Is Modafinil Legal? | What You MUST Know

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Is Modafinil Legal

Is Modafinil legal for you to buy and to use?

Moreover, is it legal to buy Modafinil online, like so many anonymous smart drug users on the Internet are claiming?

The possibility of facing any Modafinil legal issues has crossed the mind of several people who are brand new to the nootropics scene.

Especially since they are involved in highly competitive careers…where one bad stain on their record could sabotage all of their years of hard work.

While this fear is grounded in legitimate concern, it stops people from trying this powerful smart drug and experiencing its cognitive benefits for themselves.

This article was written with the sole purpose of putting all your worries and fears to rest. When you are finished reading, you’ll know exactly if Modafinil is legal for you to use and how you can avoid risks when buying Modafinil online.


You needn’t have anything to worry about if you follow the advice below.

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Disclaimer: The contents of are for informational and educational purposes only. We do not provide legal advice. Likewise, we do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician prior to consuming Modafinil or related nootropics. Your access to is subject to our full Disclaimer and Terms of Use.

Is Modafinil Legal? | The Basics

Is Modafinil legal for you to possess and use?

The answer to this question is completely dependent on which country you are living in and its regulations around the distribution, purchase, and personal use of Modafinil.

But to show you the type of research you would need to answer this question with certainty for your individual circumstances, let’s answer an easier question:

Is Modafinil legal in the US, and what exactly do I need to know about using the smart drug in America?

First, it’s important to know that Modafinil is categorized as a “Schedule IV” substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Other common examples of Schedule IV drugs include Xanax and Ambien.

There are five schedules under which drugs in the United States are categorized, with “Schedule I” drugs having the highest risk of abuse and harm, and “Schedule V” having the lowest [3]:

“The [Schedule 4] drug has a low potential for abuse relative to the drugs in schedule 3. The drug has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Abuse of the drug may lead to limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs in schedule 3.”

Which means one very simple thing…

The only 100% guaranteed way to legally use Modafinil in the United States is by having a doctor-signed Modafinil prescription and purchasing it through a legitimate pharmacy as Provigil or generic Modafinil [4].

And the only way a doctor will write a prescription is if you can medically prove you are suffering from one of the three approved medical conditions we described earlier.

In this context, “proving” may mean undergoing a series of sleep tests to properly diagnose you as having SWSD, OSA, or narcolepsy.

Additionally, the FDA specifically states it is illegal for anybody else except a DEA-registered importer to import medications for personal use into the country.

And you can be charged with a felony crime for simple possession of Modafinil without a valid prescription (up to 1 year or more in prison) [5].

But there ARE exceptional circumstances where non-FDA-approved drugs can be imported for personal use [6]:

  • You have a legitimate prescription for Modafinil
  • You are not imported more than a 3-month supply (up to ~100 tablets)
  • You verify in writing that Modafinil is for your personal use only
  • The drug does not possess an unreasonable risk — which Modafinil doesn’t

So based on the information we have gathered thus far, we can also answer another question…

Is it legal to buy Modafinil online while living in the United States? The short and technical answer is a resounding, “No”.

However, this doesn’t mean that it is impossible for you to buy Modafinil without any real-world risks.

Is it Legal to Buy Modafinil Online?

Is Modafinil legal to buy online for enthusiastic smart drug users looking for a competitive advantage through cognitive enhancement, but don’t have a prescription?

The by-the-book answer is NO!

There are three possible outcomes that may come about if you attempt to buy Modafinil online and have it imported to your doorstep:

First, the customs officials working at border agencies do not investigate your package thoroughly and allow it to go through.

Second, the border officers may find your Modafinil order and seize it.

In this instance, you will receive a seizure letter from your country’s border agency requesting you submit proof of a legitimate prescription for Modafinil [7].

You are given two options:

You may elect to do nothing in response to this notice. If you elect to do nothing, the controlled substances will be considered abandoned after 30 days and destroyed.

Finally, you may elect to request that CBP commence seizure and forfeiture proceedings to allow you the opportunity to engage in a formal legal process to petition for the return of the property.”

Do not worry! You always have the option of inaction. In other words, do not attempt to reply to the letter and the border agency will automatically assume you picked the first option.

That is all there is to it.

Third, your government could legally prosecute you for ordering and importing Modafinil to your country of residence.

This is the worst-case scenario.


But several recently published scientific studies reveal that Modafinil is readily available for purchase online without a prescription. Moreover, Modafinil can be bought for cheaper prices and delivered to your door much faster [8, 9].

Which begs the question:

How likely are any of these Modafinil legal outcomes?

The Reality?

Here is everything you need to know about the real-world risks associated with buying Modafinil online:

You will NOT get arrested if you buy Modafinil online and import it for personal use, but you MAY be arrested if you attempt to sell Modafinil or share it with another individual.

We have only encountered two situations in which customers may face legal difficulties with purchasing Modafinil online…

The first instance involves people importing Modafinil for personal use in Japan. However, it should be noted that these individuals were importing more than 100 pills at a time [10]. Furthermore, you are legally allowed to import no more than 6 g (~60 tablets of 100 mg Modafinil) if you have a doctor’s prescription [11].

The second instance involves people who were attempting to import HUGE quantities of Modafinil. We’re talking about thousands of Modafinil pills in a single package, or instances where Modafinil is packaged with other drugs [12, 13].

But outside of these exceptional circumstances, we have yet to hear of anyone getting arrested for ordering smart drugs for personal use off the Internet [14]:

“A new federal law gives the FDA authority to destroy your personally imported medication, but not without notifying you first, and providing you with appropriate due process and opportunity to obtain your prescription drug order.”

“…we have received expert legal advice and have been informed that no one has ever been prosecuted for importing medication for their own use. Even FDA personnel have attested to this.”

