Modafinil Side Effects

What Are the Common Side Effects of Modafinil?

how to get rid of headaches caused by modafinil

Not all side effects need medical attention and may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Your doctor may also be suitable to help you prevent or reduce some of them.

There are rarely any side effects to taking modafinil, and many adverse effects are usually unrelated to taking modafinil, but side effects from other problems the person receiving it may have.

In this article, however, we will explore the common and rare side effects found with taking modafinil. What they mean and what can be done to resolve or limit the side effects. I will ONLY be discussing natural alternatives to the problems as I see this is the best way.

What are the Common side effects to taking Modafinil or Armodafinil?

The more common side effects range from anxiety and nausea to a headache and nervousness.

Reduces stress, anxiety and depression.
Anxiety can be a side effect of Modafinil

The more common side effects include:

  • Anxiety – This is one of the more common un-common side effects of modafinil. Anxious people often have higher activity of neurostimulators in the brain. Neurotransmitters like norepinephrine are especially abundant in concerned individuals. This can also be caused by not sleeping, working too hard.
    This makes it more natural for anxious people using modafinil to encounter an increase in their anxiety symptoms.
    Anxious states are often linked to low alpha wave activity and high beta wave activity as reported by an EEG. This gives us an excellent way to measure substances that both induce and alleviate anxiety.
    L-Theanine is one of the safest ways to decrease the chances of promoting anxiety while taking modafinil. Investigations have shown that just a single dose of L-Theanine can significantly increase alpha-wave activity and reduce anxiety symptoms.
    L-Theanine is used likewise for decreasing the anxiety. Another way to address this is by using modafinil stacks; Ashwagandha, Bacopa, Niacin to name a few are brilliant for reducing stress. These were covered in our list of top 10 stacks for improving modafinil performance.
  • Nervousness – Similar to anxiety I would Suggest the same.
  • A headache – One way we discussed is in our post
    How to Prevent and Cure Modafinil Headaches and the following post, Using Acupressure to Get Rid of Migraines and Headaches. The Using Acupressure to Get Rid of Migraines and Headache supplements mentioned above would be useful to reduce this, especially Niacin; the benefits Niacin can give towards headaches should never be underestimated.
  • Nausea – Again, if you suffer from nausea when taking modafinil and you still want to take modafinil; then I would highly recommend Ashwagandha, Choline and I would consider taking activated charcoal capsules.

You should also be on the scout for some other side effects, which are less common. Among them: back pain, a reduction in appetite, belching, diarrhoea or having problems making a bowel movement.

Also, other people may experience dryness of the skin or mouth, flushing or redness of the skin, feeling like they are continually moving, have heartburn/indigestion, vomiting and muscle stiffness.

Less common side effects of Provigil include:

  • Elevated blood pressure – Modafinil will not increase blood pressure significantly; however, if you suffer from high blood pressure, then I would avoid modafinil until you can get your blood pressure lower and get an opinion from your doctor. Find out what the causes of your high blood pressure are, for example, if you suffer from high cholesterol then I would try taking Niacin (500 – 1000mg), and Ashwagandha daily; also considering making adjustments to your diet and lifestyle before considering taking modafinil.
  • Somnolence – You should not be feeling sleepy if you are taking modafinil if you are still feeling sluggish and you are making 200 – 400mg of modafinil or armodafinil per day there is something wrong! If I were feeling like this, then I would advise getting blood tests and seeing your doctor and try to get to the root of your problem. If you are sure there are no issues and you’re still determined to have a go of modafinil, then you should try taking modafinil with the stacks I suggested in out Top Ten Stacks!
  • Insomnia – If you have insomnia when taking modafinil you need to consider these problems before anything.
    Am I taking modafinil too late in the day? Modafinil will boost your awareness for a considerable length of time, anywhere up to 12 + hours, so if this is happening make sure you take it early in the day, as soon as you wake up if need be.
    Am I taking too much? How much modafinil are you taking? If you are taking 200mg and you cannot sleep, then try taking 100mg and see if you get the same benefits, and if so you should find getting to sleep a lot easier. If this is happening when taking 100, then take it down to 50mg and see how you feel then. If that works for you great, you’ll save yourself some money! See our Modafinil Dosage Guide for more info!

