Modafinil experience – The New Viagra of the Mind

armodafinil fast delivery

Would you like to be able to finish up a project at one go, using a substance that could enable you to stay awake for up to 40 hours at full mental capacity without side-effects, improving alertness, mental capacity, and mood without the mania of amphetamines? If you saw the movie ‘Limitless’, you will likely have been intrigued by the promise that taking a substance could rocket you into fame and fortune through massive brain acceleration. The movie dramatized the effects of a drug called Modafinil, prescribed for treatment of narcolepsy but used off-label by personal enhancement enthusiasts of all kinds. The ad copy on the internet certainly promises you the Limitless experience, but what is it like really? Here are notes from my first Modafinil experience and some of what I have learned:

Modafinil is already on the map for those interested in brain enhancement for the purpose of studying, productivity, or maintaining focus for long, sustained periods of time. But unlike most nootropic drugs such as Piracetam, Oxiracetam, or Sunifiram which can be purchased openly on the internet, Modafinil either requires a doctor’s prescription or one has to go through back channel means such as ordering from offshore pharmacies. That is the route I took about one week ago- and was delighted to find that the package made it from India without a Thai customs agent in tow.

Modafinil is unlike anything I have experienced.

In the morning I dosed myself and my wife on one pill of 200mg each. Within minutes I found I could hyper focus on a book without being in any way disturbed by the environment, yet strangely I had to re-read the same paragraphs more than once. Whatever I had to say in conversation seemed to have multiple options that presented themselves in my head and I had to speak slower to make room for it all. A friend of mine said I was noticeably different. He observed that I paused in mid-sentence frequently like I had lots to say but could not quite get it out in one sentence. However, I found I could teach clearly and in a way that was nuanced. I also found I could enter into a state of meditation very quickly. An odd combination of effects.

Scientists are not fully sure how Modafinil works the way it does, but they do know that it inhibits a particular protein that transports dopamine into the neurons, leaving more free dopamine floating around outside the cell and in the synapses. Dopamine is the neuro chemical that gives pleasure in response to social cues or the hits of pleasure we get from checking our phones or facebook. In studying the different aspects of cognition, they find that Modafinil dramatically raises the ability to recognize patterns and manipulate digits in the mind- something they call “working memory“. Working memory is what allows you to hold multiple pieces of information in your mind and manipulate them. It gives rise to reasoning and comprehension for further information processing.

Interestingly though, the brain studies show that Modafinil does little for spatial memory which is what you use to find your way around a familiar city. It also does little for the grand controlling factor of the mind called ‘the executive function’ which is about inhibition and task switching.

My wife had an almost opposite experience – she found herself talking fast and moving energetically, a bit manic. She felt she was spontaneous in a way that she rarely experiences, and found this useful. The trade off was an an impaired ability to calculate in her usual fashion. She can usually hold large amounts of data simultaneously in her head, compare and contrast the details and come up with rational, well-thought out answers. It requires a lot of internal dialogue. But today she claimed she was not able to “hear” herself in the usual way. Was it positive? Some ways yes, other ways no. We both responded entirely differently.

It has a use for sure, I’m just not sure what contexts. Some people may find it helps with ADHD. Modafinil is being investigated for a number of possible therapies including treatment for methaphetamine addiction (it interferes with the way methamphatamines trigger dopamine release), and treatment of depression. The US military uses it for pilots who fly for long periods of time and must be alert. Given Modafinil’s ability to help with working memory, it could be useful for me doing mathematics or in some situation where I would want to model something or analyze a large set of data. While it certainly wasn’t ‘Limitless’, I found it great to focus on writing or computer work and will definitely use it to help getting over jetlag. It lasts a LONG time in the body.