Modafinil has been turning plenty of heads lately. It might have had its start as a simple prescription anti-fatigue and wakefulness-promoting agent, but the attention has now gone far beyond that.
Just take a look at some of the hype phrases you’ll see surrounding the substance: “number one smart drug,” “most cost-effective way to stay alert,” the list goes on. What’s gut everyone abuzz?
In addition to those primary uses for Modafinil, there are off-label benefits that seem to boost a user’s cognitive function so that they can concentrate on work longer and perform at heightened productivity levels while doing so.
An excellent option for individuals looking for some supplemental brain enhancement.
Now, here’s the rub. Modafinil isn’t legal in every part of the globe. In many places where it is legal, you need a prescription to get it. In some places, obtaining a prescription is exceedingly difficult, so getting Modafinil seems downright impossible.
How to get Modafinil, then, becomes the question.
Can you buy Modafinil in Ireland, for instance? Today, we’re going to take a closer look at this oft-hailed nootropic and see just what the deal is when it comes to getting your hands on some, along with what alternatives you might want to turn to if you can’t.
What Is Modafinil?
Let’s start by laying the foundation—what does Modafinil actually do? Before all the talk of cognitive benefits sprung up, Modafinil was created as a eugeroic drug.
This means that it promotes a state of wakefulness and decreases feelings of tiredness and fatigue. That in itself is awesome enough.
Narcoleptics, sufferers of sleep apnea, individuals with shift work sleep disorder, and anyone else who is prone to becoming excessively sleepy during the daytime find great utility in Modafinil, as it can help them maintain a somewhat normal sleep cycle and stay healthy.
Keep in mind that most Physicians are unwilling to prescribe the drug for any reason other than it’s on-label usage. But, some physicians are willing to consider prescribing the drug for its potential nootropic benefits, which we’ll now discuss.
Modafinil is sold under many brand names, like Provigil and Modalert, and is commonly marketed as a tablet.
These tablets come in different strengths, with 150-milligrams and 200-milligrams being two of the most widely distributed.
There is some possibility for side effects when taking Modafinil, but these are generally mild.
These can include headaches and other kinds of pain, a slight increase in anxiety when first starting Modafinil, and a few assorted drug interactions, among other things.
Interesting to note, Modafinil, while it fights fatigue like other stimulating substances, doesn’t have all of the same effects that, say, amphetamines would.
Whereas individuals using amphetamines to stave off sleep might suffer from rebound hypersomnia (becoming even more tired) after the amphetamines wear off, this problem is not commonly associated with Modafinil use.
The Cognitive Effects of Modafinil
The secondary benefits of Modafinil also make it attractive to the supplement crowd. Specifically, Modafinil has a set of cognitive-enhancing functions.
It can help improve working memory, reaction times, alertness, attention, and motivation to hone in on complicated tasks.
In addition, Modafinil might also have some slight mood-altering properties and neuroprotective effects. A solid combination of upsides, if you talk to most nootropic fans.
Researchers don’t understand all of Modafinil’s mechanisms of action, but they do know that it interacts with the nervous system and various neurotransmitters to produce its effects.
Researchers have identified a few of these.
For example, it inhibits the release of a compound called GABA (which induces sleep).
It also increases the production of histamine and norepinephrine, which are both linked to wakeful states.
Modafinil interacts with dopamine and is also known to interact with the same system in the body that manages adrenaline output.
Normal doses of Modafinil are around 200-milligrams a day for treating sleep disorders. For individuals supplementing with Modafinil for cognitive benefits, doses of 50-milligrams to 200-milligrams are usually enough to do the trick, though some will venture into higher territory if they feel they need more of the compound to really feel the effects.
Anna-Katrine Brem, who works as a researcher for some of the most prestigious universities in the world believes in the power of Modafinil. She said, “…in the face of vanishingly few side effects in these controlled environments, Modafinil can be considered a cognitive enhancer.”
What has her so convinced? For one, studies conducted on fighter pilots in the military have produced some pretty profound results. For years, different militaries have provided their service members with drugs designed to increase their focus and ability during long, difficult and sensitive missions.
