Modafinil and Nicotine | What You MUST Know

Tomas Thorne

Last Updated: February 2, 2023


Mixing Modafinil and nicotine together seems like a dream for the average nootropics user.

But is it?

On the one hand, you have one of the world’s safest and most effective cognitive enhancers ever studied.  On the other hand, you have an ingredient that is commonly demonized by mainstream science for keeping cigarette users hooked.

But perhaps there is something to this odd combination. Maybe combining them together could take you closer to the dream of NZT-48 from the movie Limitless.

This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about stacking nicotine and Modafinil together — is it the best idea ever, or something that was never meant to be?

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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.

What is Modafinil?

Let’s cover the basics right quick…

Modafinil is a Schedule IV prescription drug [1] that is commonly used for its ability to enhance wakefulness and cognitive performance.

Its was originally used in patients who were suffering from disorders related to excessive sleepiness, including:

  • Sleep Apnea
  • Narcolepsy
  • Shift Sleep Disorder

Unlike other stimulants, it comes with far fewer negative side effects, both in severity and frequency, and has far lower abuse potential.

Modafinil has seen widespread use in competitive professions requiring sustained levels of high performance for extended periods of time. Military soldiers, doctors, students and entrepreneurs are among its most common users.

Many users not only report the ability to stay awake for longer periods of time, but a heightened level of motivation that allows them to stay focused on difficult and complex tasks.

As for how it works, the science is not definitive.

Many researchers believe its mechanism of action involves increasing the levels of several neurotransmitters — dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, etc.

However, we know now that increased dopamine uptake [2] – combined with the inhibition of dopamine breakdown – is the most important part of how Modafinil affects the brain.

So where does “nicotine” come into the Modafinil and nicotine combination? Why would anyone desire to stack these two drugs together?


Modafinil and Nicotine | The Basics

The best way to understand one’s rationale for stacking Modafinil and nicotine has to do with two important discoveries about nicotine’s properties.

The first discovery has to do with questioning whether nicotine itself – when studied in isolation without interference from other chemicals – is really “addictive”.

Many studies used to suggest that nicotine is addictive tend to be flawed [3] – they either do not study nicotine in isolation or do not properly define “addiction” in the context of nicotine being used as a drug.

This passage from a 241-page book titled “A Critique of Nicotine Addiction” proves to be interesting in this regard [4]:

We show that most of his criteria for drug dependence are nonspecific, in that they do not distinguish drug-driven from other compulsive habits.

According to the Surgeon General’s definition, neither physical dependence nor tolerance are necessary criteria for drug dependence, and the only required causal relationship between the drug and the behavior is the requirement that the drug should be capable of directly reinforcing behavior.

Therefore, testing the nicotine addiction hypothesis essentially reduces to testing whether nicotine is reinforcing.

[NOTE: Please do not take this article to be any kind of indication that smoking is good for your health, or a promotion of such. We are merely examining nicotine’s effects in isolation and presenting what current research says about it]

There are some studies that even go as far as to suggest that nicotine – when used in isolation and at low doses – may be neuroprotective and lower the risk for Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s [5].

Combined with the extremely disappointing success rates of nicotine replacement therapy to help smokers quit (~5-10%), scientists have wondered if cigarette addiction is not single-handedly attributable to nicotine alone [6].

The second discovery relates to nicotine and how it affects brain chemistry.

Much like Modafinil, nicotine increases levels of neurotransmitters [7] such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. And you only need a very small dose of nicotine — 1mg, found in a piece of nicotine gum — to experience this effect.

While nicotine takes 5 minutes or less to kick in, Modafinil takes roughly 30-60 minutes [8] for the user to “feel” it working.

To make a long story short…

Combine Modafinil and nicotine together to get an insanely high dopamine rush that fuels insane productivity.  Nicotine gives you the jump start, and Modafinil keeps it going.

But what does the science say about this idea? Is it feasible, or just a concept that only sounds good on paper?

What the Science Says About Modafinil and Nicotine

Now it’s time to dig a little deeper.

Let’s review the primary benefits of each nootropic to see if there is any validity behind combining nicotine and Modafinil together…

Modafinil Benefits

  • Modafinil Increases Attention Span

One study examining healthy young adult males found that Modafinil (dosed anywhere between 100 and 200mg) helped subjects feel more attentive and alert during tests involving cognitive tasks.

Users of Modafinil found themselves able to react faster and recognize visual patterns much quicker [9].

The most interesting part was how users who took the higher dose of Modafinil actually had a longer response time, yet responded far less impulsively. The researchers concluded that Modafinil may potentially be useful in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

  • Modafinil Helps Improve Working Memory

In a randomized double-placebo clinical trial involving patients with remitted depression, 200mg of Modafinil significantly improved the patient’s working memory.

