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Modafinil As A Smart Drug
Although Modafinil has been used in an ad hoc way for some years now by students seeking a non-harmful stimulant to help them with their studies, it is only relatively recently that research has started to put Modafinil forward as a smart drug. The correct term for a smart drug is a nootropic, which is a drug that can be used to enhance the cognitive processes and memory.
How does Modafinil work?
Smart drugs, like Modafinil, can work by simply improving the supply of oxygen to the brain and thereby stimulating the growth of nerves, which is most readily attained by increasing the supply of neurochemicals to the brain. In turn this improves the flow of oxygen by improving the efficiency of the enzymes and hormones working at the neurotransmitter level. Within the range of smart drugs known as nootropics there are sub-groups and Modafinil belongs to the ‘stimulants’ sub-group known as Eugeroics, which basically refers to the primary reason for developing Modafinil in the fist place, that of enhancing wakefulness in its users by stimulating the central nervous system. Modafinil was originally designed to be a stimulant ‘wakefulness’ drug to treat conditions like narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea and shift work sleeping disorders. However, as Modafinil works on the central nervous system to do this it can also stimulate general brain activity at the synaptic terminals, which are now understood to be crucial in the process of how the brain learns. Modafinil contributes to this process by promoting the release of monoamines – catecholamines, norepinephrine and dopamine – from the synaptic terminals.
Modafinil, sleep reduction and making you smarter
Students write exams on Modafinil
Of course, and unsurprisingly, if Modafinil was designed to help people to stay awake – then that primary property of it can be used, for example, by students to also help to make them smarter. We all know there is nothing new in people taking stimulants to stay awake to try and help them with their studies. However, stimulants such as amphetamines are known to be harmful in several ways such as leading to psychosis and dependency. Which is why Modafinil scores over other stimulants like amphetamines, it is not addictive as it uniquely raises the levels of hypothalamic histamines. In doing this it is controlling our feelings of fatigue, as triggered by our levels of histaminergic cells. In this matter the Modafinil isn’t directly being used as a smart drug, but the very fact that you can stay awake for long periods of time whilst taking it, without any harmful side-effects to otherwise healthy people, can only be of benefit to your studies. You can spend longer periods of time working and concentrating on an assignment or revise for exams for longer periods – all of which could help to boost your grades and make you smarter. So, given the genuine ‘smart’ potential of Modafinil keeping you awake means that you can simply study for longer periods of time when using it, surely using Modafinil should only be of benefit to you?
In the USA Modafinil, or Provigil as it is sometimes known, is a regulated schedule IV prescription only drug and is most commonly prescribed in 100mg doses. A closely related drug Adrafinil is not currently regulated in the USA. With a prescription Modafinil can be bought over the internet from within the USA, Canada, Australia (as Modavigil) or many of the EU countries. It is reportedly available from Mexico, India and Argentina without a prescription as Modiadal. However, importing it to the USA without a prescription or license would be illegal. Finally, you should be aware that in some people Modafinil can have side-effects. Although often only minor you should read one of the articles available about the possible side effects of Modafinil before taking it. As would be true for taking any drug, be it a prescription one or not, if you have any known, pre-existing, medical conditions then you should discuss any new medication/drugs with your physician first. Something of potential significance for female students considering taking Modafinil is that it is known to interfere with the effectiveness of oral contraceptives
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