While these drugs have had a positive effect for the most part, they do come with a litany of side effects. Modafinil on the other hand may provide the benefits with far fewer side effects. This study suggests that Modafinil increased alertness, feelings of well-being and focus in pilots just as well as dextroamphetamine does, without the same negative side effects.
A double blind study conducted by the European Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology concluded that Modafinil provided significant cognitive boosts to chess players, as compared to a control group. The Modafinil group won more often while also taking more care in planning their individual moves. This study in particular sheds a lot of light onto the possibility of Modafinil as a powerful nootropic drug.
What’s Up With Legality?
By and large, Modafinil is legal to use and possess in many parts of the world. You just need a prescription to do so. Take The United Kingdom, for example.
There, Modafinil is not listed as an illegal compound, you just have to have a medical need for the drug and a doctor’s permission to obtain it, and you’re all set.
Other countries aren’t as forgiving, though. In places like Russia, Modafinil is treated more like cocaine than a medically beneficial substance.
There are laws against possession and even reports of individuals receiving jail time for having just a few pills on their person.
In Ireland, Modafinil is restricted but can be obtained with a prescription. Prescriptions are difficult to come by, however. According to one Irish GP (general practitioner):
“Modafinil would not be easy to obtain from an Irish GP, he says, as its use is only indicated for the relatively rare condition of narcolepsy, and it’s not a drug he has ever seen prescribed.”
This leaves many individuals who want to try Modafinil for personal use with few options in seeking out the drug.
How Can You Get Modafinil in Ireland?
As we mentioned, a prescription is the legal way to obtain Modafinil in Ireland, but those are only ever given out for the treatment of narcolepsy. Even then, obtaining a prescription seems rare. The Health Products Regulatory Authority of Ireland provides more insight into their drug policies.
One might think that the online shipping method might be the way to go, then, but even this poses problems.
Many online vendors won’t deliver directly to Ireland.
You could try getting around this by having their package delivered to a mail forwarding company or a proxy like Skypax, but even then, there is no guarantee that the shipment will reach its intended destination.
Could Adrafinil Work?
Because of these restrictions, many individuals have turned to Adrafinil instead. It is a non-prescription alternative to Modafinil and not subject to all of the same rules in many places.
Adrafinil provides a similar set of benefits, from the anti-fatigue properties to the cognitive boosts, so many see it as a suitable substitute in cases where Modafinil procurement seems dodgy.
One should bear in mind that the original Adrafinil, the brand Olmifon that went to market in the 1980s, was discontinued in 2011. Nowadays, a few scattered sources carry Adrafinil powder and will ship that instead of the pills.
It is also important to note that Adrafinil doesn’t work in the same manner as Modafinil.
Instead of feeling the effects quickly, twenty minutes or so in the case of Modafinil, Adrafinil will take an hour or more to start working. This is because it is processed by the liver and must be metabolized before it can do anything.
Since its first processed by the liver, this also means that a lot of the drug is lost in the metabolization process. This means that Adrafinil users typically take a dose that’s three times larger than a typical dose of Modafinil. For example, if you usually take 100-200mg of Modafinil, you’d need to take 300-600mg of Adrafinil for a similar effect.
Wrapping It Up
So here’s what we’ve learned about Modafinil. It is a prescription anti-sleep drug that is usually prescribed to narcoleptics. It is also used in the treatment of other sleep conditions, like sleep apnea and shift work sleep disorder.
The fatigue-fighting nature of the drug makes it popular among those who want to squeeze a few extra hours of productivity from their day, and the secondary cognitive boosts make it popular among nootropic supplement users.
Physicians will often downplay the cognitive boosting elements of the drug, but most regular users seem to swear by them.
Modafinil is legal in many parts of the world, though it usually requires a prescription. This is the case in Ireland.
It is difficult to come by a Modafinil prescription in Ireland, though, so many individuals who want Modafinil either have to get Modafinil online and engage in the online vendor proxy-shipping process or turn to Adrafinil, a non-prescription drug with similar properties.