Effective, Controllable, and Side-Effect Free
Modafinil (Provigil)
Citation:   Overworked. "Effective, Controllable, and Side-Effect Free: An Experience with Modafinil (Provigil) (exp69904)". Erowid.org. Jan 7, 2010. erowid.org/exp/69904

  repeated oral Modafinil (pill / tablet)
I set off on a casual relationship with Modafinil a few months ago when it became clear that my inability to sleep more than 4-5 hours on a given night was seriously diminishing my productivity & academic success. I do not use it day-to-day (Red Bull still fills that role just fine) but every week or two, when a series of deadlines nears, I set myself up for a long, undisturbed weekend to work.

Usually around 8 hours after getting up I take 200mg of Modafinil and continue to take 200mg every 8 hours until it seems prudent to stop (I've never pushed the limit, despite curiosity). It feels exactly like swallowing an Equal tablet... there is no feeling at all. Some experiences on here talk about a buzz or singular ability to focus; I've never experienced either of these.

The first time, I seriously wondered about the efficacy of the things... I had been expecting a miracle and felt jilted. I had gotten up around 9am on a Saturday and taken my first Modafinil at 3pm, and then a second at about 10. I got some work done, and around 4am (not an unusual time for me to be going full-force) I decided to go for a walk on campus (a very large research institution in the US). I bought a soda by the vast physical sciences complex, whereupon I remembered that I needed to grab a packet that should have been outside a professor's door. I found an unlocked basement entrance, then wandered the halls for a while. Something about it piqued my curiosity about security; I spent the next three hours or so finding a way in to nearly every academic building on campus and just exploring.

I felt unaffected for a few more hours, but eventually I realized that something was amiss. Usually it takes a bit of caffeine at some point during the day to keep my brain moving past about 16 hours awake; usually I've had it anyway because I can't actually get to sleep until 19-20 hours after getting up so I'm dragging ass so badly after getting up on 4hrs of sleep that a Red Bull binge is the only thing I can think of. On this occasion I had had no caffeine, but I felt quite alright despite approaching the 24-hour mark after which, normally, no amount of caffeine will really help.

I went home, took another 200mg, and got some work done. Around 2pm I met some friends, who were aware of the experiment and asked how it was coming along. I counted it up and realized I'd been up for ~29 hours, and things started to click. I wasn't even a tiny bit fatigued. My ability to focus and to think was no better or worse than normal. As the day went on and I came up on 35 hours awake, my somewhat-objective observers told me I seemed much calmer than usual -- I certainly felt relaxed, and additionally I wasn't trembling like I usually am from the caffeine. I was drinking Diet Cokes to stave off the headaches and nausea that come from going cold-turkey off my one major addiction, but not enough to make a real difference in my wakefulness.

The last dose I had taken was in the morning. Around 12 hours after that dose I felt myself starting to fade, and about 4 hours after that I was about done for. The onset of fatigue was much faster than normal, but I wouldn't call it profound or extreme in any way; I was just tired. I went to bed, slept for about 6 hours, and went to class feeling fine. My schedule was a bit stranger than usual for a few days, but Ambien works miracles and I was back to normal by Thursday.

SO... I don't find myself endowed with super-study-skills, but this isn't make a Taco Bell run and sit on the couch variety stuff either. I felt exactly the same as I do when I've gotten enough sleep and had enough caffeine to prevent withdraw without getting amped.

It was after the fact that I realized wandering through the University buildings had been uncharacteristic. Wondering about the security was normal enough -- I can't ever shut my damn brain off -- but actually checking/entering every building was odd. I've noticed this in subsequent uses also; I do things like respond to Craigslist personals or urinate in public or hit on friends that I might do under normal circumstances with some trepidation but seem to do on Modafinil without a second thought. This is not necessarily drunk-uninhibited, but it's not drunk-sloppy either. Just a strange observation... the package insert references euphoric and mood-altering effects and maybe this is how they manifest for me.

Bottom line: this isn't by any means a silver bullet for apathy or distraction, but as long as you can convince yourself to tackle the looming pile of work, Modafinil can help you work stronger and longer, and without the unpleasant side effects of the alternatives.

Exp Year: 2008ExpID: 69904
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Jan 7, 2010Views: 10,713
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Modafinil (217) : General (1), Multi-Day Experience (13), Retrospective / Summary (11), Not Applicable (38)

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