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Modafinil & Hair Loss: Is It a Possible Side Effect?

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Modafinil hair loss is achieving considerable attention from its users. Drug-induced alopecia (or hair loss) can be a dealbreaker for most individuals. Some individuals (mostly men) are genetically susceptible to alopecia, while others are apprehensive about hair thinning.

Several anecdotes & thoughts on “does modafinil induce hair loss?” are obtainable online, but there are no definitive solutions to date. Various meds work differently in various individuals. And this holds for the “smart tab.” Is alopecia one of the modafinil negative effects that transpire most often? Is there any confirmed connection between modafinil & alopecia whatsoever?

Modafinil and Hair Loss

Indeed, the internet is filled with mixed consequences, making it difficult for most individuals to extrapolate. This is why we solve the matter here once & for all! Read this guide to know the science of alopecia, what causes it, & whether there is any legitimacy concerning the use of modafinil and hair loss.

Here are the pinpoints.

What Is Modafinil?

Modafinil, dubbed the “smart drug,” is a wake-fostering med. Initially, in 1994, modafinil was used for treating the excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) suffered by individuals experiencing narcolepsy.

Since that period, modafinil has proceeded to be endorsed by the FDA for treating EDS in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or shift work sleep disorder (SWSD).

Modafinil is known to work in certain brain neurotransmitters.

Namely, it heightens the production of wakefulness-associated neurotransmitters norepinephrine, histamine, dopamine, & serotonin. At the same time, the “smart drug” inhibits the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is understood to induce sleepiness [1].

Modafinil also heightens brain function & mental performance in sleep-deprived individuals, which is why it has significantly emerged as a robust & popular “smart drug” for health enthusiasts in quite stressful careers [2]. It works as a powerful cognitive augmenter when cognitively demanding tasks emerge.

But how does modafinil induce hair loss?

Some Causes of Hair Loss

The first step to comprehending the association between the “smart drug” & alopecia is to be conscious of how alopecia starts in the foremost place. What causes alopecia?

Hair Loss

Some factors leading to hair thinning include the following [3]:

  • illness: Indeed, health issues such as thyroid disorder, vitamin deficiency, & hormonal imbalance may contribute to inducing hair loss;
  • negative effects from medication: Cancer treatments, blood thinners, amphetamines, etc., can indeed result in alopecia;
  • androgenic alopecia (or hereditary pattern baldness): Undoubtedly, this condition predominantly impacts men. Aspects such as age, genetics, & hormones may contribute to this worrying condition. Androgenic alopecia is indicated by thinning hair on a receding front hairline or the top of the head.

Although there can be other factors such as hormonal changes & excessive hairstyling or hairstyles, each of the previous aspects interferes with the typical hair cycle, hence inducing alopecia.

Is Hair Loss One of the Side Effects of Modafinil?

Is there any transparent science-backed data about the “smart drug” & alopecia? Even with raising questions on the “smart drug” hair loss, there are certain limited studies or research papers on the topic. Thus, implying that very few aspects of the “smart drug’s” activity are associated with alopecia.

Alopecia is found among individuals taking the “smart drug” for 5–10 years, particularly ladies, 50-59 old. The phase 4 clinical investigation analyzes which individuals take the “smart drug” & have alopecia. It was created by eHealthMe based on reports of 15,109 individuals having side effects when popping modafinil [4]. As of July 4, 2022, eHealthMe, exploring & examining real-world med use outcomes, discovered that 197 patients out of all 15,109 experienced the “smart drug” hair loss (1.3%). Based on their research, this is more widespread in a particular demographic & in long-term use of the “smart drug” (5 to 10 years).

Modafinil Smart Drugs

Why is the “smart drug” thought to induce alopecia?

Here are some pinpoints:

  • stress aspect: Most “smart drug” users perform in a high-stress setting & certainly necessitate nootropics for a higher level of focus, motivation, & productivity. Indeed, stress is a typical patron of alopecia & is frequently misunderstood as a “smart drug” effect. Alopecia areata is a stress-induced hair loss. In such instances, the hair falls out within a week. It can heighten with reasonable care & medication;
  • relationship with narcolepsy: Indeed, alopecia areata was first linked with narcolepsy. Since the “smart drug” is often prescribed for disproportionate daytime sleepiness linked with narcolepsy, individuals believe their alopecia is connected to the “smart tab” intake;
  • drubbing of appetite: One negative effect of modafinil is loss of unquestionable appetite. This induces vitamin & mineral deficiency in the body. A deficiency of vitamin D in the diet can induce alopecia. Vitamin D stimulates the old & new hair follicles. Hence, a lack of vitamin D can impede hair growth in individuals. You have to pay extra attention to your diet if using modafinil.

