Citation: Oxonian. "First Impression: An Experience with Modafinil (exp91201)". Erowid.org. Apr 10, 2012. erowid.org/exp/91201
I recently ordered a batch of Modafinil (Modalert) online at an online pharmacy out of curiosity (I love trying new drugs), and to help me with my academic work. I've taken the drug now for 4 consecutive days, at 200mg / day and wanted to report on my experiences so far.
I've had previous experience with many other (mostly harmless) drugs, including Adrafinil (Olmifon), which I found to mildly enhance overall cognitive capabilities, sociability, happiness, and which, of course, allowed me to stay awake longer and without the nasty side effects of doing the same with coffee. Although I rarely took it, I was a bit worried about liver toxicity. I also experienced slight joint pains when taking Adrafinil, and my body started smelling like eggs, which is why I was eager to try Modafinil, which I assumed should be easier on the body.
I will first give my overall impressions of the drug, and then provide a brief report of each of the four days on which I took it.
People on the internet have claimed that Modalert might be weaker than non-generic versions of Modafinil. Not having tried any other form, I can't comment on this, but I found in retrospective that the 200mg pills were actually too strong for me in everyday use, so it definitely works.
The initial effects of the drug as I perceived them are all positive: I am a better conversationalist. I have more confidence and believe in myself and my ideas more strongly. I am way more motivated to work. I am more aware of my own emotions and subconscious processing. I found this similar to the effects of practising Vispassana meditation: You become a tiny bit 'wiser' in everyday interaction. The effect of caffeine is increased tremendously. So all in all, rather fabulous. I am absolutely convinced that neither of these effects is a Placebo, although when I have a good day, I experience some of these effects naturally every once in a while.
A 200mg dose lasts for about 12-15 hours. I'm quite used to drinking coffee, even late at night, but this is not a good idea on Modafinil, since I absolutely couldn't sleep after trying it.
After taking the drug for four consecutive days, I had a sudden light but annoying episode of anxiety which seemed to me to be related to the effects of the drug. On the fourth day, I also experienced slightly cold, clammy hands (probably because I was anxious), and a stinging feeling, which worried me a bit in my already anxious state.
Here's what happened:
I received the drug in the morning (the post man woke me up). I stayed up afterwards and took a 200mg pill around midday. I was a bit sleepy before taking it, that feeling soon cleared up and I felt happy, awake and motivated (although I didn't have any work to do). I had a meaningful conversation with my girlfriend on that day, during which I felt that I was a bit more insightful than I would otherwise be. We met a friend later that night and some great discussions. I felt immensely enthusiastic and very happy. If this is a consistent effect, Modafinil will be my new social drug of choice for parties and meeting friends.
I took half a pill around midday. I can't remember most of what I did that day, until at 4pm I suddenly received an e-mail which meant that I would have to prepare a very important presentation until Friday. I'm not the most confident of academics, and usually my emotional response would have been to be a bit scared. I think the Modafinil changed that. After receiving the e-mail I was totally hyped up. I felt great about finding such a good purpose for this week, and great about the prospect of working tirelessly until Friday. I popped the other half of the pill (a mistake because I wasn't able to sleep that night) and went to the office, where I did some planning with a colleague. In the discussion I felt I was much better able to get my point across and spot and articulate problems I saw with the other persons point of view.
That night I had trouble sleeping. It was one of those night were you feel like you didn't get any deep sleep at all
Since I didn't sleep too well I was quite tired. I took a pill. I felt great soon after and got quite a bit of work done on that day. I thought to myself that this pill is really the bees knees, the real deal. I got another e-mail which meant that I would have more time to prepare the presentation. I was still committed to getting it done till Friday.
Tuesday I took another pill again. I felt the effects less strongly than the days before. I started looking up information about Modafinil tolerance online. My mind overall felt a bit like it was in overdrive. While browsing I stumbled across information about severe adverse reactions to Modafinil which can in rare cases lead to death. While I was aware of this information before taking the drug for the first time, I read some personal stories of people who have taken Modafinil with bad side effects, and without me consciously being aware of it, they really scared me.
Usually, I would be a bit more rational about these things. Clearly, Modafinil is still an approved prescription drug for a lot of things (including shift work). Many people have taken them for years without negative side effects. But then, this didn't emotionally register in my mind, and I slipped into an anxious state that is quite atypical for me. It wasn't debilitating, but very annoying. In addition (and this is probably related to the fact that I looked up gruesome side-effects online), I started feeling some side effects. One of them was cold, clammy hands, which was probably just the adrenaline. The other, was sudden stinging sensations in my feet and shoulders. I looked it up, and it says this is a side effect of the drug. I decided to ease off Modafinil for a bit.
This is today, I haven't taken a pill, and as you can tell I'm procrastinating by writing this report instead of getting work done. I decided to sleep in, and feel a bit groggy. Caffeine still seems to have a stronger effect on me, and it feels a bit like I still have some Modafinil lucidity left in me.
Overall, it seems like a great, if not perfect, mind enhancing drug. I prefer it over Adrafinil and Piracetam. I would suggest taking small doses (at most 100mg at first), and only taking it every once in a while instead of every day. Inform yourself about the more severe side effects, and then make an informed decision on whether to use it and your usage pattern.
As a side note, this might be a bit too early, but I don't see any addictive potential in the drug so far. I don't feel a craving for it, but rather want to stay away from it for a bit. Having said that, I don't seem to have an addictive personality (every once in a while I pick up a very light smoking habit, and then forget about it again).
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