History of Modafinil | Where the Nootropic Comes From

Tomas Thorne

Last Updated: February 20, 2023

History of Modafinil Where the Nootropic Comes From

If you’re thinking about taking nootropics, you may be curious about the history of Modafinil.

These days, millions of people routinely buy Modafinil online to give themselves the ‘edge’ needed to get better grades, make more money, or climb the corporate ladder. But few people are aware of what the drug is or where it came from.

That’s why in this post, we’ll explore the origins of Modafinil and how it became the world’s most popular smart drug. We’ll explain exactly how this pharmaceutical drug became the top nootropic on the planet and why it’s currently the go-to cognitive-enhancing supplement for millions of hard-working students and professionals around the world.

So if you’ve been wondering how Modafinil became the world’s premier nootropic, just keep reading…

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History of Modafinil

In 1974, two scientists working for a French pharmaceutical company called ‘L. Lafon Ltd’ discovered a molecule called ‘Adrafinil’. Early tests showed that this drug acted as a ‘eugeroic’, meaning a ‘wakefulness-promoting agent’.

Adrafinil was trialed as a treatment for narcolepsy, a condition that causes people to feel uncontrollably drowsy during the day. Unfortunately, these trials weren’t successful and all development of the drug quickly ground to a halt [1].

However, in 1976, Adrafinil’s active metabolite was discovered…and Modafinil was born. Unlike Adrafinil, Modafinil proved to be extremely effective at treating narcolepsy. In 1986, it was offered as an experimental narcolepsy treatment and the results were phenomenal. Modafinil was found to significantly increase the production of several key neurotransmitters in the brain; namely histamine, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. It had a dramatic effect on people’s ability to stay awake and alert for extended periods [2].

Modafinil was given to French soldiers during the first Gulf War (January-February 1991), before being officially registered in France in 1992. It was first released in France under the brand-name ‘Modiodal’ in 1994 and was soon introduced throughout Europe and worldwide during the 1990s and early 2000s.

Modafinil came to the United States in 1998 under the name ‘Provigil’ [3]. It was initially granted FDA approval as a narcolepsy treatment. In 2003, the FDA approved the drug for the treatment of shift sleep disorder and sleep apnea.


Pharmaceuticals and Prescriptions

Soon after Provigil was released in the U.S. market it quickly gained a reputation for its ‘off prescription’ benefits.

A slew of scientific evidence started to emerge which all pointed to Modafinil’s potential as a ‘smart’ drug, or ‘nootropic’.

For instance, one study showed how Modafinil increased levels of dopamine in the brain and had a significant impact on mood and overall sense of well-being [4]. Several other studies showed how Modafinil had a positive impact on short-term memory and overall cognition [5, 6].

Modafinil’s appeal stems from the fact that it offers real, scientifically-proven benefits such as:

  • Increased attention span [7].
  • Enhanced wakefulness and focus for over 12 hours [8].
  • Inability to feel fatigued [9].
  • Better executive functioning.
  • Improved time-management skills [10].

As the wakefulness-promoting properties of Modafinil became more widely known, many grad students, CEOs, and entrepreneurs began looking for ways to get their hands on a Modafinil prescription.

This was the beginning of the smart drug craze, and since then, the drug has gone from strength to strength.

You see, while Modafinil may be new to you, this nootropic has been around many circles for well over a decade. For example:

  • Military pilots have been taking Modafinil since at least 2004 [11].
  • Military helicopter pilots routinely take Modafinil to stay awake on long missions [12, 13].
  • Track and field athletes have been using Modafinil as a performance enhancer since at least 2003 [14].  
  • Journalists have used this smart drug to stay awake since the early 2000s [15].

Modafinil’s ace card is that it is extremely well tolerated and has very few side effects. Its documented side effects are all minor and aren’t that common, typically affecting less than ten percent of users [16].

Modafinil’s ‘off prescription’ use has been widely studied and it has been found to be exceptionally safe when taken by people with no pre-existing medical conditions [17].

The reality is that Modafinil is nowhere near as dangerous as amphetamines and other study drugs like Adderall [18].

However, for years Modafinil has remained hidden, tucked away in certain circles. Apart from those who were “in the know” – most people didn’t have access to this smart drug back in the day.

Top performers were keeping you away from their secret to crushing the competition.

Modafinil, The World’s Number One Smart Drug

Things have changed.

Nowadays, you can buy Modafinil online within a matter of minutes. The nootropic will show up in a discrete package on your front door within a week or two.

You’ll be on your way to increasing cognition and improving your mental performance in no time.

How did it become so easy to buy Modafinil?

Well, Modafinil’s rise to become the world’s number one smart drug has a lot to do with an American lifestyle guru by the name of Dave Asprey.

In early 2013, Aspery founded Bulletproof 360, Inc. and started encouraging people to ‘hack’ their own health.

As well as promoting his own brand of low-mold” coffee beans, he extolled the virtues of smart drugs and nootropics, especially Modafinil.

Asprey claimed to have taken Modafinil for over eight years, including his time at Wharton Business School. As his fame grew, word about Modafinil began getting out. While Asprey didn’t sell the drug, he helped popularize it and bring it into the mainstream.

Soon, anyone with a little bit of nerd in them began looking for ways to test out Modafinil for themselves.

The smart drug quickly became the new form of Adderall.

Over time, more and more people started using Modafinil to enhance their minds and reach their goals. The number of online pharmacies and vendors catering to smart drug enthusiasts started to increase.

