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Is Modafinil Right For You?

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Nursing
Wordcount: 1015 words Published: 18th Sep 2017

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Sheyenne Mellow


What is Modafinil? Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent used for treatment of disorders such as narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, and excessive daytime sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea. It has also seen widespread off-label use as a purported cognition-enhancing agent. In the US it is sold under the brand names Alertec, Modavigil, and Provigil. In the United States modafinil is classified as a schedule IV controlled substance and restricted in availability and usage, due to concerns about possible addiction potential. In most other countries it is a prescription drug but not otherwise legally restricted. A lot of people don’t use it for sleep although that is what it was originally meant for. College students mostly have been known to use it to enhance their cognitive abilities.

What is Modafinil Used For?

Modafinil was initially made for narcoleptics (people having trouble sleeping), many soon caught on that modafinil can enhance cognitive abilities. Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting agent. Exactly how it works is not known, but it is thought to work by altering the natural chemicals (neurotransmitters) in the brain. A lot of students claim to take this drug while studding or taking exams and they are seeing impeccable results. But modafinil isn’t the first drug that is supposed to help you become smarter. Some brands that claim to have a pill to make you smart you may see advertised on TV or in online ads. Modafinil really seems to be a legit smart drug, according to a systematic review of reports documenting the effects of the drug.

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“It’s not that it makes you more intelligent,” says Phoebe, a history student. “It’s just that it helps you work. You can study for longer. You don’t get distracted. You’re actually happy to go to the library and you don’t even want to stop for lunch. And then it’s like 7pm, and you’re still, actually, you know what? I could do another hour, says Phoebe.” The meta-analysis was between January 1990 and December 2014 by Carole Cadwalladr. In total, 24 such studies were identified which discussed modafinil cognitive benefits in areas like planning and decision making, flexibility, learning and memory, and creativity. Made by a team at Univers There have always been drugs, of course. Every generation has had its drug of choice. LSD provided the mind-expanding in the 60s and ecstasy in the late 80s kick started rave culture and another summer of love. But this use of drugs to work harder, to gain a competitive advantage, to produce more, to do more.

The Background of Modafinil

The longer and more complex the task is, the better results and better improvement you will see. “The cool thing is that 70% of the applicants had little to no side effects” said Robert Kolker a writer for The New York Times. Those that did have side effects claimed to have trouble sleeping, mild headaches, and nausea. Would you like to know the background of Modafinil? Modafinil, which is prescribed in the UK and the US as Provigil, was created in a French laboratory in the late 70s and was licensed for use in the UK as a narcolepsy medication in 2002 said Robert Kolker. In the US, that was extended to include excessive daytime sleepiness and shift work sleep disorder. It has some of the effects of classic stimulants such as amphetamines but without the classic stimulant side-effects: jitters, anxiety and so on. It’s not considered addictive, but some studies have shown that it appears to increase dopamine in the brain, which has been linked with addictive behaviors.

The findings raise some important questions. For one, the concern of the short-term effects of modafinil. We don’t know what might happen to a person were him to take the drug every day for years. Secondly, is it okay to take a cognitive enhancing drug in the absence of a cognitive disability? Some might see it like cheating. Just like body builders and athletes use drugs to enhance their physical performance, some might decide to take cognitive enhancers for their brain. The brain intelligence and creativity isn’t exactly like working your physical body, but you are working out your mind. You can’t pop pills and expect turning into Einstein or Franklin.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to finally not struggle with studding or passing a test because you have a hard time staying focused? I myself would give Modafinil a shot, why not? There are little side effects and if the drug works for me, then I’d be a smarter more focused version of myself. Enhancing your brain function is your choice and I’m sure the outcome is awesome.


  1. Internet source with unknown author.

Unknown author, (August 21st 2015) Modafinil is the First Confirmed Drug that Makes You Smarter

Retrieved from http://www.zmescience.com/medicine/mind-and-brain/modafinil-smart-drug-534534/

  1. Internet source with one author.

Carole Cadwalled, (February 14th 2015). Students used to take drugs to get high. Now they take them to get higher grades

Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/15/students-smart-drugs-higher-grades-adderall-modafinil

  1. Internet source with one author.

Robert Kolker a writer for The New York Times (March 31st 2013). The Real Limitless Drug Isn’t Just for Lifehackers Anymore

Retrieved from http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/modafinil-2013-4/



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