks of modafinil use. I asked myself the same question a few months back and did a little bit of research on it.

So rest easy and let me share with you what I’ve found.

What Makes Modafinil So Popular

Modafinil is one of the oldest nootropic drugs available. It has been in circulation for more than a decade and a half.

There are several qualities that have made it one of the most popular drugs of its kind in circulation.

  • It was prescribed by doctors for the treatment of narcolepsy and sleep disorders since a long time ago.
  • Since it is FDA approved, people trust it.
  • There are a lot more people advocating its benefits than not.

These are all things that you already knew or could find easily around the Internet.

What about documented effects that people go through when they take it?

Modafinil has been prescribed in the USA since 1998, and adverse reactions are uncommon. Only when it’s it was taken in conjunction with other substances like alcohol or other stimulants, above the recommended dosage, do users report anxiety and/or overstimulation.

Most of these cases could’ve been avoided by the user with better judgment abilities.


Memory and Focus

Regular use of Modafinil is seen to alleviate basic ailments relating to the brain, like memory loss and forgetfulness to major diseases like Parkinson’s and dementia.

Three studies have shown Modafinil to significantly improve short-term and working memory in healthy volunteers. Improvements in short-term memory have a huge effect in situations like listening to a lecture, reading, or studying.

Read more: Complete Modafinil Review

Neural Repair

Modafinil repairs damage due to oxidative stress and reduces levels of harmful chemicals present in the brain.

This type of damage occurs when our brain is constantly exposed to workloads and lack of sleep.

This, if prolonged, can lead to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Increase Adaptability

Modafinil enables you to establish new patterns quicker than you usually can. It does this by stimulating neuroplasticity in the brain enabling it to grasp new information quicker.

Negative long-term side effects

The drug could cause some serious problems in the long term. It affects your sleep pattern because in the natural time you need to sleep, you are still under the effect of the drug.

Staying awake

The drug forces your body to stay awake more than it needs to be and therefore disturbs its ability to evaluate how much sleep it needs. The brain needs to take a break and get rid of all metabolic waste that accumulates when you work. And it does this when you sleep.

Not hitting the sack once a while is fine, but try not to do it consistently when you’re on Modafinil. If you don’t watch out and get enough sleep, you will do some damage to your brain. If you use Modafinil for a long time, you could develop some sleep deficiencies similar to the ones experienced by cocaine users.

Dry Mouth

There are a lot of people complaining about this and what I do about it is I carry around/ chew sugar-free gum.

My case of dry mouth isn’t that bad so I can manage. If you do, though, you need to consult your doctor.

The Crash

This is a common factor with all nootropics out there in the world. This is because anything which increases dopamine in the system automatically falls prey to the sudden withdrawal of it from the system.

You’ll be surprised to know that the worst crashes happen because of caffeine. Modafinil is a much better alternative, functionally and has less of a crash. But still, it is not completely ruled out.

Modafinil tolerance

This happens with any drug that you take regularly. The human body automatically gains tolerance to any substance when exposed to it regularly over a period of time. Modafinil also has the same problem.

drug_toleranceOne way of beating it when you can cycle different types of nootropics, the body does not have enough time to get used to them and hence the drugs’ full potential can be utilized.

But to be absolutely honest, I wouldn’t exactly call them drawbacks, because when you overdo something potent as this, it tends to bite you back.

Ramp up your dosages slowly, taking ample time between increments and you should be fine.

The minute you sense something’s awry, revert to the older ‘safe’ dose.

Dosage Levels

Well, I’ll start this with how I went about fixing the dosage levels for myself.

i. I started off very cautiously with 25 mg before breakfast and 25 mg more after lunch for the first week or two.

ii. Eventually I doubled the dosage to 50 mg x 2, roughly three days a week for a month.

iii. Finally I settled on my ideal level at 100 mg Modafinil, twice a day. This is one standard Modalert pill split into two 100 mg doses. I found having no ill effects after 2 months of consistent usage.

Notice how my trial periods increased along with dosage? I recommend this because it gives your body more time to get used to the larger dose.

