Modafinil is a wonder drug for some people, especially those with sleep disorders, those that work long hours, and those that just want to excel in work or school. But everything in life comes with a price. This article will cover some of the most common side effects of Modafinil use so that you know what you’re getting yourself into and can make an informed decision on whether or not to take this medication.

Short-term side effects of Modafinil

1) Modafinil Headaches

This is one of the most common side effects that impacts nearly all Modafinil users at some point. The headaches can kick in while on, or sometimes the next day once the effects have worn off. It’s nothing to worry about, but certainly annoying, especially when you have a lot of work or studying to do (as you often do when using Modafinil).

2) Anxiety & Nervousness

This is a side effect that comes along with nearly any stimulant/alertness aid. Your body can be sent into fight for flight mode easily while on Modafinil which can lead to anxiety, jitters, and general nervousness. These effects can be amplified if you already have anxiety or depression normally, so you should speak with a doctor before using Modafinil if this is the case. Nobody wants a panic attack.

3) Upset Stomach & Diarrhea

Another very common (and unfortunate) side effect of Modafinil is nausea and diarrhea. In my case, diarrhea usually occurs the day after use. The day of, loss of appetite and stomach cramps are more common. These symptoms usually subside once you’ve been using it consistently but it can take your body some getting used to in the beginning, so expect to making frequent trips to the bathroom.

4) Insomnia

This should come as no surprise. Modafinil is a drug that promotes alertness, particularly in those with sleep disorders (like insomnia) and as you would guess, it keeps you up. Add to that the long half-life of 12 hours and you may be in for a sleepless night. If you’re going to take Modafinil, always take it first thing in the morning if you hope to get a good nights sleep the next night.

5) Skin Rashes

This is less common but some users have complained of skin rashes which were linked back to Modafinil use. This is most likely an allergic reaction and occurs in a small percentage of people. If you take Modafinil and get a rash, discontinue use right away.

That’s about it for short-term sides. Nothing major and nothing that will cause long-term harm. Now onto the more important long-term side effects…

Long-term side effects of Modafinil

  1. Excessive use of Modafinil causes Erythema Multiforme (EM), DRESS syndrome, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN) and Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS). These are severe cutaneous adverse reactions that people had to excessive and prolonged use of modafinil.
  2. According to reports, Modafinil may have an adverse effect of hormonal contraceptives for a month after discontinuation.
  3. Use of Modafinil is associated with psychiatric reactions among patients that have not had any existing psychiatric history.
  4. Long term use of Modafinil can cause psychological dependency and withdrawal in extreme cases. Withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, lethargy, anxiety, and anhedonia.
  5. An overdose of Modafinil, while rare, can cause life-threatening effects. It is non-stimulant, so while it is less dangerous than amphetamines like Adderall, it should still be used with caution and under doctor supervision.
  6. Other lon-term side effects include palpitations, agitation, confusion, tremor, sleep disorders, nausea and nervousness among others.
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