Modafinil is a prescription medication that is helpful in situations where stimulation is necessary to counter fatigue or some type of sleeping disorder. One of the most common uses of Modafinil is in the treatment of narcolepsy. In addition, there is growing evidence that Modafinil can be helpful in the treatment of symptoms related to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, withdrawal from cocaine addiction, and some forms of depression.
Modafinil works by increasing the rate of release of monoamines into the bloodstream. At the same time, the drug also works to elevate the level of hypothalamic histamine in the system. This combination of actions can help to promote a sense of alertness and focus that persons with various types of sleep ailments often experience.
The use of Modafinil is approved in the United States for the treatment of narcolepsy. Narcoleptics experience episodes where a loss of consciousness comes on suddenly. Because Modafinil acts as a stimulant in the body, a narcoleptic may experience this loss of consciousness with less frequency, as well as possibly remain unconscious for shorter periods.
Other types of disorders related to sleep are also effectively treated with Modafinil. People who work at night sometimes experience what is known as shift work sleep disorder. This disorder is characterized by an inability to enter a state of recuperative sleep during the day. As a result, individuals may become tired, irritable and find it hard to focus on tasks while at work. Modafinil works to create a sense of being rested and alert without causing the nervous jitters that many stimulants create.
While the Food and Drug Administration in the United States has approved Modafinil for narcolepsy and a select group of other sleep disorders, the drug is utilized in the treatment of several other medical conditions around the world. Because of the sense of well being the drug produces, Modafinil is sometimes utilized to treat mental disorders such as depression or schizophrenia. During withdrawal from drug addiction, especially cocaine, Modafinil may help to minimize periods of severe anxiety that are usually part of the withdrawal process. The drug has been tested for the treatment of ADHD and found to help with cognitive function in a significant number of the tests.
While promoting relief from fatigue and helping to create a sense of calm alertness, Modafinil is not always the recommended course of treatment. Patients with heart problems such as a prolapsed mitral valve or ventricular hypertrophy should avoid use of Modafinil.