2017 Armodafinil and Modafinil Reviews
Are These Prescription Nootropics Safe and Effective?
When considering options for cognitive enhancement, many have looked at the prescription nootropic options Armodafinil and Modafinil. These synthetic products are also known by the trade names Nuvigil and Provigil. In this post we will cover basics on nootropics, effects and drawbacks of these prescription medications and their safety profiles. Additionally, we will also explore some newer natural nootropics that are available over the counter.
WHAT ARE NOOTROPICS?
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines nootropics as “a substance that enhances cognition and memory and facilitates learning.” Wikipedia further expands the definition as: (nootropics) “are drugs, supplements, or other substances that improve cognitive function, particularly executive functions, memory, creativity, or motivation, in healthy individuals.” When considering the latter definition of nootropics, the fact these products can come in the form of “drugs,” “supplements” or “other substances” is very important. Each of these classifications carries its own unique set of pros and cons for the health and safety of consumers.
Armodafinil is a prescription drug that was approved by the US FDA in 2007. It is indicated for persons who experience the sleepiness that often accompanies obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and shift work. This particular nootropic has a “Central Nervous System stimulant effect.” In addition to the drawback of this drug being available by prescription only, it has been well-documented in resources including drugs.com to have side effects such as headaches and dizziness.
Those considering Armodafinil to enhance their “night on the town,” should know ingestion of alcohol is not recommended while taking it. Students who may also be tempted to ingest large quantities of caffeine with this medication should know this is not recommended and can result in side effects like rapid heart beat (tachycardia), nervousness and shakiness.
Modafinil is also known by the trade name Provigil. It is indicated for the same health diagnoses as Armodafinil. With this said the same lifestyle limitations such as not drinking alcohol or operating a vehicle while on this medication apply to this nootropic. As for side effects, we have observed published reports that indicate 34% have reported headaches, so this drawback of Provigil should be understood to happen often.
Knowing that these nootropics are increasingly popular on college campuses, an entirely different set of considerations may apply for those who participate in sports. College athletes who are subject to drug testing should know this synthetic compound appears on the World Anti-doping Association (WADA) “Banned Substances List.” This nootropic showing up in your urine screen could cost you your slot on the team.
OTHER ISSUES WITH PRESCRIPTION NOOTROPICS
A lot of you may decide to try a synthetic prescription nootropic despite the potential side effects and lifestyle limitations. Exactly “how” you decide to go about obtaining these drugs should be of major importance. Many do not have any desire to go to the doctor to obtain a prescription and these types of pills aren’t covered by many prescription drug plans. Here is where serious safety concerns can begin.
Taking a legitimate prescription from your doctor to your trusted corner drug store will yield you a bottle that contains exactly what it states on the label. Unfortunately, many turn to the internet and foreign pharmacies that ship products labeled as armodafinil and modafinil into the US, often without a prescription. Any assurance of quality or safety of these nootropics vanishes the second you purchase from these foreign sources, so consider what the FDA has found.
According to the FDA, “rogue sites often sell unapproved drugs, drugs that contain the wrong active ingredient, drugs that may contain too much or too little of the active ingredient, or drugs that contain dangerous ingredients.” Pills that contain the wrong drug, the wrong amount or something that’s potentially harmful is not how you want to get started in nootropics. So what option may be safer and available without a prescription?
NATURAL NOOTROPICS WITHOUT A PRESCRIPTION
There have been quite a few “natural” nootropics offered as alternatives to synthetics like armodafinil and modafinil. Names of popular natural nootropics like Bacopa monnieri, Panax ginseng, and Ginkgo biloba immediately come to mind. While each of these are widely-used natural products that have proven beneficial in clinical testing for a number of conditions, their use as a natural nootropic without a prescription is not among these indications.
One reason supplement makers continue to push these older natural options is their modest cost. It is possible to produce doses of bacopa, panax and ginkgo for just pennies. We recently found a new specialty supplement for men called IMPRESS! that has taken a new and innovative approach by including Naturex Cereboost® in their formula.
Cereboost® is a potent natural derivative of American Ginseng that carries structure and function claims for both alertness and working memory. A study by Scholey, et al that was published is Psychopharmacology concluded this American ginseng extract delivered “robust working memory enhancement.” If this isn’t incentive enough to try a product containing Cereboost®, a serious regulatory approval may, which is what has happened.
The Canadian Ministry of Health granted a Natural Health Product Number (NPN) for its benefits on cognitive function. The Natural Health Product Directorate (NHPD) has allowed Cereboost® to assert three health claims for its American ginseng. This confirms the quality and science behind the extract. The three approved claims include: “Helps to support cognitive function,” “Helps to support cognitive performance,” and “Helps to support working memory.”