New generation psycho stimulant Modafinil ((±) -2- (benzhydrylsulfinyl) acetamide) marketed as Modafinil, Provigil, Alertec, Modavigil, Modalert, Modiodal, Modafinilo, Carim, Vigia and other brand names is a drug derived from the substance called Adrafinil developed in 1970 by the French company Lafont Laboratoriez.
The drug belongs to the class of nootropics. Nootropics or neurometabolic stimulants have a direct activating effect on learning, improve memory and mental performance, and increase the resistance of the brain to aggressive influences.
The word “nootropic” is derived from the greek words “noos” which means brain and “trepein” which means to have control, mix, change. The word was coined in 1972 to describe its action on sensitive and cognitive effects of piracetam. Modafinil, like other stimulants, increases the release of monoamines including catecholamines norepinephrine and dopamine from the synaptic terminals.
Nevertheless, Modafinil also elevates hypothalamic histamine levels, leading some researchers to consider modafinil a "wakefulness promoting agent" rather than a classic amphetamine-like stimulant. However, despite histaminergic action of modafinil, it partially belongs to the class of amphetamine stimulants because of its effects on noradrenaline and dopamine. Provigil was approved by FDA as the most effective drug for narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy (from the ancient greek words - numbness, sleep and seizure; synonyms: narcoleptic illness, gelineau's syndrome, essential narcolepsy) is a disease of the nervous system that relates to hypersomnia. It is characterized by an extreme daytime sleepiness and sudden, irresistible bouts of sleep, cataplexy attacks that is sudden loss of muscle tone with clear consciousness, disturbed sleep at night, appearance of hypnagogic (on falling asleep) and hypnopompic (on waking) hallucinations. Sometimes there is a short-term paralysis of the body (the inability to move arms and legs) immediately after waking up.
Areas of application. Besides narcolepsy Modafinil is effectively used for attention deficit syndrome, in the treatment of resistant depression and multiple sclerosis, and as an adjunctive drug in the course of antidepressant treatment. Because of the ability to increase resistance of the organism and effects similar to those of amphetamine and due to the increased number of athletes implicated in the use of modafinil in international competitions, World Anti-Doping Agency listed Modafinil as a banned substance in sports and now considers drug substance Provigil i.e. Modafinil as a doping agent. In this regard, Modafinil quickly began to gain popularity in drivers, programmers, amateur sportsmen and shift workers. The drug is successfully used in the treatment of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, myotonic dystrophy, spastic cerebral palsy and Parkinson's disease. In recent years Modafinil is often used as a highly effective substance for reducing appetite and weight. Studies have shown that the overall level of appetite on the background of Modafinil use is decreased by at least 38%, which in turn leads to a rapid weight reduction. Today, scientists are considering the use of Modafinil in the treatment of cocaine addiction, primary biliary cirrhosis, and bipolar disorder. There are registered facts of inappropriate use of Modafinil by students in the UK and France, the club's youth and workers of the entertainment industry. This led to bitter disputes about the safety of modafinil and its legal status. However in countries other than the USA, where Modafinil is a controlled substance and is included in the list of drugs number 4, Modafinil is not an abused drug and is absolutely legal.
Military agencies of some countries are planning to replace the traditional amphetamine in the first-aid kit of fighters of special divisions by Modafinil due to its more efficient and beneficial effect on the human body. Modafinil has been successfully used by astronauts, soldiers, and staff of extreme services in several European countries. Modafinil helps a lot of people in situations when they need to be in the best shape and excellent tone in order to use its full potential to achieve the goals. It is a powerful stimulant that improves memory, sharpness of intelligence and other parameters of mental activity. It effectively relieves fatigue and restores cognitive function of the brain. Modafinil is one of the best drugs to stimulate mental activity, reduce the need for sleep and treat the depression. Very important positive aspect is the lack of side effects such as addiction, overexcitation, and decreased responsibility. Modafinil is produced in the form of tablets and powder. One should take into account that modafinil tablets contain some adjuvants, while the powder of Modafinil is produced in a pure form which correspondingly affects the pharmacologically active dosage. Usually the prescribed dose of Modafinil is equal to 200 mg daily q.d. (rarely, from 100 to 400 mg/day q.d. or b.i.d.). Modafinil is usually taken in a single dose in the morning or in two doses in the morning and in the afternoon. As a rule, it is not recommended to take modafinil after midday: Modafinil is a drug with a long half-life and its elimination from the body can take up to 15 hours, so its administration increases the risk of sleep disorders.