While your local government could legally prosecute you, there is a next-to-zero chance of this happening. They aren’t concerned with your smart drug usage and are more focused on seizing illicit substances such as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.

In an interesting paper involving the online purchase of pharmaceuticals without a prescription, only three out of 56 orders (~5%) failed to be delivered [15].

As for the issue regarding orders getting confiscated at border control, it does happen from time to time. However, it is extremely rare. We would estimate that 1% of all Modafinil orders done online involve confiscation, as very few incoming packages get flagged down for further inspection [16].

You will not encounter any of these issues if you buy Modafinil from a reputable, legitimate online Modafinil vendor such as Buy Moda or ModafinilXL.

They will sell you generic Modafinil, which is as equally potent as Provigil and much cheaper to purchase. The generic Modafinil is produced by legitimate Indian pharmaceutical companies such as Sun Pharma and HAB Pharmaceuticals, both of which produce FDA-approved products and possess multiple worldwide manufacturing certifications [17, 18].

Legitimate online Modafinil pharmacies also deliver your Modafinil order in very discrete packaging that keeps your privacy safe and passes the overwhelming majority of spot checks. If you look at the exterior packaging, you’re not going to see “Modafinil” on the label!

However, there are a few exceptional cases where your order still gets seized.

In this case, a reputable Modafinil pharmacy online will instantly refund your money or send you another shipment. You get to decide!

Is Modafinil Legal? | Country-By-Country

If you’re wondering “Is Modafinil legal?” in your country, 99 times out of 100 the answer will be “only if you have a prescription”.

In most Western countries, you won’t be able to legally buy the drug if you cannot present proof of a doctor-written prescription.

But in many Latin American and Asian countries such as Mexico, you’ll be able to buy Modafinil without a prescription from any pharmacy that has it in stock.

Let’s look at the Modafinil legal classifications in various countries.

  • United Kingdom: Modafinil is a prescription-only medication (POM) and can only be legally bought once you have the prescription. Bear in mind that Modafinil is ONLY prescribed for narcolepsy in the United Kingdom [19]. However, it is not illegal to POSSESS Modafinil (with or without a prescription) as it does not appear on the UK Misuse of Drug Act 1971 [20].
  • Australia: Modafinil is a Schedule 4 drug, meaning it can only be purchased with a doctor’s prescription as Modavigil for narcolepsy and sleep apnea [21]. Despite this classification, Modafinil does not require permission to have it imported or exported from the country [22].
  • The Netherlands: Modafinil can only be bought after being prescribed the smart drug from a licensed medical doctor for narcolepsy [23]. To our best knowledge, it seems as if possession of Modafinil is not illegal.
  • Germany: Like other western nations, you can only get your hands on Modafinil legally in Germany by prescription under the brand name “Vigil” [24]. However, there are no regulations stating that Modafinil is illegal to possess.
  • Canada: Modafinil is a Schedule 1 prescription drug in Canada and can only be bought via prescription under the brand name “Alertec”. You cannot buy it in a pharmacy or online in the country, but it is not considered criminal to be in possession of Modafinil [25].
  • Mexico: Modafinil can be bought from a pharmacy and possessed without a prescription, and is usually available under the brand name “Modiodal’ [26].

Legalities of Modafinil | Verdict

Is Modafinil legal? It is absolutely legal for you to purchase Modafinil for personal use if you have a prescription.

But is it legal to buy Modafinil online? While it is technically illegal, there are ZERO legal risks with ordering Modafinil online in small quantities. There’s a 99% chance your order will show up within two weeks of your order date.

In the rare case where your order gets seized by customs, a reputable Modafinil vendor will either re-ship your package at no additional cost or provide you with a full refund.

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  1. StatsPearls[Internet] – Modafinil. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  2. Medicine: This Will Keep You Awake. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  3. Schedule 4 (IV) Drugs. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  4. MEDICATION GUIDE: PROVIGIL®. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  5. Is it legal for me to personally import drugs? Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  6. Modafinil. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  7. Informed Compliance Notice for Imported Controlled Substances. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  8. Dursun S, Dunn M, McKay FH. The availability and acquisition of modafinil on the internet. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2019;38(6):699-702. doi:10.1111/dar.12977
  9. Hockenhull J, Wood DM, Dargan PI. The Availability of Modafinil and Methylphenidate Purchased from the Internet in the United Kingdom Without a Prescription. Subst Use Misuse. 2020;55(1):56-65. doi:10.1080/10826084.2019.1654516
  10. Japan – news (in Japanese) of actual arrests of people who have imported Modafinil from India. Retrieved June 8, 2020. r/afinil
  11. Japan – Medications, medicine and drugs in Japan. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  12. Qingdao Customs Seizes 1,000 Modafinil Pills Posted from Abroad. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  13. 140,000 illegal tablets seized through postal system around globe including NI. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  14. RECLAIM Your Seized Meds. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  15. Click Trajectories: End-to-End Analysis of the Spam Value Chain. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  16. JFK is America’s largest mail room. Here’s how customs searches 1 million mail packages a day for drugs and counterfeit goods. Retrieved June 2, 2020.
  17. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  18. Habpharma – home. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  19. Modafinil (Provigil): now restricted to narcolepsy. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  20. Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  21. Brand name: ModavigilTM. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  22. List of drug substances requiring permission to import and/or export. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  23. Overall summary of the scientific evaluation of modafinil-containing products. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  24. Modafinil: Cognitive Enhancer mit Abhängigkeitspotenzial. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  25. Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (S.C. 1996, c. 19). Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  26. Comisión Federal para la Protección contra Riesgos Sanitarios. Retrieved June 5, 2020.

Table of Contents

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