University students campuses take drugs for various reasons; to get high, to beat stress, to seem cool, to fit in. At the end of all the partying, exams scores take a it and students hardly get anywhere with their academics. “It’s part of the college experience” it’s a common excuse.
Well, I’m happy to tell you times are changing now; my friends and I are on drugs. Don’t roll your eyes just yet, these aren’t the same as blunts of yesteryear. They are called nootropics, and actually generate ‘feels good man’ feelings (endorphins) when we study, finish projects or generally when we accomplish something productive. They bring focus and concentration to the party instead of beer and hard liquor. What I should’ve actually said was that the important things have changed!
When I say nootropics, I’m referring to my weapon of choice, Modafinil (Armodafinil, to be specific). There are friends who use others as well, but I stick with Moda as it has been helping me get through almost all my tests with flying colors. Some days, I experience such high fidelity with my vision that colors actually seem to fly off objects and come alive! I was hooked to this! To be clear here, I was addicted to the feeling of clarity rather than the drug.
There are doubts and questions raised about anything we do not understand properly. Since nootropics are very much into the limelight these days, it was only a question of when it would be put on trial. This is why I’m writing this, so I can alleviate fears of at least the few people who take the time to read up on nootropics and Modafinil before sneering at them.
Effects and Dosage Levels
A month before exams
I will walk you through what I do during ‘crunch’ situations, meaning the 30 days before the exams hit. This is usually the time when most people are either at parties, trying to drown themselves in alcohol or trying to study in a crowded library, eventually giving up in despair and heading to the noisy party themselves.
My friends and I usually stick to quiet library corners during finals week. Since we were about to study all day with our books anyways, I pop Modafinil (200mg) about half hour before I head out to the library. My neural synapses are primed by the time I get inside.
What follows is a productive 6-7 hours of studying without any tiredness or slacking off. I haven’t heard of a single drug capable of doing that for me (even Adderall causes me to lose impulse control after 4 or 5 hours). I’d made the right choice of getting in on nootropics.
I had no ill effects the next day. Modafinil has a 12-hour half-life and you have to wait till the effects died down to get sleep. I had no worries with this as I had popped it quite early. After dinner, I was good and tired, and ready for bed.
The day before exams
Or as I used to call it, DEFCON 1. At least, that was the old me anyways. These days I’m much more confident about my own abilities in the exam hall. But to illustrate my point of Modafinil being able to save the day, I have to explain to you how ‘Cramster’ works.
Cramster is the nickname for my roommate. He’s the proverbial grasshopper versus the ant (me) in the old fables. We have the same classes, but I’ve hardly seen him for more than 2 days together. He’s the life of most parties he goes to. I know this because he gets me also invited, which is a plus!
Anyways, he’s someone who lives life up to the fullest, never missing a party or a road trip. The reason we call him Cramster is because he crams during the night before the exam. Not a very imaginative nickname I know, but let’s move on.
On the night before exams, he pops 400mg – 2 full Modafinil tablets – and sits to study (a/k/a cram). He says that the clarity offered by the drug is quite amazing. Plus since he’s so alert, he’s able to recall things much more effectively and quickly. He mostly scores as much or a bit lower than me.
Not all of Aesop’s Fables are true I guess!
I wouldn’t recommend taking 400mg on a regular basis, but everyone has differing constitutions so what works for you I guess. But you shouldn’t go above 400mg, or at the very least, ask your doctor before you do. But as a maximum safe dosage of Modafinil, 400mg is well-accepted by most people without sacrificing the benefits it offers.
Now moving on to the million dollar question…
How safe is generic Modafinil?
Tl;DR – Pretty safe.
Sorry for the spoiler early on, but when it comes to nootropics, most people don’t even take the time to fully read an article. When you are addressing the question ‘Is Modafinil Harmful?’ you should know a few facts about the drug in question first.
- It is FDA approved for the treatment of narcolepsy and other related sleep disorders.
- It has been used by a lot of people over a decade with minimal side effects.
- When used at correct dosage levels, it is found to respond and be compatible with over 85% of people.
While it is safe, it follows argument that it should be taken within limits and dosages as prescribed. I took 200mg a day and found it greatly enhanced all my cognitive senses. What I did was start from like 50mg and worked my way up to the amount I take now.
There are a handful of studies on Modafinil (some very recent) that have tested it thoroughly and found it alright. You are absolutely okay with genuine and generic Modafinil what you should worry about is…
Fake Modafinil is a danger you need to be wary of. There are a lot of companies out there that sell substandard or even totally different drugs which end up doing more harm than good. There have been many instances of people who have been the recipients of fake Modafinil capsules then go on to complain about bad side effects and lack of mental acuity. You should buy genuine Modafinil from trusted vendors.
So do your research before you click that buy now button on some shady website (I personally vouch for ModafinilCat and DuckDose). You should opt for the original stuff even if prices are a bit higher than other nondescript brands.
So, I hope I’ve answered some of your questions here. Modafinil and other nootropic drugs are like any other drug, in the sense that you need to watch your dosage levels if you want to stay sane and avoid bad experiences.
I’m still using it and doing well for myself, academically and socially. Listen to your body; for example, I skip it on days I’m too tired. So it’s not like I need to do it every day. But most importantly, I got clarification from my doctor about what I could and couldn’t do before I started on this course. I suggest you do the same to avoid messing up.
Stay safe, stay strong!