What is Modalert (Provigil)?
Modalert is a prescription central nervous system stimulant that helps people stay awake, enhance concentration, and combat fatigue. It is commonly used to treat narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder but doctors may also prescribe it off-label for many reasons, such as to treat ADHD, for airline pilots, or to treat excessive fatigue associated with medical conditions like cancer or multiple sclerosis (MS).
Researchers aren’t exactly sure how modalert works, but they believe it stimulates the production of monoamines (a class of neurotransmitters), which includes dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin. Although modalert 200 is a highly effective prescription medication, it has the same effect on dopamine centers of the brain as cocaine, methamphetamine, and amphetamines do.1 Like other stimulants, it also causes psychoactive and euphoric effects, which influence a person’s moods, thoughts, emotions, and perceptions.
Not surprisingly, due to its ability to stimulate the brain, enhance focus and concentration, reduce appetite, and greatly reduce the need for sleep, modalert is commonly abused non-medically without a prescription.
In the United States, modalert is sold under the brand name Provigil. The medication is produced in tablet form (100mg or 200 mg tablets) and is intended to be taken once daily. Generally, it is well-tolerated by most people and clinical evidence shows Provigil may cause mild withdrawal symptoms in some patients, although physical dependence from modalert use or abuse is very rare.
Although other similar stimulants like Adderall are regarded as being significantly more dangerous when it comes to their potential for abuse, modalert (Provigil) is a Schedule IV drug in the United States, which means it does have the potential to be abused and it may cause physical or psychological dependence in some individuals.
Is Modalert Addictive?
Some research suggests that modalert (Provigil) may have some potential for addiction and abuse. One study from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that modalert’s method of action is similar to that of very addictive drugs like meth and cocaine.1 This suggests that people with a history of substance abuse problems may be more prone to modalert abuse as well.
Research has also proven that modalert dependence is possible, although rare.2 The case study’s findings provide evidence that Provigil can produce mild tolerance, which means some people may abuse it to achieve the same effects they felt at lower doses. As a result, they might develop feelings of psychological or physical dependence.
Also, more and more high school and college students, working professionals, and others are beginning to abuse modalert as a cognitive enhancer. Unfortunately, modalert has gained a reputation as another smart drug with the ability to improve cognitive performance. However, although Provigil will increase
concentration, much like a few cups of coffee can, it is not a wonder drug. In fact, when it’s abused in large doses, it can actually have the opposite effect and may make a person more distractible.
About Modalert (Provigil) Abuse and Addiction
Modalert 200 is commonly abused as a study drug by students, professionals, and others who are looking to fight fatigue and stay awake longer as well as enhance their focus and concentration. Although Provigil is a milder prescription stimulant than Adderall or others, it may still have the potential to cause psychological dependence if it’s abused.
The 2018 National Survey on Drug Abuse reports that prescription stimulant abuse is a big problem in the U.S. In 2018 alone, about 5.1 million Americans misused prescription stimulants like Provigil in the past year.3
What Are the Side Effects of Modalert Abuse?
Modalert can sometimes cause unwanted side effects. If a student or young person is using Provigil without a prescription, he or she may experience some of the following side effects:4
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive thirst/dry mouth
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Muscle tightness or pain
- Skin peeling
- Chest pain
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Irregular heartbeat
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Modalert Abuse?
Modalert addiction is extremely rare, but if someone is taking Provigil without a prescription and using it as a cognitive enhancer, he or she may also display some of the other typical signs of drug abuse, such as:
- Frequently trying to obtain a prescription for Provigil
- Lying about taking Provigil
- Worrying about getting the next dose of Provigil
- Experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms
- Developing a tolerance