Today, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a Modafinil vendor. It’s easier than ever and the prices and shipping times have never been better.


Where to Buy Modafinil Online

Why is Modafinil so popular? How did the pharmaceutical drug quickly become the most popular smart drug in the world?

That’s easy. Because Modafinil works. There’s no easier way to see cognitive benefits like:

  • Enhanced focus.
  • Prolonged ability to concentrate.
  • Increased overall cognitive function.
  • The inability to fall asleep.

The main reason Modafinil is so damn popular because it works. The other reason so many individuals use the smart drug?

Order Modafinil online from our top-rated vendor...

By clicking that button above…

You’ll be taken to an online Modafinil vendor who we’ve worked with for over three years. They sell authentic, generic Modafinil and Armodafinil at amazing prices.

This vendor offers guaranteed delivery or a full refund, and the product usually arrives on your front step within 1-2 weeks.

Suffice to say, throughout the history of Modafinil, it’s never been easier to get your hands on the world’s most popular smart drug!

History of Modafinil | Verdict

If you were curious about the history of Modafinil, hopefully, this informative post answered all your questions.

From what the drug is, to its benefits, and where to buy some, we’ve covered everything you need to know about the history of Modafinil above.

Get your hands on the world´s most powerful smart drug... Modafinil


  1. Billiard M, Broughton R. Modafinil: its discovery, the early European and North American experience in the treatment of narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia, and its subsequent use in other medical conditions. Sleep Med. 2018 Sep;49:69-72. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2018.05.027. Epub 2018 Jun 6. PMID: 30174215.
  2. Brown RE, Stevens DR, Haas HL. The physiology of brain histamine. Prog Neurobiol. 2001;63(6):637-672. doi:10.1016/s0301-0082(00)00039-3
  3. https://www.rxlist.com/provigil-drug.htm
  4. Zolkowska D, Jain R, Rothman RB, Partilla JS, Roth BL, Setola V, Prisinzano TE, Baumann MH. Evidence for the involvement of dopamine transporters in behavioral stimulant effects of modafinil. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2009 May;329(2):738-46. doi: 10.1124/jpet.108.146142. Epub 2009 Feb 5. PMID: 19197004; PMCID: PMC2672878.
  5. Minzenberg MJ, Carter CS. Modafinil: a review of neurochemical actions and effects on cognition. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2008 Jun;33(7):1477-502. doi: 10.1038/sj.npp.1301534. Epub 2007 Aug 22. PMID: 17712350.
  6. Volkow ND, Fowler JS, Logan J, et al. Effects of modafinil on dopamine and dopamine transporters in the male human brain: clinical implications. JAMA. 2009;301(11):1148–1154. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.351
  7. Gerrard, P., & Malcolm, R. (2007, June). Mechanisms of modafinil: A review of current research. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2654794/
  8. Young JW. Dopamine D1 and D2 receptor family contributions to modafinil-induced wakefulness. J Neurosci. 2009;29(9):2663–2665. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5843-08.2009
  9. Pigeau R, Naitoh P, Buguet A, McCann C, Baranski J, Taylor M, Thompson M, MacK I I. Modafinil, d-amphetamine and placebo during 64 hours of sustained mental work. I. Effects on mood, fatigue, cognitive performance and body temperature. J Sleep Res. 1995 Dec;4(4):212-228. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.1995.tb00172.x. PMID: 10607161.
  10. Müller, U., Rowe, J. B., Rittman, T., Lewis, C., Robbins, T. W., & Sahakian, B. J. (2013, January). Effects of modafinil on non-verbal cognition, task enjoyment and creative thinking in healthy volunteers. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3485563/
  11. News, A., 2021. Super Soldiers? Military Drug Is Rage Among Students, Young Professionals. [online] ABC News. Available at: <https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Health/story?id=3408266&page=1> [Accessed 14 January 2021].
  12. Estrada A, Kelley AM, Webb CM, Athy JR, Crowley JS. Modafinil as a replacement for dextroamphetamine for sustaining alertness in military helicopter pilots. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2012;83(6):556-64.
  13. Ooi T, Wong SH, See B. Modafinil as a Stimulant for Military Aviators. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2019;90(5):480-483. doi:10.3357/AMHP.5298.2019
  14. New Atlas. 2021. Modafinil – The Time-Shifting Drug. [online] Available at: <https://newatlas.com/go/3574/> [Accessed 14 January 2021].
  15. Plotz, D., 2021. Can We Sleep Less?. [online] Slate Magazine. Available at: <https://slate.com/technology/2003/03/can-we-sleep-less.html> [Accessed 14 January 2021].
  16. Lopes E, Pereira D, da Silva Behrens NS, de Almeida Fonseca H, Calvancanti PO, de Araújo Lima TF, Pradella-Hallinan M, Castro J, Tufik S, Coelho FM. Cataplexy as a side effect of modafinil in a patient without narcolepsy. Sleep Sci. 2014 Mar;7(1):47-9. doi: 10.1016/j.slsci.2014.07.015. Epub 2014 Aug 19. PMID: 26483900; PMCID: PMC4521649.
  17. Teodorini, R. D., Rycroft, N., & Smith-Spark, J. H. (2020, February 5). The off-prescription use of modafinil: An online survey of perceived risks and benefits. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7001904/
  18. Krishnan R, Chary KV. A rare case modafinil dependence. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2015;6(1):49-50. doi:10.4103/0976-500X.149149

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