Modafinil is a eugeroic or a wakefulness promoting agent which helps improve sleeping patterns and keeps you alert at all times. Modafinil is known by many names; “smart drug”, “study pill” or “sleep aid”. Going back to the beginning and finding out how Modafinil was developed and what purpose it has in today’s world is the main reason for writing this article.
Modafinil is used in the treatment of sleeping disorder. Sleep is very important for our survival and is considered so from many centuries. If you observe, it has been highlighted in many ancient texts about the importance of sleep. So we can say that, there was existence of sleep disorders in ancient times. Knowledge about sleep disorders can be as valuable as the treatment for it. In those times there were not many treatments for sleep disorders but compared to today’s, technological advanced world there are discoverers made every second which is one of the reasons Modafinil came into existence.
As coming back to the existence of Modafinil it was from a stimulant called Adrafinil. Modafinil was originated from the invention of a sequence of benzhydryl sulfinyl compounds with Adrafinil being one of them. An experiment by a French professor Michel Jouvet and Lafon laboratories were carried out in the 1970s and during the experiment, Modafinil came into existence. Adrafinil was the first to be offered as an experiment for the treatment of narcolepsy. Modafinil is nothing but a metabolite of Adrafinil, as Adrafinil when taken has to produce a substance for the process of metabolism. Lafon laboratories later marketed this substance as Modafinil.
Modafinil, when compared to Adrafinil, showed much faster effects and was considered harmless for the liver, unlike Adrafinil. Modafinil was considered very effective for sleeping disorder. There are more than 100 disorders related to sleep, if we consider the cause of sleep disorder then it can give us the following overview about Modafinil and its treatment.
Excessive daytime sleepiness -people suffering from EDS finds it difficult to stay awake during the day, there can be many reasons behind excessive sleeping disorder like sleep apnea, etc. Modafinil was approved by the FDA for the treatment of sleep apnea in 2003
Sleep rhythm problem and Shift work disorder are caused due to sticking to an irregular sleep schedule or if an individual is working in shifts. Whereas, Modafinil can help improve the sleep cycle depending at the time the medication is been taken.
Insomnia -People suffering from insomnia have difficulty to sleep and stay asleep. Modafinil is not used for the treatment of insomnia, but it is found that in some cases it has helped people suffering from it.
Apart from the treatment of the sleeping disorder, Modafinil has also been used by patients suffering from ADHD. There are many off-label uses of Modafinil which is a major reason for it being so popular in the pharmaceutical world today. It has been used off labeled by students to help them stay awake during exams, and even help them concrete during lectures; hence it is called as “study pill”. Not only among students, Modafinil has been off-labeled used by the US Air Force for their pilots to stay awake during important missions and even doctors use it during the long surgical procedure.