Modafinil is a nootropic that is intended to be used as a wake-up drug that helps people with narcolepsy, sleep apnoea, sleep work disorder, and other sleep-related conditions that cause excessive drowsiness. While these are the official uses approved by the FDA, studies have repeatedly shown that Modafinil is actually more commonly used for off-label uses like cognitive enhancement, anti-depression, and anti-fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis. In fact, one study showed that up to 90% of patients taking Modafinil are actually using it for off label purposes. In the following paragraphs, we’ll take a look at some of the off label uses for Modafinil that have become quite popular in Canada.
Off Label Use #1 – Cognitive Enhancement
First, Modafinil has been shown to increase alertness and improve focus, which is why it is often used as a cognitive enhancer taken before exams. Many business professionals with hectic schedules and heavy workloads buy Modafinil and use it to increase productivity and promote better decision-making. Likewise, people who work at night or have inconsistent schedules have also started using Modafinil to keep them sharp and focused during long shifts.
Off Label Use #2 – Anti-Depression
As a mild stimulant that acts on dopamine transporters, Modafinil has been shown to have some anti-depressant effects as well. One study has even showed that taking Modafinil in conjunction with other antidepressants is an effective way to boost the efficacy of those drugs. Researchers at the University of Cambridge published a study stating that taking antidepressants along with Modafinil is even more effective than taking such medications alone.
Off Label Use #3 – Anti-Fatigue
Another huge off label usage for Modafinil in Canada is as an anti-fatigue medication for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). About 12% of patients who have been prescribed Modafinil are actually using the drug as an anti-fatigue medication to treat symptoms of MS. In addition to MS patients, people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome have also been able to find relief using Modafinil.
Off Label Use #4 – Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Finally, Modafinil has shown a great deal of potential in helping cocaine addicts break their addiction. While the exact mechanism through which the drug is able to break addiction is not exactly known, it is believed that it works by engaging the same dopamine receptors as cocaine, but in a non-addictive and milder manner. As such, further research is currently being done to discover how Modafinil works on addiction, so that cocaine addiction treatment might soon become one of the drug’s official on label uses.
Finally, we should note that any time you use a prescription medication for any purpose for which it has not yet been approved for by the regulating government body, it is always wise to exercise caution and moderation accordingly. While Modafinil has actually been shown to be non-habit forming, it is still best to keep doses reasonable and consult with a physician before using any medication for any purpose, whether off label or for an intended use.