Many nootropics — or cognition enhancing “smart drugs” — are available in powder form, so you may be wondering if modafinil powder is available.
But despite some of the benefits of using powder forms, there are some drawbacks as well. Modafinil is one nootropic agent that is not widely available in powder form for several reasons.
Here’s what you need to know about modafinil powder.
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What Is Modafinil?
Modafinil is a wakefulness agent that is used to promote alertness in people with sleep disorders like narcolepsy, sleep apnea and shift work sleep disorder. It helps people with these conditions stay awake during the day (or during their shift) through its mild stimulant effect .
As a prescription, it’s approved for these purposes. However, many physicians also provide off-label prescriptions for conditions like depression, substance addiction and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) [2, 3].
Additionally, modafinil offers a number of cognition-boosting benefits that make it a popular nootropic. In addition to the alertness it provides, it may also help improve focus and concentration, productivity and executive functioning (decision making and task performance) [4, 5].
Modafinil was first developed in France and currently the name brand version — Provigil — is owned by Cephalon Labs.
Modafinil Side Effects and Safety
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, potential side effects of modafinil include :
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- loss of appetite
- unusual tastes
- dry mouth
- excessive thirst
- tight muscles or difficulty moving
- back pain
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of your body
burning, tingling, or numbness of the skin
- difficulty seeing or eye pain”
Among nootropics researchers, the most commonly reported side effects appear to be headache, insomnia and loss of appetite. Some subjects say that their loss of appetite is a result of being too focused on the task at hand to remember to eat.
To help alleviate insomnia, it’s important also to administer modafinil first thing in the morning so that the effects aren’t still being felt when it’s time to go to bed.
Additionally, the U.S. National Library of Medicine says that the following severe side effects — if experienced — warrant immediate medical attention:
- peeling skin
- mouth sores
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- chest pain
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- frenzied, abnormally excited mood
- hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- thinking about killing or harming yourself”
Modafinil should not be administered to minors under the age of 18, or pregnant or breastfeeding women unless they have been prescribed the drug by a physician with knowledge of their situation and medical needs.
Additionally, modafinil may have a number of drug interactions — so it’s important to proceed with caution (and with physician approval) for people who have existing medical conditions or who are taking prescription drugs.
Finally, modafinil should not be mixed with other stimulants, alcohol, illicit drugs, or high doses of caffeine.
While powder forms of nootropics do tend to offer faster absorption and a shorter time to wait before you begin feeling the effects, modafinil is one for which a powder form is highly not recommended — nor is it even available for purchase.
Modafinil is generally only available as a pill that you swallow or a sublingual tablet (which dissolves under the tongue). Even then, the sublingual route of administration isn’t widely used. Generally, most nootropics researchers administer 100mg or 200mg pills.
Bulk modafinil powder used to be sold by India-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Sun Pharmaceuticals, but is no longer available and hasn’t been for about 10 years. Although modafinil powder may currently be for sale on other websites, it’s important to critically appraise these websites and understand that what they’re offering is likely not legitimate and may not be safe.
Here are the reasons why modafinil in powder form is not recommended.
As we just mentioned, modafinil powder is no longer available from any modafinil manufacturers that we’re familiar with (and we’ve done our digging). However, even if it was, here are some of the other drawbacks and reasons why we strongly don’t recommend it.
Modafinil powder requires precise dosing, and requires a scale capable of measuring milligrams in order to dose correctly. Under no circumstances should a dose of any nootropic agent — not just modafinil — be “eyeballed.” In such small quantities such as in dealing with milligrams, it can be easy to inadvertently double or even triple your dose without realizing it, unless you have a milligram scale.
Additionally, a precise way to administer the entirety of the powder dose is needed — which can be a problem because of modafinil’s physical properties.
Modafinil is not water-soluble, so it won’t dissolve in water. This makes taking modafinil powder a challenge, as the easiest route by far for most powders is to mix them with a liquid .
Additionally, alternative methods of taking modafinil powder, like snorting, are not recommended for several of these same reasons.
While many nootropics researchers are able to successfully receive shipments of modafinil tablets, powders — especially bulk powders — may be another story entirely. These packages will draw more attention and increased scrutiny, and so they may end up being seized at many different points in the shipping process.
Finally, another major concern with powders is that they may be adulterated with substances that aren’t modafinil. None of the major Indian pharmaceutical companies that produce modafinil generics are offering powder modafinil, so you should be skeptical each and every time you see it for sale.
Modafinil Powder | Verdict
Modafinil is a wakefulness drug that helps promote alertness, but also provides a number of other benefits related to focus and productivity — making it a popular nootropic.
However, modafinil in powder form is not recommended. It’s no longer available from any manufacturer that we’re aware of, and even if it were it’s difficult to dose and administer safely due to its water insolubility, it’s more likely to be seized during shipping and it may be adulterated or impure.
For these reasons, it’s best to stick to modafinil pills or sublingual tablets from reputable sources, like Buy Moda.
- 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;49:69-72. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2018.05.027
- Peñaloza RA, Sarkar U, Claman DM, Omachi TA. Trends in on-label and off-label modafinil use in a nationally representative sample. JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(8):704-706. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.2807
- Anderson AL, Reid MS, Li SH, et al. Modafinil for the treatment of cocaine dependence. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2009;104(1-2):133-139. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2009.04.015
- Minzenberg MJ, Carter CS. Modafinil: a review of neurochemical actions and effects on cognition. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2008;33(7):1477-1502.
- Battleday RM, Brem AK. Modafinil for cognitive neuroenhancement in healthy non-sleep-deprived subjects: A systematic review. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015;25(11):1865-1881. doi:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2015.07.028
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. Modafinil. MedLine Plus website. Updated February 2, 2016. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a602016.html
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 4236, Modafinil. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Modafinil. Accessed Nov. 12, 2021.