What is Modafinil?
In the 1970s Lafon Laboratories in France developed a stimulant called Adrafinil which was at that point used for the treatment of narcolepsy and other sleeping disorder. When Adrafinil was developed it was considered superior to Amphetamines as it didn’t show any side effects in the behavior and wasn’t considered addictive. Now in order to show its effects Adrafinil when ingested takes longer to work as the body produces a new substance during the process of metabolism. Lafon laboratories named this new substance as Modafinil and marketed it to the pharmaceutical industry. As Modafinil doesn’t have to be broken down to show its effects it is considered quicker acting and compared to Adrafinil, it is less likely to add up to liver damage.
In 1998 it was approved by the FDA for the treatment of narcolepsy and later on for shift work disorder and sleep apnea in 2003. Modafinil is a wakefulness-promoting medication which is used not only for sleeping disorders but it has many off-label uses which are not listed particularly. By now you might have a slight idea what Modafinil is, but let us talk in detail about the uses of Modafinil and how it started being called a smart drug.
Modafinil as a sleep aid
As we conversed earlier that studies have proven that Modafinil can help people suffering from sleep disorder like narcolepsy. It can help them stay awake when needed, unlike other drugs it didn’t keep them awake the following day, instead helped them have usual sleep patterns.
- SWD (Shift work disorder)
Shift work disorder is a condition commonly seen in people working in shifts. SWD affects them during the night as well as in the day, disturbing their sleep/wake cycle. Modafinil helps them stay awake and alert at night. Modafinil was approved by the FDA in 2003 for the treatment of shift work disorder.
- Sleep Apnea
OSA (Obstructive sleep apnea) is a condition caused in individual who has partial obstruction while breathing during sleep. Normally people suffering from OSD doesn’t notice when they are cut off from oxygen but this condition tends to disturb their sleep pattern which results in daytime sleepiness. Modafinil helps them stay awake during the day and even helps them regulate their sleep/wake cycle.
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
ADHD is a condition usually, seen in children’s and teenagers and can even continue into adulthood. It is considered as the most commonly analyzed mental disorder where individuals have a very short attention span or are unable to control their impulses. Modafinil increases the dopamine in the brain resulting them to be more focused and attentive.
- Off-label uses of Modafinil
There are many off-label uses of Modafinil. Individuals like students, corporate executives, soldiers and even doctors uses Modafinil as a smart drug because of its effectiveness. The wakefulness quality of modafinil has been very useful for them during exams, presentation, important missions or long surgeries. In 2000 an experiment was conducted and the study showed that Modafinil has the potential for the treatment for Fatigue.