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What are peoples thought on Modafinil?


New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 26, 2019
Troy, Michigan
Was just wondering if anyone has had experience with Modafinil. Have seen some people on the forum and have read some blogs of people praising it. Is it really that effective to promote focus and drive?

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I have experimented with it and documented my results day to day and compared it with coffee and the small stimulus of caffeine in regular amounts of very dark chocolate. I also compared it to moderate intake of alcohol, but this might be more subjective since genes determine how you react to alcohol to a high degree. I react very positively to alcohol, I get energized and focused, so for me it was a fair comparison. Here are my takeaways. Note, I tried armodafinil, which as far as I can tell is an exaggeration of modafinil.

1. Armodafinil is by far the best stimulus. Hands down, no holds barred. The closest is having too many cups of coffee, but without the jitters. Seriously, its magical how you aren't jittery on it. That said, don't take caffeine with it. They don't play nicely. Thats a good way to become very unproductive, most likely through an unstoppable desire to work out.

2. If your problem is mood, getting used to eating large amounts of very dark (70% or higher) chocolate is by far the best way to go. Aside from elevating metabolism with caffeine, dark chocolate has elements that will make you happy, almost magically. And stay happy.

3. You don't crash with armodafinil, and its not addictive, but it is good to take breaks from using it.

4. Your first day will be Hell, you will not be able to sleep, even if you take it first thing in the morning. This gets better. Give it some time.

5. Most importantly the stimulus it does provide is the kind you want. You feel calm and able to tackle everything. Things that seemed hard become easier to break down into components you can easily tackle. You will find yourself doing everything you want to do, but it may be tricky to keep yourself on task on the things you MOST need to do. On Armodafinil, you seek out small problems and want to do them quickly and efficiently. Depending on the work you are seeking to do, this may be very good for you or it may be counter-productive. I found that some tasks such as writing were harder but other assignments such as coding problems or general productivity around the house and online was greatly improved.

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Platinum Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 10, 2015
Islands of Calleja
We have no idea what the long term effects of modafinil are because we don't even fully know how it works. For now it seems like a Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor than also acts on various wakefulness systems (orexin and histamine)

I've used Modafinil and I don't think it's a good long term solution at all. For me it just stopped working. and other users report similar problems. I'll quote a post I made in another thread about this:

One of the people who sent me questions, I want to answer here because I think it will be of benefit to other people:

Just read it, really good...

Is there a specific genetic test I should go for?

I can't seem to focus on the day to day, and need extreme circumstances to fire me into action.

I took Modafinil for almost a year straight and it worked amazingly for about a quarter of that, pretty well for another quarter. By the third quarter I just felt normal on it, and by the last it seemed to have almost no effect at all.

I stopped taking it in December, but I do miss it and am thinking of restocking. I mean don't get me wrong, I do shit, but am always feeling like I could be doing more.

Okay before I explain Modafinil, I just have to reiterate with everything in this post, nothing is medical advice. This is all stuff to speak with your doctor or specialist about. Do your homework, check citations, etc. I just want people to be educated consumers so they're not at the whim of Big Pharma. That being said... there are typically a handful of common things that go wrong with DA transmission, which have different corresponding genes.

View attachment 26479

1 - MTHFR rs1801133 and rs1801131, and to a lesser extent rs4846049 - Problems with the MTHFR gene, cause problems with Dopamine (and Serotonin) production. DA and 5-HT (Sero) need Folic Acid in order to be synthesized. If you don't have enough Folate, you generally don't have enough Dopamine. MTHFR inhibits Folate metabolism. If you don't have enough, it can't be released. Also note that a deficiency in dietary tyrosine can also contribute to this problem. (see this thread for more info)
2 - Various - many of the other genes and environmental circumstances 'conspire' together so there's just a general lack of DA in the vesicles (vesicles are kinda like Amazon Prime boxes delivering packages to the synapse... just sometimes the box is empty or underpacked)
3 - DAT (SLC6A3) - Some people have a genetic variant that makes the DAT pump run faster than normal, which sucks Dopamine back into the presynaptic neuron, leaving less for the next neuron.
4 - MAOB - rs1799836 - this enzyme breaks down Dopamine and Serotonin. Some genetic variants cause it to work overtime and break down Dopamine and Serotonin much faster.
5 - COMT - rs4680 - this enzyme breaks down Dopamine, and is more active in the Prefrontal Cortex (thinking planning part). Some genetic variants cause it to work overtime and break down Dopamine much faster.
6 - DRD2 - rs2283265, rs1076560 - certain variants of these genes cause underexpression of Dopamine Neurons, so whatever Dopamine is there has less receptors to 'bump into'

HTR2A - rs6311
HTR2C - rs6318
POMC - rs1042571

Think of it like Netflix DVD Deliveries. Many things can go wrong. Okay let's say there's this DVD on Netflix, that's not available for streaming. There are a number if things that can go wrong causing that customer to have a bad experience.

First, what I'd there aren't enough raw materials to make the discs in the first place (MTHFR, Tyrosine intake). Second what if there's a problem on the website where people can't put their order in (Various genes and environmental circumstances). Third what if Netflix was forcing certain people to send their DVDs back too quickly before they got a chance to watch them as many times as they wanted to (DAT.) Fourth and Fifth, there's a system for checking if discs are damaged, but there's a problem with the system and it throws out too many discs (MAOB / COMT.) Sixth, that if many of the customers aren't home to sign for the delivery (DRD2.) Then there's some other stuff like Opiate receptors I won't get into right now.

We have to solve the specific problem or everything is going to go to shit.

So which genes you have can guide you to which interventions will work best. That said, using an intervention for a different genotype will work. But it will be temporary or with side effects. That's what you saw with Modafinil. Modafinil was overloading the wrong system. Or it was multiple genotypes that Modafinil ignored.

When I took Modafinil years ago I had a similar experience. Worked well for a few months, then the effects slowly died off.

We're not really 100% sure how Modafinil works, but for now it appears to be a mild Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitor but also acts on other systems (histamine, orexin.. both having to do with wakefulness.)

So back to the right tool for the job, if (for example) you actually have the MTHFR and MAOB genotype, then you plug up the DAT with Modafinil you're overloading one system to compensate for another. It will work temporarily, but something bad is likely going to happen. Your body is always trying to maintain homeostasis (balance) and when it sees one system overloaded it will take action to ramp up other systems to compensate for that. It's how drug tolerance works. So you probably saw a gradual decline in the effectiveness of Modafinil because it was the wrong solution for your genotype.

Re: which genetic test? I like 23andme and it's only 99 bucks.
Modafinil generally puts too much pressure on one dopamine system causing the others to eventually crash. It's generally thought as as safe, but as times goes by, I think that perception will change. Modafinil is a schedule IV controlled substance, and I don't think we know enough about it to be giving safety ratings,

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