Provigil

Provigil

SHORT PROVIGIL DESCRIPTION:

Modafinil, known chemically as benzhydrylsulphinlacetamide, is a relatively new stimulant-type drug developed by Lafon Laboratories in France. It is sold in the U.S. under the brand name Provigil and internationally under such names as Modiodal, Vigil, Alertec, and Modasomil. The typical effective dose for both men and women is in the range of 100-400 mg of Modafinil, which is given 2-3 hours prior to athletic competition. As the dosage increases, side effects may start to become an issue, including headache, nausea, nervousness, and anxiety.

LONG PROVIGIL DESCRIPTION: Modafinil, known chemically as benzhydrylsulphinlacetamide, is a relatively new stimulant-type drug developed by Lafon Laboratories in France. It is sold in the U.S. under the brand name Provigil and internationally under such names as Modiodal, Vigil, Alertec, and Modasomil. Modafinil is specifically characterized as a psychostimulant, and is FDA approved for the treatment of narcolepsy (a disorder characterized by sudden and uncontrollable attacks of deep sleep), mental fatigue, or excessive sleepiness. It is being investigated for a number of other uses, including the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and attention deficit disorder. Modafinil belongs to a class of drugs known as Eugeroics (“good arousal”), designed to promote a mental state of vigilance and alertness. Modafinil is specifically an alpha 1 adrenoceptor agonist, and exerts its mood and energy enhancing effects through the increased release of dopamine in the CNS, as well as alterations in local GABA and glutaminate levels.

The use of Modafinil as a stimulant has been shown to be very advantageous over amphetamines. Modafinil is believed to have a much lower potential for abuse (less euphoria), lower peripheral CNS stimulation (less side effects), minimal effects on blood pressure, no interruptions in normal sleeping patterns (no hangover or needing “catch-up” sleep), and an overall greater safety record during clinical trials. This drug is of interest even to the U.S. military, which is looking at it as an energy enhancer for pilots and combat soldiers that need to operate for long periods of time without sleep. This is not as unusual as it may seem at first, as military combat pilots and soldiers have used Dexedrine (an amphetamine) extensively in the past when sleep was difficult. This drug does have its drawbacks, including jitters, jumpiness, poor judgment, and “crashes”. However, soldiers on Modafinil report they maintain excellent cognitive functioning for a full 40 hours straight without sleep, with none of the side effects of Dexedrine. Modafinil has been tested in combat situations as recently as Afghanistan and Iraq, and seems poised for official acceptance as a battlefield drug.

Recently, Modafinil has become a popular drug amongst competitive athletes. They use it not simply to stay awake, but as a performance enhancing agent with both stimulant and endurance-increasing properties. This type of use probably comes as a surprise to those who developed this drug, as early reports suggested that this was a “mild” alertness drug, without strong stimulant properties that would improve athletic performance. Apparently, that is not the case. A study conducted just recently in Canada shows a very strong athletic benefit inherent in Modafinil. During this double-blind investigation, a dose of 4 mg per kg of bodyweight (this equates to 200 mg for a 220 lb man) of Modafinil, or placebo, was given to a group of fifteen male volunteers. Three hours after ingestion, aerobic exercise was conducted on a cycle ergometer at 85% V02 max (maximum aerobic power) and time until exhaustion. While taking Modafinil, the men were able to exercise for significantly longer (around 30%), and had greater Oxygen intake at exertion. They also reported lower subjective ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), which suggests that the increased performance was in part due to a significantly less pronounced sensation of fatigue during exercise.

The typical effective dose for both men and women is in the range of 100-400 mg, which is given 2-3 hours prior to athletic competition. As the dosage increases, side effects may start to become an issue, including headache, nausea, nervousness, and anxiety. It is a good idea to start on the low end of the range, and increase by 50-100 mg per application until the optimal level is determined. The areas in which this drug can be applied are vast and essentially include any sport focused on aerobic activity or endurance. It may also work well with those who are forced to repeat short bursts of strength or speed many times during competition, such as shot putting, pole vaulting, or long jumping. Here, it could help the athlete continue performing at optimal levels as the day of competition stretches on. Modafinil is not going to be the most popular drug amongst bodybuilders, as it holds little direct value for building muscle or cutting fat. It may, however, be an effective pre-workout stimulant, helping you spend more time in the gym, and allowing you to attack the weights with more ferocity during the time you spend there.

Although Modafinil has an excellent safety record and profile, it is still considered a drug of potential abuse in the United States. As such, it has been classified as a schedule IV controlled substance, in the same category as Valium and Xanax. This limits its availability somewhat and also places considerable legal penalties on its possession and importation. Therefore, it is probably not a good idea to order this drug freely from international pharmacies on the Internet. Instead, it would be advisable to seek a legitimate domestic prescription for this agent. Since Modafinil has been approved by the FDA for some general uses, including the treatment of metal fatigue this should not be all that difficult. It is quite common for doctors to prescribe this agent to someone who finds him or herself in the middle of a particularly stressful time at work, perhaps suddenly covering a late shift or putting in longer-than usual hours. Such “excuses” would probably afford a modest supply of the drug fairly easily.

Modafinil was very popular amongst competitive athletes for a brief period of time before the IOC became aware of its use and banned it. Some readers may incorrectly be operating under the assumption that this drug is still not being tested for. That is, unfortunately, no longer the case. The use of Modafinil as a performance-enhancing agent was revealed to the public during the designer steroid (BALCO) doping scandal of 2004. It was disclosed that many of the same athletes who tested positive for THG also used the drug. Since then, the IOC has developed a methodology for detecting this chemical, and has implemented it during all standard urine screens. Most of the other international athletic bodies have followed the IOC’s lead. Modafinil has since lost all appeal as an “invisible” performance-enhancing drug. Although no longer of great value on the Olympic playing field, in the months and years to come, Modafinil is likely to become popular with bodybuilders and those athletes not subject to drug testing, who may find it an excellent addition to their regular pre-competition pharmaceutical toolbox.

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