All medications have some side effects. However, what makes Modafinil great is that it has very few side effects to mention. We have divided them into two categories- Mild and Severe. Mild side effects can occur in the beginning. The most probable cause would be that the patient’s body is trying to adjust to the new situation. Severe side effects can occur after long-term use. Here is the list of Modafinil side effects.
Mild Side Effects of Modafinil:
They generally happen for the first 2-3 days when starting with Modafinil. These effects include:
- Nausea: Very low possibility, but it may happen. The increased level of Norepinephrine can cause another hormone ‘Serotonin’ to increase and it may cause nausea. Also if a person is too much into coffee and suddenly starts taking Modafinil, nausea can occur. The solution is simple. You may drink a good amount of water and citrus drinks like lime juice. It generally goes away in a day or two.
- Lightheadedness: This is also a very temporary thing and can happen in the beginning. Modafinil generally clears the mind and calms the brain. If too calm, the patient may find it hard to think. It also goes away in a day or two.
- Sweating: It is one of the common Modafinil side effects. Modafinil creates a rush of energy. This may have a warm sensation in the body and the patient may start sweating. Keep a handkerchief handy.
- Dry Mouth: Another effect due to the rush of energy. This is no problem at all. Drink a lot of water. It is healthy.
- Headache: It is very unlikely, but it can happen for people who have another medical condition such as high blood pressure or hypertension. A simple aspirin may take care of it, but if you feel uncomfortable, please consult a doctor.
Severe Side Effects of Modafinil:
If someone has been using Modafinil for more than 6 months continuously, it is possible that they have the following severe side effects:
- Loss of Coordination: Having pumped Norepinephrine into the body for a long time, loss of coordination can occur. At this point, the patient may not be able to walk or do precise things with their hands.
- Loss of Weight: I know what you are thinking. This is good, but no. This is an unhealthy weight loss, which is due to the loss of muscles and bone mass. One of the effects of Modafinil can be loss of appetite. That is why it is recommended to take 2 tablets a day in the earlier parts of the day. You should take one after a good breakfast and not take any in the evening so that you can have a good dinner and sleep. If someone overdoes it, Modafinil can cause loss of appetite and sleep deprivation. Over a long time, these conditions contribute to the loss of weight.
- Anxiety Attacks: This may be a part of the withdrawal symptoms. After long-term use, it is very likely that the patient is dependent on the medication. When it is time to quit or if the patient finds him/herself in a low supply of the medication, anxiety is quite common. It can be solved by CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).
- Loss of Hair: Very few cases have been presented with this issue. It could be genetic and Modafinil only helps accelerate the loss of hair and bolding.
- Irritation: It is another of the withdrawal symptoms. Together with anxiety, irritation is also very common and can be treated by CBT.
- Addiction: After using Provigil for a long time, it is very possible. The patient already gets used to the high hormone levels and gets addicted to the light and fresh feeling of Modafinil. CBT and rehab can be used to treat a patient with addiction problems. It is important to know that the possibility for addiction is very low, but it can happen. It also helps to be in a support group.
If you are experiencing severe Modafinil side effects that are very uncomfortable, do not hesitate to seek the help of a professional. You should also inform your family and friends so that they are aware and can help you out. Some physical activities such as running, yoga, or a sport can also help a lot. If you want to learn more, please check out our Modafinil FAQ page. You can also read our main article ‘Modafinil (Provigil): What you need to know. ‘