View Full Version : Warning: Modafinil (Provigil) can be ADDICTIVE.

10-01-13, 12:33 AM
Hi I have been using/abusing Modafinil (Provigil) for some time now.

I find it has very reinforcing/moderately addicting qualities, though it does not have a pronounced withdrawal, so it is somewhat a very unusual drug.

I have taken Ritalin before but I never found that I "wanted" it or that it was sort of addictive. To me Ritalin was NOT addictive.

However I have read various threads about people (with or without ADHD) inappropriately obtaining and using stimulant medications to assist with study etc.

I just want to warn people that the drug above is potentially addictive in addiction prone people- especially if the recommend dosage guidelines are exceeded.

Modafinil IS a psychostimulant, though a very special and unusual one. It raises dopamine in the brain, but in a much more specific way than other stimulants. It has a lot less side effects- especially cardiovascular- than other stimulants. However in my strong opinion it certainly has some potential to be abused/addictive in some individuals.

I won't mention, at this time, the dose I am taking, but it is MASSIVE.

Thankfully I am not AWARE of any side effects that I am experiencing, however I am sure many medical professionals would regard my dosage as HIGHLY DANGEROUS, who knows I could drop dead of a stroke or something.

I have been taking it at this dose for 3 months. I find it difficult to resist taking it, because it does have subjective beneficial effects (but I won't mention them), but it also makes me feel pretty damn good, and is very reinforcing.

I am after general information about addiction, and if anyone has any good toxicological information (I have read a fair bit though), it would be appreciated.

Interestingly there have been some very interesting studies of Modafinil for ADHD in children, and it was found to be effective- simular to Strattera. However the dose used in children were large, and there has been no such studies or good safety data done in adults, thus it is probably not useful in adults for ADHD at recommended doses (or of little use), and larger doses MUST NOT be used because it could be seriously dangerous.

Thank you.

Edit: I just wanted to say, I am very interested if anybody knows of any good links regarding Modafinil addiction, there is very, very little in the way of scientific literature on this subject, and limited information on the net (not much).

I know for a fact that Modafinil- especially in the USA- is big in certain student circles as a study aid. I strongly discourage use for this reason. It should not be viewed as a "cognitive enhancer", that is not what this drug is about or should be used for.

10-02-13, 12:31 AM
Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry you've had this experience. You're definitely not alone.

10-02-13, 01:02 AM
Mmmmmmm I hated the stuff . Yuck

10-02-13, 05:44 AM
I worked with this compound preclincally. It's interesting to see the debate over its mechanism of action. When it first came out it was marketed as being very different than the other stimulants, possibly working by working on the histamine or orexin systems.

Nobody could figure out what it bound to. There has been at least one study (haven't kept up with the literature recently, so there could very well be more) that shows that it does bind to the dopamine transporter like the other stimulants, just not as potently.

And while there are some studies out there, in animals (rodents and primates) that seem to show that it is less addictive/attractive than the stimulants, I do remember seeing a couple of studies in which the animals still self-administered the drug. That said, IV self admin is a different ball game than orally taking a med, and the one thing that Modafinil has going for it in that regard is that unlike Ritalin or adderall, it does not dissolve in water. At all.

Cephalon really, really wanted it to be approved for ADHD at schedule VI (which means that it is supposedly less addictive/abuseable than the stimulants, more along the lines of a benzo). It is schedule III or IV, I believe, but they were unable to gain FDA approval for ADHD due to side effect profile.

10-02-13, 11:27 PM
I believe, but they were unable to gain FDA approval for ADHD due to side effect profile.

This is exactly what I came to the forum to search tonight. Can you help me find more info on this? I am being prescribed Modafinil for excessive daytime sleepiness/possible narcolepsy but have bad adhd. Ritalin is not working on me, and Adderall gave me annoying side effects, plus stopped working much as well. I was wondering why I had no heard of it before (for adhd) but now this is probably the reason. Approved for narcolepsy not for ADHD. Any pointers or places to look would be helpful-thanks!!!:)

10-03-13, 04:29 AM
Mu husband has adhd and narcolepsy. In the early days, he took ritalin. I do believe that provigil was at one point marketed off label for adhd until someone got stevenson-johnson syndrome (later debunked) so the makers of provigil got in trouble for that and so now its solely for sleep disorders. I also read that its in clinical studies for treatment reisitant depression and something to do with Parkinnson's disease.

10-03-13, 08:40 AM
I don't know the backstory, but Provigil and Nuvigil have been used off-label for ADHD for a while - some doctors still do it for their patients for whom it works.

10-03-13, 08:49 AM
In the US off-label use is very common. The problem with Modafinil for ADHD isn't that it doesn't work, it's that the FDA determined that it wasn't any more effective than the drugs that are already available, and that there were a couple of incidents of severe side effects (Stevens-Johnson syndrome being one if them).

Of course, the problem with sj syndrome is that although it is exceedingly rare it can happen with virtually any medication to just about anyone. Certain drugs like lamictal and some antibiotics seem to have a slightly greater chance of causing the reaction, but sometimes it can happen from something as innocuous as ibuprofen.

Since doctors don't know what causes the extreme reaction, they don't know who is at risk or why it happens to some unlucky folks and not others. Given that Cephalon was trying to get approval to market the drug to kids, I'm speculating that the FDA didn't like the potential risk.

10-03-13, 10:53 AM
Oh, dear. I can imagine that there are plenty of other reasons besides what's essentially an allergic reaction to not give this medication to children, though!