Is Narcolepsy Med Modafinil Also A 'Smart' Drug?
the Psychiatry Advisor take:
A narcolepsy drug that is widely used off label by students off label under the belief that it will improve their studying and academic performance may actually enhance a person’s ability to think creatively and solve problems.
After reviewing 34 studies of modafinil (Provigil), which is approved to improve wakefulness in adults with excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, or shift work disorder, researchers found that the drug is able to improve attention, learning and memory, as well as increase fluid intelligence.
The cognitive benefits of the modafinil were most apparent in longer and more complex tasks, the researchers reported in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology. They also found that the drug has few side effects, with only some instances of headache, stomach ache, nausea and vomiting.
“In the face of vanishingly few side effects in these controlled environments, modafinil can be considered a cognitive enhancer,” study author Anna-Katharine Brem, PhD, of University of Oxford, England, said in a statement. “However, we would like to stress the point that with any method used to enhance cognition, ethical considerations always have to be taken into account.”
Modafinil (Provigil) may actually improve attention, learning and memory.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of modafinil (Provigil) as treatment for people suffering from sleep disorders such as those who have narcolepsy, a brain disorder which causes an individual to suddenly fall asleep at inappropriate times or to experience excessive sleepiness.
Most of the drug's users, particularly students, use it off label when studying for exams believing that this could help them focus regardless of lack of evidence that the drug can work this way.
A review of 24 modafinil studies, however, has shown that modafinil actually works as a "smart drug" for some individuals. The findings, which was published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, suggest that in healthy people, the drug can improve attention, learning and memory as well as increase what is known as fluid intelligence, or a person's ability to solve problems and think creatively.
Psychiatry Advisor Articles
- ACOG Update: Marijuana Use Discouraged During Pregnancy, Breastfeeding
- Continuing Research, Emerging Treatments Hold Promise for Treating Anorexia Nervosa
- Asenapine Prevents Recurrence of Mood Events in Bipolar Disorder
- Depression Profiles in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes vs Type 2 Diabetes
- Purpose, Questions of Social Interaction Lead Physicians to Delay Retirement
- CBT, Acceptance Commitment Therapy Helpful for Those With Chronic Pain
- Suicidal Behavior, Thoughts Associated With Perfectionist Tendencies
- Depression Reduced by Social Belonging, Feelings of Inclusion
- Sleep Disturbance May Be Causal Factor in Psychotic Experiences
- Is Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy Tied to Psychiatric Disorders in Offspring?
- Cardiovascular Risk Management May Slow Neurocognitive Decline in HIV
- Maintenance rTMS for Treatment-Resistant Depression
- New Study Compares Opioid Dependence Relapse Treatments
- Increase Use of Nursing Home for Patients With Cognitive Impairment Category
- Venlafaxine XR Safe, Effective in Treating Generalized Anxiety Disorder