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Why Does Modafinil Cause Anxiety and How to Deal With It?

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General

Modafinil is a med that’s recognized for its robust mood-ameliorating capabilities. The advantages of the med can’t be denied, but every now & then, the anxiety it triggers is undoubtedly too much to handle. Why does modafinil make you feel so anxious? How can you control it? Some individuals have panic attacks when popping modafinil, & it isn’t good. But there’s a way to handle it. Nonetheless, positive reviews from enthusiasts have led to a growing number of off-label modafinil used for depression & anxiety.

In this post, we discuss how modafinil induces anxiety in some individuals & tips to reduce modafinil-related nervousness & other side effects.

But first things first.

What Is Modafinil?

Modafinil is categorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a regulated Schedule IV med & is legally obtainable via prescription only.

Modafinil’s advantageous effects are the influence of its capability to interact with our central nervous system. It’s classified as eugeroic & stimulant, compelling us into a condition of vigilance & wakefulness. It stimulates the brain directly or by inhibiting the sleep-inducing side of the nervous system.

Furthermore, it’s specifically designed to treat several sleep disorders such as shift work sleep disorder (SWSD), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), & narcolepsy. Generally, it permits sleep-deprived individuals to stay awake & alert.

Off-prescription, modafinil is used to remedy other health conditions, including jet lag, depression, Parkinson’s & Alzheimer’s diseases, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), etc. Also, healthy individuals administer it to ameliorate their brainpower & augment productivity.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a standard condition. It’s something almost everybody on planet earth has undergone at some point in time. It’s marked by a sensation of worry & stress, frequently presenting with other negative effects like shallow breathing, jitteriness, fast heart rate, & even dizziness.

The reasons for anxiety may comprise:

  • negative effects of meds;
  • alcohol, caffeine, or cannabis use;
  • poverty;
  • history of child abuse;
  • sleep deprivation;
  • illegal drug use;
  • heart illness;
  • incapability to cope with stressful settings.

Anxiety can be normal in stressful circumstances, such as taking a test or public speaking. It is just an indicator of underlying illness when feelings become extreme, all-consuming, & interfere with day-to-day living.

How Does Modafinil Exactly Work?

Modafinil augments the activity of the main neurotransmitters: orexin, dopamine, histamine, and norepinephrine. These chemical substances play a paramount role in the brain to make us feel awake while augmenting other cognitive functions with rewards such as better memory, learning, reasoning, decision-making & planning, motivation, focus, energy, and creativity.

Does modafinil cause anxiety? Well, the stimulating effects of modafinil on the aforementioned neurotransmitters are also the preliminary causality for anxiety while popping the med.

Can Modafinil Tablets Really Cause Anxiety?

Modafinil seems to be linked with more significant nervousness in animals & humans. However, the proof is mixed & might be dose-dependent. Investigation in healthy individuals conveyed augmented anxiety at doses from 200 to 800 mg. Another investigation of mood & cognitive function in healthy young adults discovered that a single 100 mg dose of the “smart tab” was linked with greater subjective & physical signs of anxiety than a placebo.

However, a higher dose (200 mg) didn’t display these effects. In disparity, healthy adults who obtained modafinil 400 mg every day for 3 days conveyed being less calm than those obtaining a placebo. Likewise, placebo-controlled analyses discovered that duplicated administration of the “smart tab” was linked with more significant anxiety in obstructive sleep apnea, myotonic dystrophy patients, & also multiple sclerosis patients.

Now, how, mechanistically, do modafinil and anxiety commence? Certainly, the “smart tab” stimulates specific circuits in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, or HPA axis as it is typically dubbed, to augment adaptive stress.

The reason is that anxiety, in itself, involves overstimulation of the central nervous system. Anytime these rejuvenating compounds induce an over-activation of neuro-stimulating molecules like serotonin, glutamate, & dopamine — we can forge signs of worry.

This is particularly typical in individuals who already suffer from signs of anxiety.

Modafinil can sometimes push them over the edge & certainly into an anxious state.

Whether you will or not experience anxiety on the “smart tab” relies on many aspects, like your baseline level of anxiety, the environment, & your genotype.

What Other Side Effects Can Modafinil Pills Cause and How to Reduce Them?

To lessen or prevent anxiety caused by modafinil, mix it with L-theanine. Also, perform breathing/meditation exercises & lower the modafinil dose.

Other main negative effects of modafinil include the following:

  • insomnia: To reduce, pop modafinil first thing in the morning or at least 10 to 13 hours before you plan on going to sleep. Also, avoid all other stimulants;
  • headaches: Be certain to drink plenty of water throughout the day. You also need to supplement with L-theanine to lessen anxiety in humans;
  • poor appetite: Have adequate nutrition to build blood cells, skin cells, & neurotransmitters;
  • diarrhea: Pop with food, particularly food containing fats like olive oil, butter, or animal fats.

Other side effects of modafinil include dry mouth, backache, difficulty sleeping, dizziness, nausea, headache, diarrhea, etc.

Resume

The stimulating nature of the “smart tab” implies that it can trigger anxiety more easily than other meds.

To lower the condition, supplements like GABA, L-theanine, & GABAergic supplements can remarkably help counteract anxiety & make your “smart tab” more efficacious. Besides, spend a few minutes just performing slowed, rhythmic breathing anytime you start to feel nervousness coming on. Also, you can try reducing the dose.

References

  1. The off-prescription use of modafinil: An online survey of perceived risks and benefits. By Rachel D. Teodorini, Nicola Rycroft, and James H. Smith-Spark. Published: February 5, 2020. Journals.plos.org.
  2. Cognitive Enhancers for Anxiety Disorders. By Stefan G. Hofmann, Jasper A. J. Smits, Anu Asnaani, Cassidy A. Gutner, and Michael W. Otto. Published: December 4, 2010. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  3. Modafinil Side Effects by Likelihood and Severity. Retrieved: September 14, 2022. Webmd.com.

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