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All that You Want to Know About Modafinil

Modafinil is a popular eugeroic medication used in the treatment of excessive sleepiness disorders. Eugeroics are a relatively newer class of wakefulness-promoting drugs used in the treatment of sleep disorders like excessive daytime sleepiness. In contrast to classical psychostimulants, eugeroics do not produce euphoria and thus have a lower addictive potential. Modafinil is the prototypical eugeroic in the group with other psychostimulants with a reduced risk of addiction potential making it safe to use.

There are a number of ways through which Modafinil exerts its pharmacokinetic interactions with the human system. Previous laboratory studies and clinical trials have suggested that Modafinil has antioxidative and neuroprotective properties that have not been previously suggested to be related to its wake-promoting effects. Recent studies have suggested that Modafinil targets the free radicals in the system that is responsible for sleep induction and cellular damage to achieve either of its inhibitory relief functions.

Through analysis of various clinical trials and research citations, researchers have concluded that Modafinil exerts its binding effects on the Dopamine, Histamine, 5-HT, and Adrenergic pathway to bring out its therapeutic functions. In the process, it enhances cellular metabolism with the reduction of free radicals in neurons for added vigilance and wake-promoting effects. Overall, its effects on the catecholaminergic system bring out the remediation of cognitive function in neuropsychiatric disorders. 

Some of the main disorders are 

  • Narcolepsy

Clinical studies have demonstrated the efficiency of Modafinil in the Treatment of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness observed in narcolepsy patients as the chief disorder. The treatment protocol has been shown to yield positive responses with mild side effects that can be reversed after discontinuation of the medication.

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Modafinil is internationally used in the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, mostly to remove residual sleepiness despite assistive respiratory devices. Apart from sleepiness, driving simulator performance and reaction time also improved with the use of Modafinil. 

  • Shift Work Sleep Disorder

Treatment with Modafinil in SWSD patients has shown modest improvement in sleep latency (the interval between the time a person attempts to fall asleep and the actual onset of sleep). Modafinil use has also been shown to reduce the frequency and duration of lapses of attention during nighttime testing of the subjects in vigilance tests.

Off-label use of the medication has shown positive results in ADHD cases and in the treatment of subjects addicted to cocaine.

Modafinil safety and side-effects

Modafinil use has been recorded by users to give a heightened sense of focus with increased productivity. Not just that, studies and individual user reports have recorded a markedly decreased appetite associated with use of the medication; making it a potential option for weight loss patients with added advantages of cognitive abilities. That said, the fact remains that Modafinil is a potent psychostimulant and should be used judiciously for the safety of the user.

The FDA has approved Modafinil for the below-mentioned disorders in the appropriate doses of

  • Narcolepsy patients in doses of 100-200 mg/day with a total does not exceed 400 mg.
  • Shift Work Sleep Disorder patients in a  dose of 100-200 mg an hour before the start of their shift.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea patients in doses of 100-200mg with a total dose not exceeding 200 mg.

But the off-prescription use of Modafinil in healthy users has proved debatable results. Additionally, higher incidence of illicit drug use with increased psychiatric diagnosis in Modafinil users has made it important to be aware of the associated repercussions with the drug.

The safety of the medications in certain groups of the population is another important factor needing to be brought into users’ notice.  Pregnant and breastfeeding women should use it cautiously along with subjects suffering from hepatic or renal insufficiency. The risk of cutaneous side-effects and associated birth defects bring notice to the abuse potential of Modafinil, making it imperative to be cautious with its use.

Is Modafinil legal in Canada?

In Canada Modafinil is not listed under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, but is under Schedule F prescription medication. Schedule F in Canada is a list of medicinal ingredients that on being present in a drug require it to be sold only on prescription in Canada. This makes it liable to be seized by Canada Border Services Agency on being found in possession at borders. Even inside Canada it goes by the name of Alertec and has stringent laws associated with its use. To sum up the legal aspect of Modafinil in Canada

– It is approved only for cases of Narcolepsy, SWSD and cases of Sleep Apnea.

– It should not be used in women who are pregnant or who plan to become pregnant.

– Hormonal birth control measures like implants, injections and Intrauterine devices may not work efficiently when used concomitantly with Modafinil/Alertec.

– Females are advised to ensure their non-pregnant status before starting Alertec.

– Any previous case of allergic reactions, queries regarding the product or adverse reactions while using the medication should be reported directly to the medical personnel.

– Health care professionals are required to inform the female patients about the risks associated with foetuses while using Modafinil during pregnancy.

– Health care professionals are also required to advise the female Modafinil users about the precautions and safety measures that need to be taken by them during use of the medication.

Where to buy Modafinil in Canada?

Purchasing Modafinil with a prescription is absolutely legal in Canada. Not being considered a narcotic by the International Narcotics Control Board nor considered a psychotropic substance makes it easy to obtain it through prescription based pharmacies. ( 25) There is no harm/legal aspect associated with usage of Modafinil/possessing it within the country.

You need to be diagnosed with Narcolepsy, SWSD or Sleep Apnea to obtain a legit prescription for Modafinil in Canada. Narcolepsy prescriptions are easy to obtain by undertaking an overnight sleep study recording your sleep patterns. (26) SWSD workers need to present a letter from their employer affirming their work and sleep disruption status for procuring the prescription. (27)Sleep Apnea patients are enrolled in a comparatively time-consuming sleep study before being prescribed Modafinil for their condition. (30)

Once the prescription has been obtained, you can order  the medication along with the subsequent refills from

  • Pharmacies dealing with supply/dispensing of Modafinil medication.
  • Physicians clinics/ hospitals that have a retail center for dispensing of medications. You may obtain Modafinil or its generic components from these centers through NHS schemes / through health insurance schemes under reduced costs.

Online portals

Online portals are considered the best method of obtaining Modafinil and its refills on time. An online transaction is a convenient option for homebound patients or those with motor issues to not have to search in pharmacies or wait in clinics in line. Additionally, they come at cost-effective rates and are shipped to your address on time.

All that is required during online ordering of Modafinil is to

– Check the online reviews of the site so as to ensure a reliable site dealing with genuine Modafinil products.

– Opt for an online portal with a genuine email id/ customer care number to cater to your queries online

– Check the expiry date of the package after arrival along with the overall condition of delivered medications

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