Modafinil has been an extremely effective drug in treating those with sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, and sleep apnea, among others. Modafinil works by regulating the sleep and wake cycles in your brain. When your brain thinks it’s time to sleep and sends those signals to your body, Modafinil reverses it and keeps you alert, awake, and gives you energy and concentration. It has been very successful helping those who have excessive daytime sleepiness as well as those who work overnight shifts and have trouble staying awake.
Modafinil has also shown effectiveness treating those with ADD and ADHD and has helped others with depression and those who need help concentrating and quieting their frantic brain. Although it has helped with cognitive enhancement, it is not approved by the FDA for these uses. Some doctors will still write prescriptions for these uses, but insurance will not cover it. The FDA only approved the drug for use with sleep disorders.
Does Modafinil cause weight loss?
Modafinil works by boosting dopamine levels to increase energy. Increased energy can result in side effects like weight loss. Patients who have taken Modafinil have noted weight loss with little or no effort. When dopamine levels increase, it stimulates the reward centers of the brain which reduces feelings of hunger.
Modafinil causes weight loss by:
- Appetite loss. Patients have reported feeling less hungry when taking Modafinil.
- Cognitive enhancement. Modafinil has been shown to improve mental performance, which helps people make smarter decisions when it comes to their diet. This can indirectly affect weight loss.
- Dopamine levels. Modafinil increases dopamine in order to keep you awake. Increased levels of dopamine lead a person to feel rewarded, which makes them less likely to seek out other pleasures like food. When people have low dopamine levels they feel hungrier and are likely to overeat. 4
- Increased energy. Modafinil gives people increased energy, significantly more than they had before. Because of this extra energy, patients tend to be more physical and stay busy. Patients who have more energy are more likely to exercise and move around. More so than those are are feeling lethargic.
- Boosted motivation. Modafinil has shown that it boosts motivation in patients, which helps motivate those who otherwise wouldn’t maintain exercise or diet, causing them to lose weight.
- Physical activity. If a patient is typically lethargic and unmotivated, Modafinil will perk them up significantly. They have more energy which leads to them engaging in more activity than they would have in the past. This increased activity burns more calories and speeds up their metabolism.
- Side effects. A mild side effect of Modafinil is nausea. Patients who feel nauseous eat less, which leads to weight loss. Other side effects that can lead to weight loss are vomiting and diarrhea.
- Self-control. Since Modafinil has been proven to help with cognition, it also helps people become more aware of what they are eating. Those who are more conscious of their diet tend to eat less food and make healthier choices. They are also less likely to binge eat unhealthy foods while watching TV or other times when they aren’t being physically active.
- Speeds up metabolism. Modafinil directly speeds up metabolism because of the increase in dopamine.
These factors that cause weight loss can vary from person to person. Other things that can affect weight loss when taking Modafinil are lifestyle, genetics, and how it reacts with other drugs you might be taking. Other things to consider are your dosage as well as how long you have been taking it. Not everyone who takes Modafinil lose weight, so it should not be sought out as a weight loss supplement.