And like with all nootropic drugs, switch it out for some other drug if you are planning on taking it every day. This ensures that you get the maximum benefit out of your dosage.

The max dose for good results without any side effects is 400mg. I’ve read this and had many people tell me that anything above this won’t give you additional benefits.

In fact, if you keep taking this dose, you are bound to have negative experiences.


I hope I’ve been able to answer some of your queries when it comes to long-term side-effects of Modafinil.

These are the most common gremlins when it comes to nootropics, but for me personally, the trade-offs are worth potential gains.

Actually, it isn’t just me here, a lot of people I know swear by it and include it in their daily routine.

As always, remember to consult a doctor before you start on any course of medication as each person has a unique constitution they need to look after.

What might be a day full of positivity for one person, can be a nightmarish 12 hours for another.

Did I miss any effects? Please share them in the comments below.

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 12 comments
Mary - March 15, 2016

I know this may seem a bit mad, but I received my Modafinil the same day as my Mind Lab Pro. I suppose I was a bit over anxious for that ‘get up and go’ feeling. However, nothing happened whatsover!!! No kidding. I felt no different despite taking two Mind Lab Pro tablets (the stated dose) in the morning, then I took one 200mg Modafinil about 2 hours later. I was a bit nervous but was eager to find out what the effect would be. I felt no different, and even fell asleep mid afternoon, which is one of the many reasons I bought them in the first place. Do you think they interacted with each other? I have done a lot of research on this and found a website where you can check how things like this can react with each other, but nothing was brought to my attention. What’s your thoughts on this? I’d really appreciate your opinion.

Many thanks,


    Dan - March 16, 2016

    Hey Mary,

    Sorry to hear about your weird experience, but thanks for sharing. I’ve never tried Mind Lab Pro so I can’t comment on the quality or efficacy there. However, if you took 200mg Modafinil and didn’t feel a thing (AND went to sleep just fine), I’d say that the Moda wasn’t pure. Where did you buy it?


    Riley - September 5, 2016

    Multiple users including myself did not feel anything for a few days. After this pathway is established, you can then quit and start the drug and feel immediate effects. Maybe other users can comment..

Ginger - June 9, 2016

I’m sorry but your dosage info does not make sense to me. Is there a typo? Please read it carefully. As I read it, it appears you are actually decreasing, not increasing the dose in #II as you no longer take it daily but it appears to be the same amount just written differently. 50 mg twice a day vs 50 mg x 2 is the same amount to my way of thinking. Please be clearer because I would like to understand.

i. I started off very cautiously with 50 mg before breakfast and 50 mg more after lunch for the first week or two.

ii. Eventually I doubled the dosage to 50 mg x 2, roughly three days a week for a month.

    Dan - June 9, 2016

    Hi Ginger,

    Thank you for spotting that error and letting me know. It’s fixed now (I started with a 25mg dose of Modafinil, twice daily… This is VERY small and had little effect. But, I’m pretty sensitive to the effects and like to take things slowly).

    Then I doubled to 50 mg, twice daily (1/4 pill with breakfast and 1/4 before lunch). This is also the same dose I use of Armodafinil (side note: I take Armoda more often than Moda now).

    100mg (half) in the morning and another 100 mg around lunch is a full pill in a day, and something I do max 3 times a week.

eddie west - June 13, 2016

I have a friend who takes this stuff but is on loads of other meds..one in particlar which is an epilepsy drug but it is treating bipolar disorder ?..also depression meds are involved amongst booze etc…is this dangerous and what are the side effects.

    Dan - June 13, 2016

    Just so I’m clear on your question, Eddie… your friend takes modafinil, drinks alcohol, takes an epilepsy drug for bipolar disorder and takes other depression meds.

    First and foremost: I’m not a doctor, but I would recommend staying away from modafinil and laying off the booze for a while. Self medicating with either modafinil and/or booze is a poor choice, regardless of the long term effects of taking modafinil. (more here: http://corpina.com/what-are-the-effects-of-drinking-alcohol-while-taking-modafinil/)

    Second: the truth is, we don’t know. Modafinil *appears* to have very few long term effects. None. Nada. Zip. But that does not mean there ARE none. Tim Ferriss’ answer here is spot on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2OjNebEwXk.

