First and foremost, it is essential to know what Modafinil is. This is a stimulant that is prescribed to increase wakefulness in patients with excessive sleepiness related to narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder and obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome.
Also, it has a range of “off-label” uses. This is where ADHD comes in. An interest in the use of Modafinil for ADHD has increased recently due to the benefit of less intolerance and addiction.
This is as compared to its alternatives such as Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta, which are known to cause addiction. So the question here is, Is Modafinil the best treatment for ADHD? Let us find out.
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
This is a common medical condition that is characterized by symptoms involving an inability to pay attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Not only does it occur in children, but it can also sometimes extend into adulthood for some people if not treated early.
From recent studies, this disorder has been seen to have a significant relationship with dopamine. This shows when treating patients with this condition, it can address by analyzing the issues caused by the gene variations.
Modafinil for ADHD
As much as this drug is used to treat this medical condition, it is considered for “off-label use” in most countries, especially in the United States. It means that doctors have the authority to prescribe Modafinil for ADHD if they feel the need to. Also, it has not yet been approved by the FDA for this use.
An exciting aspect of this drug is that it is not a stimulant-based ADHD medication. This makes a unique and useful drug option for treating ADHD symptoms. When you use it, it feels mentally stimulating, like a strong cup of coffee. However, it does not come with the physical stimulation would otherwise be handled by other traditional ADHD medications earlier mentioned.
The use of Modafinil makes your brain feel focused, without your body feeling jittery.
Modafinil and Dopamine
The use of this drug has shown to increase dopamine concentrations in the brain. This is similar to other ADHD medications. It increases the hormone’s focus in the synapses by preventing the neurons from reabsorbing and breaking it down. In this way, the effects can last longer.
This hormone is essential for the mind to help it focus on one thing at a time, which is something that people with ADHD cannot do. Dopamine is involved in the reward center of the brain; this is the region within the brain that causes a release of “feel good” molecules like oxytocin.
Unfortunately, this reward center is also responsible for addiction. Because oxytocin is continually being released, the mind starts to crave this feeling, which ultimately leads to addiction to this drug. It is therefore essential to take the required dosage to avoid this problem.
Using Modafinil for ADHD
Before you start or refill your Modafinil prescription, you should read the medication guide that came with the pills. This is because the information may have newly updated.
In addition, it is also of utmost importance to talk to your doctor or pharmacist because they have the required information concerning your medical history, other diagnoses, and prescriptions. In case of any questions, be sure to consult your doctor before you start the medication.
The two ways you can take this medication are:
1. Daily Use
- This is commonly given to most ADHD patients. One is given a daily dose of 100-400mg of Modafinil to reduce symptoms and increase concentration. On the flip side, this may result in the development of tolerance.
- Whenever a drug is used regularly for an extended period, the body starts building resistance to it. It means that you would need to increase your dose for the drug to kick in. This is not a good sign.
- In the event you want to use this drug daily, ensure you talk to your doctor or health care professional about your condition or other options available that are not detrimental in the long run.
2. Periodic Use
- Some patients with ADHD choose to use Modafinil periodically when they need it. On the days when they need to be productive such as during school or at work, they would discontinue its use for some days.
- The great advantage of taking this medication periodically like 1-4 times per week reduces the chances of developing a tolerance to it.
- The effects of Modafinil tend to vary significantly from one person to another, depending on their weight, and how big the dose was. In most cases though, the effects are felt after an hour of taking medicine.
- In 3 hours, there is an increase in the effects, which reach a peak gradually. After that, for the next 7-14 hours, the drug then slowly starts to wear off. A 200mg Modafinil tablet will produce effects lasting about 12-15 hours. Sometimes, it can last as long as 20 hours.
Demerits for Using Modafinil for ADHD
Some people complain about anxiety or insomnia when using this drug. This is a common problem and can avoid by ingesting the drug earlier in the day so that by night time, the effects of the drugs have worn off.
If the anxiety or insomnia becomes frequent while taking the medication, you can try taking some time off the drug every week, like a day or two, as well as lowering your dose. However, if all these options do not work, the best thing to do is entirely discontinuing its use and seek another treatment option.
In light of using medication to treat ADHD, diet also plays a significant role in the development of ADHD. Research has shown that people with this condition should avoid foods containing high-refined carbohydrates and sugars, salt, added food dyes and coloring agents.
Also, before starting medication, contact your doctor so that he or she may help you in case of any inquiries about Modafinil and ADHD.