As a reminder, your working memory [10] is basically your “short-term” memory. It defines your ability to temporarily hold information in your head, which helps you make decisions and carry out complex tasks.

  • Modafinil Boosts Your Mood

When men and women were taking 400mg of Modafinil per day over a course of 3 days, they were in a far more positive mood [11] compared to the placebo.

While the study also notes that patients taking Modafinil had increased anxiety, it’s important to remember that 400mg is an abnormally high dose of Modafinil.

Given that most people recommend going no higher than 200mg in a given day, this negative side effect should be interpreted with caution.

Nicotine Benefits

  • Nicotine Shortens Your Reaction Time

An interesting study divided 20 people into two equal groups, one group taking 2mg of nicotine gum and the other taking a placebo.

After being asked to perform short-term memory tasks for 4 hours straight, researchers found that subjects taking nicotine gum were faster in responding to questions [12] regarding information already stored in their immediate memory.

However, nicotine’s effects on short-term memory were absent when where was no information present in the subject’s immediate memory.

  • Nicotine May Help Improve Behavior In Adolescents With ADHD

In 2004, a double-blind study was conducted in teenagers (ages 13-17) to see if nicotine could improve cognitive inhibition [13], thereby reducing impulsive behaviors.

It is important to note that all of the subjects were nonsmokers.

Not only did the teenagers taking nicotine show positive behavioral improvements, but the researchers also noted how nicotine’s effect was comparable to Ritalin.

  • Nicotine Can Enhance Athletic Performance

After reviewing 10 studies concerning the use of nicotine use in athletes, scientists concluded that nicotine could potentially help athletes perform better [14] in their sport of choice.

Many athletes claim that nicotine helps them improve their concentration during a game, while others say it relaxes them when they are nervous before they have to play.

Many find it interesting that many athletes will not smoke cigarettes, but instead choose to opt for oral options such as Swedish snus and chewing tobacco.


Benefits of Nicotine and Modafinil…When Combined

It seems like nicotine and Modafinil are pretty effective in isolation. But what happens when you put nicotine and Modafinil together as part of a nootropic stack?

Through preliminary and personal research, I found a handful of significant benefits when “stacking” these two potent nootropics together:

  • Exceptionally Strong ‘Nootropic’ Benefits

The cognitive benefits of Modafinil are exceptional alone. Nicotine can be used as a nootropic by itself.

When combining these two products, many users find insane synergistic effects between Modafinil and Nicotine.

The cognitive enhancement you’ll find here combines to offers hours upon hours of intense focus. You’ll be able to get more stuff done. You’ll remember more and be able to quickly recall information from the past.

In fact, the absolute most potent nootropic stack known to mankind’ includes:

200mg Modafinil + 2mg Nicotine gum + a double expresso = WORLD-CLASS COGNITION

This is our top recommendation for anyone and everyone looking to get the most out of their nootropic usage, when talking cognitive enhancement.

  • Modafinil and Nicotine Will Increase Your Energy

A study examining the interaction between Modafinil and nicotine in abstinent smokers found something very interesting.

Every other subject received either 200mg of Modafinil, 400mg of Modafinil, or a placebo. 2 hours after, they took a 2mg nicotine lozenge.

The combination of 200mg Modafinil and 2mg nicotine significantly boosted the perceived energy levels of the subjects [15] compared to the other options.

While this study reported negative feelings from subjects who took Modafinil (before taking nicotine), the dosages used were extremely high. Many wonder how the results would have looked with a more moderate dosage of 100mg.

  • Modafinil And Nicotine Helps Smokers Quit More Easily

It turns out that you can take Modafinil and nicotine at the same time, while simultaneously reducing your cravings for cigarettes!

An animal study [16] involving alcohol-preferring rats found that Modafinil not only reduced their nicotine-taking behavior, but it dramatically inhibited the rate at which these rats would self-administer nicotine via intravenous injection.

While the science on this is still not definitive in humans, it appears that Modafinil “cancels” out the supposed addictive properties of nicotine taken in isolation.

  • Modafinil And Nicotine Will Significantly Suppress Hunger

If you’re someone who is practicing intermittent fasting and needs an easier way to deal with the hunger cravings, nicotine and Modafinil might be a viable option worth exploring.

Nicotine is known to be a common appetite suppressant, and Modafinil has been shown to naturally reduce food intake [17] due to a lower feeling of hunger.

Here’s what this means…

When you combine the two, you’re going to feel like you’re on fire for several hours without needing to take a break for food — even moreso if you’re focused on an important task.

If you’re a smoker who’s trying to quit, you’ve often heard about how increased hunger and weight gain come about to compensate for the cravings.

So if you’re gradually reducing your nicotine/cigarette intake and supplementing with Modafinil, you could likely lower the chances of weight gain!

