Modafinil, the go-to drug for managing narcolepsy, other sleep disorders, and boosting productivity, has been enjoyed by many over time. However, certain individuals who take it sometimes experience headaches, one of its common side effects. In a bid to prevent headaches while enjoying its benefits, some of them take it with Choline concomitantly.
But does Choline really solve this problem? Let’s find out.
What Is Modafinil?
Modafinil is the drug of choice for managing and treating sleep disorders such as shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) and narcolepsy. Despite the fact that it is a prescription drug, it is still very common among healthy individuals. It has the popular off-label benefit of improving productivity by keeping one awake, alert, and focused .
Like every prescription drug, it has the potential of causing severe harm if abused; hence, it is important to take the recommended dosage and use it strictly as recommended by the doctor. It can be taken with or without food and can also interact with other medications. It is important that the doctor is aware of the drugs one is currently on to prevent terrible interactions . The doctor might stop one of the medications or give specific time intervals at which they can be taken.
Also, modafinil is not a drug that should be stopped abruptly. This is because it is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. An abrupt stop may bring about withdrawal symptoms such as chills, confusion, sweating, shaking unnecessarily, etc. It is one of those drugs whose doses are gradually tapered towards the period of cessation to enable the body system to adjust accordingly, preventing a negative response.
It is worth noting that modafinil is not recommended in children (individuals less than 17 years of age). As a CNS-acting drug, its safety in such young people is not yet guaranteed .
Like all drugs, Modanafil also has some mild adverse effects. The common ones include headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
Furthermore, it’s true that it is called the world’s first smart drug, as it has a very low potential for addiction. However, when abused or not used according to prescription, it can become addictive, especially for individuals already given to substance abuse.
The best way to use this drug is by strictly adhering to the doctor’s prescription.
What Is Choline?
Choline is one of the chemicals naturally produced by the body. It is an essential part of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, very important for normal brain functions and nervous system coordination. It is also contained in certain foods, such as beef and eggs .
As a component of many supplements and the only ingredient in Choline-only supplements, it is said to have many benefits, such as aiding cholesterol metabolism, boosting cell functions, and acetylcholine production.
In its pure form, it can be used in children who are over one year at a recommended dose of less than 1 g daily. For adults, a dose of not more than 3.5 g daily is safe.
So far, it is safe in pregnancy and lactation, as long as the recommended dose is not exceeded.
However, Choline mostly comes in combinations such as Choline salicylate, Succinylcholine, etc. These forms are to be used with caution. For instance, Choline salicylate should not be used in peptic ulcer patients and individuals younger than the age of 16 .
Furthermore, Choline deficiency is not always seen due to the fact that it is also gotten from food sources. In pregnancy, deficiency can lead to symptoms such as cleft lips, cardiac effects, and other birth defects.
Other symptoms of choline deficiency include fatty liver, liver damage, and muscle damage.
Usage of Modafinil and Choline Stack
Headaches have been linked to low levels of Choline in erythrocytes (red blood cells). Could this be the reason for the relief felt when modafinil and Choline are taken together?
Modafinil users who often battle with headaches say that taking this modafinil stack prevents, reduces, or completely eliminates the headache.
Several lifestyle modifications are also ways how to avoid these headaches.
Some of them include:
- efficient daily exercise;
- healthy eating always;
- eating more choline-rich foods, especially when on modafinil;
- sticking to the prescribed dosage regimen;
- get enough rest;
- ensuring proper hydration always;
- sticking to modafinil-only stimulants, i.e., abstaining from other CNS stimulants during the period one is on modafinil.
Employing these guides works for some people. For others, however, it doesn’t, and Choline-Modafinil mix is what does the magic.
Some researchers explain that for modafinil to produce its effect of increased productivity, it makes use of more brain Choline. This can lead to depletion in the level of Choline in the brain, resulting in the headaches some people experience. More Choline intake can replenish it and ultimately prevent headaches.
Although the modafinil and Choline mix has proven to be effective for some individuals, the big question remains: is it safe? Let’s find out.
Is This Combination Safe?
