Modafinil For Studying: A Real Life Limitless Pill or Just Hype?
This article will examine the use of Modafinil for studying, as a ‘study drug’*. We will address why Modafinil is being used for studying, Modafinil’s purported effects as a ‘study drug’, its potential side effects, Modafinil's legality, and alternatives that students may prefer to use such as ‘natural nootropics’.
Why Are Students Using Modafinil?
The recent growth of Modafinil’s use as a ‘study drug’ has several contributing factors.
Today, many students feel a great deal of pressure or stress while studying. Tuition fees in the UK are higher than ever, and education can be very expensive in other places. As a result, many students are expected to succeed as a fiscal necessity, so they view using Modafinil for studying as a way to improve the return from their investment.
In a similar vein, it has become much harder to find rewarding work. In many instances, very good academic and extracurricular results are needed. This makes some students feel that taking Modafinil for studying is ‘worth it’, to try and excel academically and get more opportunities later.
Many students also have issues with mental health. Lots of people suffer from mental health issues at university, which makes studying much harder. Using Modafinil for studying might be a way for some students with mental health issues to try and catch up, if they have an unproductive period stemming from a mental illness.
It’s additionally quite common for students to struggle when adapting to university. There are a lot of plates students must keep spinning, particularly now as there are more societal demands placed on young people: socialising, relationships, fitness, jobs and other factors. This can mean some students over-stretch themselves, and feel they need to take Modafinil for studying to stay on top of university work.
Finally, more people may use Modafinil for studying simply because it’s very easy to become distracted from your studies. Constantly having a phone, television or internet connection makes procrastination an ever-present problem. This might lead to people falling behind in their studies, meaning they feel they must use Modafinil for studying to catch up. If you want an alternative to Modafinil that can help your studies, then you might want to try a natural nootropic. See our favourite natural nootropic here.
Modafinil’s Effects As A ‘Study Drug’
Modafinil is scientifically classed as a “eugeroic,” which means its primary effect is to “promote wakefulness.” It is not strictly a stimulant, but its effects are quite similar to many stimulants. This means Modafinil is used as a wakefulness aid for studying in many instances. Students working in the days before exams or deadlines might feel the need to cram study into the night to improve their grades.
Furthermore, Modafinil is sometimes reported as being a ‘cognitive enhancer’. This contributes to Modafinil being used for studying. Modafinil has been called the “world’s first safe ‘smart drug’”, by The Guardian, and it has been reported by some people as being able to improve problem solving, along with making boring tasks more pleasurable to get through. However, this is somewhat controversial: the NHS reports that Modafinil was no more effective than a placebo when tested in this capacity. Natural nootropics are also able to help enhance cognition - see our favourite natural nootropic.
Modafinil’s Side Effects
According to NHS guidelines, Modafinil’s side effects include headaches, nausea, nervousness, insomnia, stomach aches, irritability, weight loss, and arrhythmia.
One of Modafinil’s manufacturers, Teva, say that headaches occur in “more than one in ten” Modafinil users. Their list of Modafinil’s ‘common’ side effects roughly align with those described by the NHS.
The American FDA sheds light on the more serious side-effects of Modafinil. Their documentation suggests that Modafinil can cause psychological issues. These are rare, but according to the FDA Modafinil may be connected with depression, anxiety, hallucinations, mania, suicidal thoughts, or aggressive behaviour. Rather nebulously, Modafinil’s side effects may additionally include "other mental problems".
Skin problems are another issue that may result from Modafinil use, which is supported by case studies and the FDA. The FDA reports that rashes ‘could become life-threatening’, but from our research, there do not seem to be any recorded fatalities resulting from a Modafinil-induced rash.
Watch: Modafinil Side Effects In Detail.
Some scientists are concerned that Modafinil may have the potential for addiction. Researchers believe that Modafinil increases the levels of dopamine in the brain, which is part of what makes a drug addictive. This risk seems low, but it is a concern expressed by some researchers. It's also worth bearing in mind that most studies undertaken are over short time spans - longer-term addiction might be a problem that's thus far gone undiscovered. To avoid Modafinil's side effects and other health risks, you might want to try our favourite natural nootropic instead.
Is Modafinil Legal In The UK?
British law has placed Modafinil in a bit of a legal grey area. It isn’t explicitly illegal to possess without a prescription, and it seems rare to be punished for possession. However, Modafinil is illegal to sell to people who haven’t been prescribed it, following the 2016 Psychoactive Substances Act. Additionally, the aforementioned Act is vague about what a ‘psychoactive substance’ is, meaning that possession of Modafinil may become punishable by law.
Because of this, most people who use Modafinil off-label purchase it from overseas pharmacies. These businesses operate outside of British regulations, so they may be selling adulterated or fake medication that may be ineffective, or cause an undesired reaction. An entirely legal option that you may want to try instead are natural nootropics, that can enhance cognition without any drugs. See our favourite natural nootropic here.
If you want to take a ‘study drug', but would also like to avoid the uncertainty and side effects of Modafinil, then consider a ‘natural nootropic’ like BrainZyme.
Natural nootropics are fast growing in popularity among both experienced nootropic and new users. Why? Because they can deliver similar results but by using natural, herbal or protein-based ingredients.
Watch: The Best Over-the-counter Concentration Pill
BrainZyme, for example, uses Tyrosine, which has been found to boost dopamine in the brain in a similar way to Modafinil. But, as it's from a naturally occurring protein rather than a synthetic pharmaceutical, it can arguably cause less of the side-effects associated with Modafinil.
This article has examined Modafinil for studying. It has looked at why Modafinil is being used for studying, its effects that make people use it as a ‘study drug’, its potential side effects, its legality in the UK and potential alternatives to Modafinil for studying.
On balance, we believe that Modafinil is not effective for studying. This is because of the many side-effects and problems associated with it, which may impair studying more than it helps. In addition, as Modafinil is not tested long-term, the use of Modafinil may cause issues we're not currently aware of.
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