    To sum it up: “there’s no such thing as a biological free lunch.”

Riley - September 5, 2016

I am a 120 lb female, working full time engineer. have been taking Modafinil or Armodafinil nearly every day for about 6 months. I cut the pill into quarters and never take more than a quarter at a time (for either). Moda comes in 200 mg tabs and Armoda comes in 150 mg tabs, so I am only taking 40-50 mg at a time, and after doing this for a couple weeks, can then start to double that. Both of these substances take about a week of daily ingestion to feel anything. But then, WOW. You get a kick of mental clarity and motivation to do all your daily tasks, especially if its a mentally demanding job. Armoda is definitely more stimulating (to me), more of a jittery effect from drinking too much coffee. Moda is more natural alertness to me. If combined, I feel like I have just taken twice as much Armoda. The difference between this and caffeine is the motivation piece. You also begin to wake up feeling refreshed in the morning. I have no problems sleeping if you take the pill as instructed, first thing in the morning before breakfast. It is essential to get enough sleep however, I even feel like I may need extra sleep on the weekends.

Now I came onto this site looking for particular long term side effects. With armoda, could just be me, but I notice that my skin is much clearer. I used to get regular acne around once a month coinciding with PMS, but with Armoda (not moda), if I have a small bump on my face in the morning its gone by the afternoon. Was wondering if anyone else has noticed this unrelated side effect? Could be a possible skin clearer, such as certain birth control pills have skin clearing side effects.

Another side effect of both meds for me, I notice that the urine begins to smell like the drug and that the urine feels like it burns slightly and becomes more yellow (especially in the middle of the night). This could be the kidneys working to clear the drug, and at first I actually got a UTI. I began taking cranberry daily and have had no issues since. But I was wondering if anyone else has noticed urinary tract sensitivity due to clearance of the drug, especially at night-time. I have since began drinking much more water and doing the cranberry supplements when taking these nootropics.

I used to crash taking these drugs but after a few months I learned how to avoid the crash. It came for me by taking the same substance, at least 100 mg for moda or 75 mg for armoda, about 5 days in a row. Then if I did the same amount, I would notice increasingly anxious, muddy thoughts, and the focus went backwards. I decreased my dosage to the quarter size and only take a second in the afternoon if essential. I also switch my days, taking moda every other day and armoda every other day. This has helped me to not feel a crash from either one. If you are crashing, consider taking less or switching between the two nootropics, maybe every other day or week or whatever works for u.

After long term use, I find the Armoda to be a better stimulator and Moda to be a better natural happy energy. After using Adderall to study in college, this is wayyyyyy better, no meth effect AT ALL, no trouble sleeping, no crash. Best of luck with your experience.

    Dan - September 5, 2016

    Hey Riley,

    Thanks for the comment! Kudos for actually starting small and ramping up the dose slowly, rather than taking a bunch all at once. Indeed, Modafinil and Armodafinil (also my preference) are amazing Adderall alternatives (more here: http://corpina.com/best-adderall-alternatives/). Like most “hacks” in life, you get the most mileage by adding just a bit rather than shooting for the moon.

    Regarding dosage, I also do Armodafinil quarters (37.5mg) and lately 1/6th of a pill — cut in half, then cut in thirds. It really doesn’t take much to get the focus effect. 🙂


Misael Sanchez - January 19, 2017

Hey man great article…

Listen I been taking Armodafinil for probably 6 months with a few days on and off… however I had done some research and I never seen anyone trying to take modafinil and armodafinil on days off. What are your thoughts on that?

    Dan - January 19, 2017

    Thanks Misael!

    I don’t take it much anymore… but when I took armodafinil regularly, I took 1/4 pill (37.5mg) in the morning, 3-4 times per week. Never more than 3 days in a row.

    Cheers 🙂

Renee - November 1, 2018

Funny that a side effect is dry mouth. I really thought it was just due to my lack of water consumption and “herbal” medicinal use.

Helpful article. Thanks!


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