Another thing I would recommend is reading before bed; watching TV or looking at a computer screen for long periods can disrupt your sleep. I will be writing an in-depth post about this soon, but for now consider trying reading before bed rather than watching tv too late, the blue light disrupts your ability to sleep and the quality of sleep which you get. Another thing to add is to make sure you get the right amount of Zinc and Magnesium as that will also improve your sleep.

  • Ulcers, sores or white spots on the lips or inside the mouth – This is extremely rare with modafinil; if you are getting ulcers or sores with modafinil then stop taking it immediately and consult your doctor.
  • Stuffy/a runny nose – It could be possible, but it could well be you are coming down with a cold, so consider that. If this is happening and you believe it to be down to the modafinil you’re taking then make sure you consult your doctor.
  • Swelling – If you are getting any swelling and you still want to take modafinil, then make sure you give ashwagandha a try, one of the critical benefits to that is the reduction of swelling. Another great supplement to take is cherry concentrate, such as cherry active.
  • Tingling or burning sensations in the skin – This is to be treated with caution if you are getting severe blisters or peeling of the skin. That could be Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS); if you are getting any of these symptoms then make sure to consult a doctor as quickly as possible and don’t take modafinil. These cases are sporadic! But please don’t leave anything to chance!
  • Back pain – This is very rare, it is likely not the modafinil itself is causing the back pain. Make sure that if you are working for prolonged lengths of time are you sitting correctly? This can cause back pain. Are you drinking enough water? Being dehydrated can hurt your kidneys, which will make you feel back pain; so make sure that is not the case. If you are sure modafinil is causing you back pain, then consider some of the stacks we suggest, failing that then I would consider stopping taking it.
  • Belching – This is rare in my experience, but some people claim problems with acid reflux with modafinil; this is probably more down to your diet.
  • A decrease in appetite – This can rarely happen, although it could be more down to your eating habits in general. Setting timers to remind you when to eat and drink will be useful to you. Taking the right supplements will likely improve your appetite. Also, neglecting exercise will decrease your appetite.
  • Diarrhoea – This can be a problem; this involves a slow breakdown of modafinil in the intestine tract, irritating. Additionally, in rare cases, activation of the fight or flight system can cause a stimulating effect on lower intestines; can result in diarrhoea.
  • Dryness of the mouth – THis is caused by overstimulation, many people think it’s dehydration. Receptors, known as muscarinic receptors are triggered by norepinephrine; they bring all digestion to a standstill so energy can be re-routed to more critical areas like the muscles and brain. L-Theanine is the best solution to this problem.
  • Dryness of the skin – Again L-Theanine could help this, but to make sure that Steven Johnson Syndrome is not the issue; this is VERY rare, however, as I have said, take no chances if you think there is the slightest chance of it, make sure to consult a doctor.

Stop using the drug and contact your physician and get emergency help if you get any of the following serious side effects:

  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fever
  • A sore throat
  • A headache
  • Blistering, peeling, and red skin rash
  • Severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Sores on your lips or the inside of your mouth
  • Depression
  • Feeling anxious
  • Hallucinations
  • Increase in activity (mania)
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Aggression or other mental problems


I hope this article has been valuable to you; this is not to scare you about modafinil. 99% of the time there is nothing to worry about, you won’t see any adverse side effects from using modafinil or armodafinil.

If you do get any of the side effects described, please do the following:

  • Consult your Doctor to ensure there are no immediate concerns to your health.
  • Look into ways to reduce the side effects you were getting; for example, if you get anxious when taking modafinil it is likely you will get anxious without it! So try reducing anxiety with some of the supplements discussed in our Modafinil stacks article, such as Ashwagandha, Niacin, Phenibut or L-Theanine. THen only when you feel less anxious, try taking a lower dose of Modafinil.

If you have any additional questions, please, don’t hesitate to Contact Us at any time!

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What Are the Side Effects of Modafinil? We delve into the side effects and ways to prevent them and most importantly, what to look out for.