As discussed, the FDA doesn’t list modafinil alopecia as its side effect. However, reliable sources claimed that the med contributes to hair loss as one of its side effects.

Tips to Avoid Hair Loss While Using Modafinil

The causes & individual reactions to therapy may vary. Consequently, we don’t claim that these techniques will greatly reverse any probable alopecia by the “smart tab.”

These aspects have enabled several nootropic enthusiasts &, nonetheless, have no scientific database to support its assertions or benefits:

Limit “Smart Tab” Use

Most “smart tab” users discover hair fall with long-term use. Even if putting aside the subject of hair loss, invariant use of the “smart tab” can guide tolerance. Such individuals will need a higher dose of the “smart drug” to feel the identical effect. In this case, if modafinil alopecia is a situation, halt the intake after 2 to 3 weeks of constant use. You also need to administer lower doses, i.e., modafinil 100 mg once each day.

Take Pill

Consult a physician before using modafinil to assess your health & medical conditions, including the chance of hair loss.

Optimize Sleep Quality

Sleep per se doesn’t instantly contribute to alopecia, though can heighten anxiety points, thus inducing stress. To boost sleep with modafinil, it’s most reasonable to pop the dose in the morning. Administering it later in the day can certainly influence your sleep cycle. Further, the administration of coffee with the “smart tab” can augment its activity, thus causing it more possible for the user to remain open-eyed throughout the night. So, withhold from using extreme caffeine with the “smart tab” unless you like to pull an all-nighter. Try supplements such as Organic Tart cherry juice or Melatonin for the most suitable results. These will guarantee you are rested & get sufficient sleep after taking modafinil.

Use Hair Loss Supplements

The point is to fight “smart tab” alopecia. A mix of such as dissolvable extra strength Biotin & Rogaine Foam slows down androgenic alopecia from the “smart tab.” These will not prevent your hair fall, though will permit you to slow down the process.

Further, modafinil-induced hair loss is an infrequent phenomenon that happens in a small percentage of users. At the moment, no scientific proof has confirmed an explicit connection between the two. Two significant topics that keep being discussed on the subject are:

  • the link between dopamine overload & alopecia;
  • a great number of the “smart tab” users are men in their 30s with favorably stressed careers & more liable to alopecia.

Thus, what can we deduce from these?

The “smart tab” hair loss is indeed improbable for 99% of individuals administering it. It’s often more typical in men with balding subjects.

It can also be due to underlying health problems that can critically donate to alopecia. In women, some of the most typical conditions contributing to alopecia comprise thyroid disorders, anemia, & pregnancy. Others include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), autoimmune diseases, & skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis & psoriasis. Also, diabetes & lupus can contribute.

Furthermore, it also indicates the following aspects that may impart to the situation:

  • the “smart tab” use can induce histamine inequality in the body, inducing hair loss in users;
  • hyperthyroidism, which possibly induces alopecia. Nonetheless, there is no scientific information on the effect of the “smart tab” on the thyroid.

There can be other factors. However, it’s crucial to consult a physician to guarantee your hair fall isn’t from other underlying health considerations.

The Verdict: Modafinil & Hair Loss

To recap, we can remark that so far, no dedicated medical proof is known supporting the concept of modafinil alopecia apart from a few famous domains. This signifies that modafinil may be linked with alopecia, but the probabilities are slim.

You should probably discuss any hair change you experience when taking modafinil with your physician.


  1. Effects of Oral Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Administration on Stress and Sleep in Humans: A Systematic Review. By Piril Hepsomali, John A. Groeger, Jun Nishihira, and Andrew Scholey. Published: September 17, 2020.
  2. Mechanisms of modafinil: A review of current research. By Paul Gerrard and Robert Malcolm. Published: June 2007.
  3. Hair loss. Retrieved: September 11, 2022.
  4. Modafinil and Hair loss – a phase IV clinical study of FDA data. Retrieved: September 11, 2022.