So far, there’s been no case of toxicity associated with the Modafinil-Choline mix. This can perhaps be due to the fact that both drugs are used in safe quantities. Also, no known interaction exists between the two.
However, it is possible that one may experience undesirable effects if they take more Choline than required. Some of the possible adverse effects include :
- hypotension or low blood pressure;
- excess production of saliva;
- profuse sweating;
- fishy body odor;
- liver damage;
- loss of bladder control.
To prevent all these, it is extremely important that Choline is used at the right dose.
- Children 1-8 years and below should never take more than 1 g Choline daily if they must use it.
- Children 9-13 years should not have more than 2 g of Choline daily.
- Children 14-18 years of age must not have more than 3 g of Choline daily.
- Adults (18 years and above) should not have more than 3.5 g of Choline daily.
Research has shown that a dose of 425 to 550 mg daily is beneficial in preventing headaches associated with modafinil use.
To answer the question, modafinil and Choline mix appear to be safe when they’re taken at safe doses. However, be sure to consult a doctor before starting treatment with any of these meds.
Positive Effects of Drug Mixing
From the experience of many users, the biggest benefit of mixing modafinil and Choline is that, preventing headaches, it enables them to maximize the positive effects of modafinil. As long as the drug is used in safe amounts, it will keep being beneficial in the use of modafinil.
Possible Side Effects
When modafinil and Choline are mixed, it helps to prevent the basic side effect of headache. However, this does not rule out the chances of experiencing other side effects.
Some individuals have complained about experiencing mild adverse effects such as:
- decreased appetite;
Interestingly, these negative after-effects rarely occur. However, note not taking more than the recommended dose of each drug can make the experience of combining them bitter.
With both drugs being CNS actors, it is very important that they are not stopped abruptly. This is one of the reasons why it is good to only use them based on the physician’s prescription.
Note that halting the use of either drug abruptly could result in what is known as withdrawal syndrome — manifestations of symptoms such as chills, confusion, sweating, and shaking unnecessarily, which only stop when the drugs are taken.
The best way to go about cessation is to do it gradually, taking the medications in tapered doses. After a while, it is no longer used every day, but on alternate days, then once or twice a week till it is completely stopped. This way, the body system gets used to every phase and does not respond negatively.
Consult a doctor before starting or halting treatment with these meds.
Interactions with Drugs, Food and Alcohol
Choline alone has no known food interactions. However, using it when on Atropine can reduce the effects of Atropine. Also, there’s evidence of decreased levels of Choline in people who take alcohol.
Modafinil, on the other hand, interacts with drugs such as nitrates, meds for high blood pressure, other nootropics, blood thinners, antidepressants, and some antifungals, among others . Seek advice from your doctor or provider before taking any drugs concomitantly. Note that grapefruit or grapefruit juice may increase the risks of experiencing adverse effects such as headaches when using modafinil.
Avoid drinking alcohol while using modafinil as both substances are CNS-acting antagonists. Taking them together can lead to either a total blackout or increased use of alcohol without feeling intoxicated.
The Verdict: Modafinil and Choline Mixing
The Choline and modafinil mix is effective; several individuals who often experience headaches after taking modafinil alone have reported getting relief after throwing Choline into the mix.
From our findings, most people who take each dose appropriately experience no serious side effects. However, it is worth noting that there is little to no research that supports the coadministration of both drugs, and the long-term effects are not known. While the stack is likely to work for you, we generally recommend taking another approach to eliminate the headaches.
Drinking lots of water after taking modafinil help many people prevent headaches; it’s likely to work for you too.
Remember to consult your doctor before taking modafinil, Choline, or any other drug.
For many, the Choline and modafinil mix is very helpful in preventing the aftereffect of headache, as seen in the use of modafinil alone. While this works, there’s no scientific research that approves of its long- and short-term safety.
Modafinil and Choline mix is only advisable when beneficial lifestyle modifications do not produce positive results. However, this should be done cautiously, avoiding food and drugs that can interact with them. Users should also be on the watch out for side effects, and any serious symptoms should be reported immediately.
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