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Side Effects | Modafinil and Nicotine

When it comes to mixing nicotine and Modafinil together, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

There are definitely some potential side effects, while minor, that you may want to be well aware of before you start taking them together.

Here’s a few minor side effects to think about when stacking nootropics:

  • Dehydration

Both Modafinil [18] and nicotine [19] are known to have diuretic effects – in other words, they will leave you feeling dehydrated.

Either one possesses this side effect by itself, so it’s not unreasonable to imagine this effect would be amplified when they are combined together.

It’s prudent to have a large 1L bottle of water at your desk when mixing these nootropics. If you’re going to combine them, it is even more important to ensure you are staying dehydrated throughout the day.

Considering that even the slightest bit of dehydration can significantly decrease mental performance, this is one side effect you’ll want to be aware of.

  • Nausea

One of the common side effects of Modafinil [20] and nicotine [21] is nausea. Nausea is most often expressed as the desire to vomit, or a headache in which you feel like you have the flu.

This generally happens to people who are not careful with dosing both drugs at the same time. They either overdose one of them (if not both), or they are beginners who are not accustomed to taking either drug.

For example, it takes only a FEW puffs of a vape stick to get the equivalent of the nicotine found in an entire cigarette — which takes a lot longer to finish. If you take nicotine this way in combination with Modafinil, you can expect a nasty head rush that eventually leads to nausea.

Ideally, you would use nicotine gum or lozenges to properly control the dose of nicotine. You’ll know exactly how much you’re taking without having to guess.

  • Tolerance

With Modafinil, the general consensus is that it’s extremely well tolerated and does not contain any addictive properties.

But as mentioned in a prior article, many of these studies are not examining Modafinil as a smart drug being used day in and day out. We’ve noticed that it is indeed possible to develop a slight tolerance to Modafinil if you are using it without any “breaks” whatsoever.

For this reason, it’s recommended that you don’t use nicotine and Modafinil together every day. Reserve Modafinil for no more than 1-3 times a week, with a two week “break” after two months to let your body recover.

And as for combining nicotine and Modafinil, do not combine more than 1-2 times a week. It’s a combination that can be deadly in how effective it is, but only when used very sparingly.

It is not for the faint of heart, as nicotine can help you “feel” Modafinil if your normal dose of Modafinil isn’t working properly.


Is It Worth the Risk? | Verdict

With great knowledge comes great responsibility, and the combination of Modafinil and nicotine is no exception to this rule.

Use it in very rare situations when your back is against the wall and you absolutely need to get a massive amount of work done in an inhumanely short period of time.

Because this combo certainly works!

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


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  3. Using nicotine as a cognitive enhancer. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  4. A critique of nicotine addiction. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  5. Can nicotine protect the aging brain? Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  6. Moore, D., Aveyard, P., Connock, M., Wang, D., Fry-Smith, A., & Barton, P. (2009, April 2). Effectiveness and safety of nicotine replacement therapy assisted reduction to stop smoking: systematic review and meta-analysis. Retrieved from
  7. Valentine G, Sofuoglu M. Cognitive Effects of Nicotine: Recent Progress. Curr Neuropharmacol. 2018;16(4):403–414. doi:10.2174/1570159X15666171103152136
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  12. Sherwood N., Kerr J.S., Hindmarch I. (1991) Effects of Nicotine Gum on Short-Term Memory. In: Adlkofer F., Thurau K. (eds) Effects of Nicotine on Biological Systems. APS Advances in Pharmacological Sciences. Birkhäuser Basel
  13. Potter, A.S. & Newhouse, P.A. Effects of acute nicotine administration on behavioral inhibition in adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Psychopharmacology. 2004;176:183.
  14. Mündel T. Nicotine: Sporting Friend or Foe? A Review of Athlete Use, Performance Consequences and Other Considerations. Sports Med. 2017;47(12):2497–2506. doi:10.1007/s40279-017-0764-5
  15. Sofuoglu, M., Waters, A.J. and Mooney, M. Modafinil and nicotine interactions in abstinent smokers. Hum. Psychopharmacol. Clin. Exp. 2008;23:21-30. doi:10.1002/hup.878
  16. R-Modafinil Attenuates Nicotine-Taking and Nicotine-Seeking Behavior in Alcohol-Preferring Rats. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  17. Martin CA, Lile J, Guenthner G, Anestis JC, Batten SR, Kelly TH. Behavioral effects of modafinil and nicotine, alone and in combination, in tobacco-deprived young adult smokers. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2014;34(2):278–281. doi:10.1097/JCP.0000000000000080
  18. Modafinil (Provigil): for excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  19. Can you overdose on too much nicotine? Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  20. Modafinil Side Effects. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
  21. Nicotine Patch for the Prevention of Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting. Retrieved January 19, 2020.

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