A lot has been said about how amazing Modafinil drug is and the great effects it has on one’s productivity. It is called as the new ‘smart drug’ and many are vying for its awesome results. But, are you putting your brain at risk by using this narcoleptic drug? Does the drug come attached with certain side effects written in the fine print? Or are the potential risks worth the benefits of Modafinil? Let us answer this and many other questions related to Modafinil side effects, if any, after long-term use.
What makes Modafinil a Smart Drug?
Modafinil is the king of smart drugs that promises you improved concentration, enhanced memory, wakefulness, alertness, motivation and the ability to focus on the most boring of all tasks in the world for hours.
Many students use Modafinil as it helps them give a competitive edge. The drug tends to act on the neurotransmitters of the brain and helps make one more alert. Modafinil affects dopamine system, norepinephrine as well as the histamine that makes one alert, focus better and keeps one awake.
The boost to the memory given by Modafinil is what engages most students as well as professionals to use this drug. It is said to improve the short-term memory by 10%. This is because it affects the neurotransmitter glutamate.
Astronauts, military personnel, pilots, drivers, people who do night shifts all use Modafinil to overcome drowsiness and remain alert. Certain healthy adults also use it to improve their cognitive functions, performance, productivity as well as creativity. Modafinil helps clear the mind and focus better on the task at hand.
This has led to the use of Modafinil not just as a prescription drug for people with sleep disorders or shift-work disorders, but also by healthy individuals. It does not give one the kick like narcotics, yet it has psychological effects that improve their overall performance at work.
This brings us to the ultimate, yet valid question about Modafinil. Is Modafinil safe for long-term use?
Should I Use Modafinil With Caution?
There is limited data available regarding the negative effects of Modafinil with long-term use in humans. One of the most common side effect reported by long-term users is sleep deprivation.
Users tend to take the drug the minute they feel the effects of the drug is wearing off. As Modafinil affects the sleep pattern and remains in the system for a long time, it keeps one awake when the person should actually be sleeping. This affects the natural sleep rhythm when the drug is not used wisely.
Sleep is essential to help the body as well as brain to undergo its natural wear and tear. It is during sleep when major chunks of your memory are organized and stored. Complete dependence of Modafinil will lead to a total burnout of the brain and body.
Another side effect often heard after long-term use of Modafinil is dry mouth. It happens as the body produces less saliva when awake. You may have experienced or heard about people drooling in sleep. This is because saliva production is high when asleep. The dry mouth leads to ulcers, mouth sores as well as teeth damage.
Although the drug does not lead to addiction, the user becomes psychologically dependent on the drug. Modafinil enhances their mental focus and alertness, making things crystal clear. This experience makes them use or for some abuse the drug leading to depression, headaches, hypertension, etc. These effects are not due to the use of the drug, but the excessive intake of Modafinil that does not allow the body and brain to rest.
Nausea, nervousness, immune system impairment, social deficits, etc. are all side effects seen due to sleep impairment or disturbance.
Use Wisely to Overcome the Negative Effects
As you can see, Modafinil does not have any side effects apart from a serious allergic reaction to the drug. The side effects are only due to the uncontrolled use of Modafinil. Take the drug only when you need it the most. Begin with just half a tablet a day. It is enough to keep you going through the day and by the time you are ready to sleep, the drug is out of your system. Give yourself a break from the drug for a few weeks to a month. This will avoid psychological dependence on the drug as well as prevent the body from building up a tolerance to the dose.
You can use Modafinil safely when used in a controlled manner. Modafinil is not like a narcotic drug. It won’t create dependence or make you hallucinate. However, a constraint should be maintained when using the drug to avoid any side effects from affecting your body or mind.
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