Modafinil, available under the brand name Provigil, is a wake-promoting agent used in the treatment of excessive sleepiness caused by narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), or shift work sleep disorder (SWSD).
The drug may enhance cognitive function so it is used off-label for the treatment of cognitive dysfunction caused by certain psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Modafinil has also been found to be used by healthy individuals to improve their cognitive performance, focus, attention, motivation, learning, and memory.
The drug apparently has very low abuse liability in non-drug abusing individuals. It has been found that Modafinil does not cause drug dependence or addiction, like other psycho-stimulant drugs.
However, one study published in 2018 in the medical journal, has found that Modafinil significantly increased heart rate and systolic blood pressure.
These cardiac effects were significant in patients who took both doses (100 mg and 400 mg) of the drug.
The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), revealed that Modafinil 400 mg showed higher increases in heart rate than Modafinil 200 mg.
Researchers found that none of the effects of the drug on the behavioral measures was significant.
The study was carried out at Brookhaven National Laboratory from 2007 to 2008. The participants received information on the potential side effects of Modafinil during the study period. They were initially screened by phone and if required, were evaluated by neurologists.
Half of the participants received Modafinil, while the other half received a placebo. The researchers recorded the participants’ heart rate and blood pressure continuously throughout the study.
The researchers found that the drug significantly increased heart rate and systolic blood pressure, especially in those participants who received the drug 400 mg potency.
The findings of the study suggest that overdosing with Modafinil could be bad for your heart, which is why it is important to use this smart drug under the supervision of a doctor and exactly how he/she has prescribed the drug.
Nevertheless, at clinically relevant doses, the drug significantly increases dopamine secretion in the brain by blocking dopamine transporters, improving cognitive functions. Modafinil acutely increases dopamine levels but an overdose of this nootropic could prove dangerous to your heart health.