Understanding Modafinil and How it Works in the Body

April 12, 2019

Modafinil is used as a treatment for narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and other sleep disorders. This generic medication offers beneficial effects by triggering chemical changes within the brain to enhance the feeling of wakefulness within the body. This pill works to enhance glutamate and dopamine levels within the brain, which is why it's classified as a stimulant. This medication isn't a stimulant in the traditional sense though, and won't lead to shakes, jitters or the "crash" that's associated with stimulants like caffeine.

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How Long Before Modafinil Becomes Activated?

As with many other medications, the time to "kick in" varies from user to user. Some people will experience benefits from the medication within 30 minutes of consuming it, while most feel the effects within an hour. There are several factors influencing how long the medication takes to impart its effects, including which sleep disorder, is being treated, the user's age and their overall health level. Weight levels and diet are additional factors that can influence how long it takes for the medication to activate. Users that are overweight commonly wait longer than those at lower weight levels before experiencing the effects of Modafinil.

Food is another major determining factor deciding how long the medication will take to make a noticeable difference after use. The body can only do a few things at once, and when taken after eating Modafinil takes longer to kick in. Even though food slows down the effects of Modafinil, most users decide to take the medication with food anyways because without it Modafinil can lead to minor irritation and discomfort. If you're worried about the side effects of Modafinil, but you want to minimize the delay of the medication, try eating a small amount of food just before taking the pill.

It's common for Modafinil to take up to 90 minutes before its effects are obvious after a major meal. If you're suffering from long activation periods every time you take Modafinil, consider working with your doctor to increase your dosage. Just be aware that higher doses are usually given for more extreme sleep disorders. Doctors prefer to start with a low dose and work up slowly to find the most effective level.

Modafinil Effects and Interactions to Consider

Doctors give out different Modafinil doses depending on the age, height, weight and medical condition of the patient. 100 mg is the minimum dose given out, and it's the amount doctors like to start with when possible. Patients suffering from narcolepsy or sleep apnea are often prescribed 200 mg start with. Those with more severe obstructive sleep apnea, or with daytime sleepiness are also given the 200 mg dose starting point often, and some are asked to take the maximum dose of 400 mg. Many patients report experiencing the same effects while taking 200 mg and 400 mg of Modafinil, and there is no guarantee a higher dosage will create more intense benefits.

Modafinil performs differently depending on the food and beverages in your system while taking the medication. The time of day and overall feeling of sleepiness also determines how long the medication will take to take effect. Users that are only feeling mildly tired will usually experience a feeling of wakefulness sooner than users that feel very tired before taking the medicine. It's important to avoid taking Modafinil too soon before trying to sleep at night. Avoid taking the medication within three hours of bedtime or it can interfere with your natural sleep cycle.

taking modafinil

There are additional interactions when Modafinil is combined with other strong medications, which is why it's considered a prescription drug still. It isn't available as an over-the-counter substance because pharmacists must monitor the medications you are taking closely. It can interact with heart medications like Verapamil, Amiodarone, and Diltiazem. Modafinil can also interact with medications like Omeprazole, Clomipramine, Midazolam, Diazepam, Triazolam, and Cyclosporine as well as Propanolol and Phenytoin. Make sure you let your doctor know if you are using any of the above-mentioned medications.

There is the potential for Modafinil to interact with specific herbs, caffeine, supplements, and even some fruit juices. While on the medication it's a good idea to keep a diary of the foods and liquids you consume, to help pinpoint any trouble substances you are consuming reliably.

Avoid taking Modafinil while using alcohol and other intoxicating substances that lead to drowsiness. When mixed with these substances the effects of Modafinil will be less intense and beneficial.

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