Modafinil and Alcohol – Everything you need to know

Modafinil is a medicine that helps patients suffering from sleeping disorders such as Shift work disorders (SWD), idiopathic hypersomnia and narcolepsy; in short, it helps promote wakefulness. This medicine increases or decreases the activity of neurotransmitters such as GABA, serotonin, and norepinephrine. As dopamine is the most affected secretion in the brain, Modafinil inhibits the reuptake of this chemical.

Also known as Provigil, this medication triggers a histamine response in users. There are a dozen medicines, liquids, and foods that must be not consumed along with Modafinil. The effects of specifically mixing Modafinil and alcohol can be minor, severe or even cause irreversible changes towards various tolerance levels. 

It is a universally acknowledged thumb rule to never mix alcohol along with Modafinil. The most common issues that can occur are blackouts, hallucinations and a major increase in tolerance towards alcohol consumption. We must be aware of how alcohol reduces or cuts down brain activity whereas Modafinil stimulates the promotion of brain activity.

This occurs because Modafinil is a GABA adversary and glutamate aggravator, while alcohol decreases glutamate production and increases the GABA neurotransmitters.  Now, as GABA cuts down brain activity and glutamate excite brain cells, it is simpler to understand how Modafinil and Alcohol cannot be consumed simultaneously.

When you experience the following symptoms, you must visit a doctor or immediately stop drinking alcohol and having Modafinil at the same time.

  • Dizziness, confusion, and anxiety
  • Blurry vision or even temporary loss of vision
  • Lack of mind-body coordination and various types of muscle pain
  • Mood swings such as anger or frustration
  • Slower reflexes and a great delay in response time
  • Terrible concentration ability – speaking about multiple random things at the same time
  • Complete blackouts followed by major drowsiness
  • Tingling feeling in the feet, arms, and back

Both, Alcohol and Modafinil are on the ends of an emotional spectrum, ranging from depression or melancholy to excitation. As modafinil has a long half-life of about 9-10 hours, it can stay in the system throughout the day or night, depending on when it was consumed. Then, when you grab a drink, these two compounds get mixed and cause unpredictable effects.

Keep reading to know about possible issues that can arise due to the mixture of these two products: 

 

  • Severe Liver Damage: It is very well known that almost all foods and liquids are metabolized by the liver, once they venture into the stomach. After which they are excreted via the digestive tract. CYP450 is a set of enzymes known as isoenzymes. Alcohol is broken down into smaller chemical portions via the effort of these enzymes. Even Modafinil is broken down by enzyme CYP3A4 and this entire process can be tiresome for the liver. Because the liver has multiple tasks to handle such as hormone stimulation, sugar metabolism and building of necessary proteins. Any hindrance to this liver’s functionality can result in incomplete digestion, poor metabolism, inflammation, and hormone instabilities. When alcohol and Modafinil are mixed, it becomes a herculean task for the liver to break them both down, while taking care of other responsibilities.
  • Dehydration: Consumption of Modafinil and alcohol can lead to excessive water loss in the body. This occurs because both these products use ample body water in order for metabolization to take place. Not only does this lead to water loss, but also extra exertion of energy via the kidneys. Eventually, water levels constantly drop and dehydration takes place.
  • Increased Alcohol Tolerance: Modafinil is taken to heighten cognitive performance by enhancing brain activity, while alcohol disrupts this positive effect on the brain. Due to this conflicting action, one may not feel the effects of alcohol after having how much they normally have. It is because of the potent medicine Modafinil, that the outcome of alcohol doesn’t kick in as soon as it is supposed to. The increased movement of GABA neurotransmitters leaves a person less sensitive to alcohol. Basically, one’s tolerance towards alcohol increases and this leads to a higher amount of alcohol consumption.
  • Catching a stomach problem – In many cases, it has been reported that patients who take modafinil and then drink alcohol, suffer from a disastrous hangover the next morning. Due to its long half-life of 9-10 hours, the medicine will be working its effects throughout the body for a good amount of time after consumption. Thus, even if you consume alcohol after 5 hours, you may get sick for a couple of days at a time. While feeling internally hellish till all the toxins and medicines are not flushed out of your system.

 

Alternatives to Modafinil for daily drinkers

Via a substantial amount of experimentation, surveys, real-life subjects, scientific evaluations, and anecdotal evidence, it has been concluded that your alcohol tolerance will increase the more you drink after taking Modafinil.

In case you are a heavy drinker and consume a couple of drinks daily before going to bed, then a perfect alternative would be phenylpiracetam. This medicine differs from Modafinil in 2 ways. One being its shorter half-life of about 3-4 hours, which means the medicine is completely flushed out of the system soon enough and you can then consume otherwise avoided products. 

The second difference is that between the two medicines, Phenylpiracetam has a much lesser number of side effects as compared to its counterpart. The side effects portrayed via phenylpiracetam can be tolerated and are much milder than back pain, nausea and irregular heartbeats as seen when Modafinil is consumed.

To summarize all that a person needs to know, it is absolutely fair to say that mixing the smart drug, Modafinil and the liver killer, Alcohol, is not a good idea and should never be advocated. If you have anyway resorted to pharmaceuticals, then might as well let the medicine do its wonders and you can grab a drink on a different day.

It is recommended by doctors, physicians and medical practitioners globally that have the two substances days apart to avoid catching life-threatening diseases and causing irreparable harm to your liver, brain cells, and body as a whole.