What is Modafinil?

There has been a lot of talk recently about modafinil, a substance that is believed to have some properties never seen in other drugs. It delivers a strong boost in alertness and concentration while scaling back physical fatigue and loss of focus. Some of those effects can resemble stimulants, but in stark contrast to this group of chemical agents modafinil isn’t addictive and doesn’t have any harmful side effects.
A more detailed explanation is needed in order to understand why modafinil should be viewed differently than any other class of chemicals and why it may become a valuable resource for the pharma industry in the future.

History of Modafinil
Scientific knowledge of modafinil dates back to the 1970’s, with the original discovery was made by Michel Jouvet at the Lafon Laboratories in France. Its properties related to wakefulness and regulation of the sleep cycle were soon recognized, and modafinil started to be used for therapeutic purposes. France as well as the US approved it in the 1990’s, with most other countries doing the same in the coming years. Today, it’s a widely known medicament that is available as a generic product under numerous brand names, most notably as Provigil.

Chemistry and pharmacology of Modafinil
The chemical structure of modafinil, or diphenylmethyl-sulfinylacetamide as this substance is called in literature, offers some insights into its intriguing pharmacological properties. Its molecule comes in two different versions depending on the side at which an NH2O group is attached, making the compound a racemic mixture. The R-sided enantiomer is more active, so the ratio between them affects the half-life and the strength of synaptic impact. Modafinil is believed to change how dopamine, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters in the brain are transported, bound, and recycled.

Who can benefit from Modafinil?
A lot of individuals who are otherwise healthy but struggle with vigilance and have low energy levels can see an improvement after taking modafinil-based medications. It is often administered as short-term therapy, or taken during a period of intense mental activity (i.e. important business deadline or college exam). People who have sleep disorders are also among the beneficiaries, along with those who suffer from multiple sclerosis. On the other hand, patients with high blood pressures or other heart conditions are advised to avoid taking modafinil.