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Modafinil is used to treat excessive daytime sleepiness associated with narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea (problems in breathing while asleep) and chronic shift work.

How it works

Modafinil acts on the brain to stimulate the release of chemicals that promote wakefulness.

Common side effects

Excessive thirst, Allergic reaction, Flushing, Back pain, Burning sensation, Confusion, Dizziness, Drowsiness, Altered taste, Eye pain, Flatulence, Headache, Heartburn, Increased sweating, Insomnia, Loss of appetite, Movement disorder, Nose bleed, Numbness, Tingling sensation, Tremor, Uncoordinated body movement, Constipation, Diarrhoea, Dry mouth, Nausea


Expert advice

  • Take the drug about 1 hour before you need to be fully alert.
  • Limit intake of caeffine.
  • Do not stop the drug suddenly as you can get withdrawl symptoms.
  • Do not drink alcohol whil taking this drug.
  • Do not give modafinil to children below 18 years of age.
  • Do not take the medicine if you are allergic to it or to any other content (e.g. lactose) in the medicine.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery after taking modafinil as it may cause dizziness or blurred vision.
  • Inform your doctor before taking the medicine if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.

Frequently asked questions


Q. Is modafinil an addictive/narcotic drug?
Modafinil is not a narcotic drug. But, it may cause addiction/dependency if not taken as prescribed.
 Q. Is modafinil an amphetamine/nootropic?
Yes. Modafinil is a nootropic drug but it is not an amphetamine.
Q. Is modafinil safe?
Yes. Modafinil is relatively safe if used as recommended. In case of any side-effects, consult your doctor.
Q. Can I take modafinil with citalopram, paracetamol, aspirin, Ritalin, or Aderall?
Modafinil should not be taken with citalopram. It can be taken with paracetamol, aspirin, Ritalin, or Aderall, only if prescribed by your doctor.
Q. Does modafinil improve memory?
Modafinil promotes wakefulness. However, it does not improve the memory.
Q. Does modafinil cause hair loss?
Yes. Modafinil may cause hair loss. If you experience any such symptoms, please consult your doctor.
Q. Does modafinil promote weight loss?
No. Modafinil does not promote weight loss.

Content on this page was last updated on 18 October, 2016, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)