For the most part, modafinil is used for its ability to keep users awake longer.
Whether this is for treating sleep disorders like narcolepsy or getting a few more working hours out of a long day is up to the individual taking it.
Some users are taking modafinil for the high it produces.
Although no scientific studies have confirmed this is possible, there are a lot of people on forums like Reddit and Bluelight talking about a mild euphoria when taking higher doses of modafinil.
Does modafinil actually make us high? What does it feel like? Is it safe?
Who Uses Modafinil?
Modafinil is a eugeroic medication.
This means it’s able to keep us awake longer than usual. It stimulates areas of the brain associated with the waking portion of our sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm).
By stimulating these areas of the brain, we can remain alert and highly vigilant for several hours on end.
People who take modafinil, are trying to stay awake longer.
This often includes students, entrepreneurs, pilots, truck drivers, business executives, shift workers, and people with sleep disorders like narcolepsy or sleep apnea.
Being able to stay wide awake for long periods of time means that we can increase our overall productivity. Anybody with a heavy workload, or who has a tight deadline to meet can stand to benefit from modafinil.
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Where to Buy Modafinil
Modafinil is prescription only, which means that in order to buy it from a pharmacy you need a doctors prescription.
It can, however, be bought online through the workings of a legal grey area. Most vendors will distribute modafinil out of India where modafinil isn’t restricted to prescription-only use.
Whenever buying modafinil from a company based overseas, it’s important to use a provider with a good track record and company ethics.
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Does Modafinil Make you High?
There are no case studies in the scientific literature of people experiencing a high from modafinil.
That said, there are many reports online of people feeling high from modafinil— so many in fact, that it’s hard to deny that this can happen.
If you consider how modafinil works, it gives us some clues as to how modafinil might achieve this, especially in higher than normal doses.
How Modafinil Works
Modafinil binds to the same receptors in the brain as cocaine , only to a much milder extent.
In one study, a group of monkeys trained to self-administer cocaine also self-administered modafinil when available to them .
Since modafinil and cocaine target some of the same receptors to produce their effects (dopamine transporters), it’s likely that the two drugs have similar effects— at least on euphoria.
Cocaine & Modafinil: The Reward Center
Cocaine produces euphoria by triggering the reward center of the brain.
This special region is regulated by dopamine, which is the target of both modafinil and cocaine.
When the reward-center fires, it releases a hit of oxytocin in the brain, which is what gives us that feeling of pleasure and euphoria.
Throughout a typical day, this system remains active, dosing us with small hits of oxytocin when we do something that benefits us. The reason why we need this system is to help us form habits and patterns.
If we did something that made us feel good, it makes sense to want to do it again right?
We know that cocaine does this by inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine.
Since dopamine is necessary to activate the reward center, higher dopamine concentrations allow the reward system to fire more often and for longer.
This gives us a feeling of euphoria.
We also know that modafinil binds to these same receptors, causing an increase of dopamine and therefore a theoretical mechanism for giving us a feeling of being “high.”
Modafinil vs. Cocaine
Although these two drugs bind to the same receptor, there are some important differences to keep in mind before going around telling people that modafinil and cocaine are the same things.
On paper, it’s easy to make an argument that cocaine and modafinil are the same because they both activate the same receptor. They also both increase dopamine concentrations (especially in the nucleus accumbens).
There is an obvious difference in how these drugs feel.
Cocaine produces obvious states of euphoria and stimulation, and the effects only last about 2 hours.
Modafinil also produces stimulation but has not been officially recognized to produce any euphoria within the normal dose. It also lasts 16–22 hours.
This suggests that there are some key differences in the effects of modafinil and cocaine.
It’s also important to note that modafinil does other things as well, not just increasing dopamine concentrations.
Modafinil also targets orexin, norepinephrine, and histamine, none of which produce any euphoria once activated.
That said, the reports that do include feelings of euphoria usually involve doses way out of the normal range of modafinil, which of course isn’t something researchers would test on anybody but mice due to the obvious safety concerns.
It’s possible that modafinil has a cocaine-like effect in higher doses.
Let’s take a closer look by analyzing some of the case studies involving modafinil’s euphoric effects.
Case Studies of The Modafinil “High”
User Report 1: 2000 mg in 6 hours
A thread on Reddit highlights the experience of a user who took about 2000 mg of modafinil in a 6-hour window as he sought out a euphoric experience. He wanted to get high off modafinil after seeing other threads talking about these effects from 800+ mg of modafinil.
He started with 800 mg one morning. He then topped this up with another 200 mg every hour until the rest of the package was gone (10 total).
He reports that the effects came on strong after about 2 hours from the first dose but just kept going up since he was dosing every hour.
He says he felt “amazing,” “hyper-focused,” and “super fast.”
He felt like he had taken a “good amount of Adderall.”
Around the 6 hour mark, he started to feel fatigued mentally. Every hour following this got worse and worse.
As other modafinil users taking high doses have mentioned, despite reaching a point of total mental exhaustion several hours later, he was unable to sleep it off. He remained awake for the rest of the day and the following night.
User Report 2: 4000 mg of Modafinil!
Warning! This one is extreme; we don’t recommend ever replicating this.
A user on Reddit posted about his experience with high doses of modafinil as he tried to chase a high.
His normal dose was the usual 200 mg. However, one day he woke up late and decided to take two doses instead to catch up on the time he missed.
About 30 minutes later he started to feel a nice buzz coming on. He became more talkative, and energetic.
He followed this up shortly after with 3 cups of coffee and 1600 mg of oxiracetam. This was enough to get him into a steady euphoric state.
He maintained this with 200 mg of modafinil every hour.
By the end of the day, he had consumed 4000 mg (4 g) of modafinil (20 times the normal dose), 1600 mg of oxiracetam, and about 300 mg of caffeine.
He described the feeling he got as a “slight euphoric state.”
The report then goes on to detail the recovery over the next three days. He was unable to sleep for a few days, couldn’t hold down any food, and suffered from periodic migraines.
He almost checked himself into the hospital for dehydration.
User Report 3: Feeling the Modafinil High with 800 mg
A user reporting his experiences on Bluelight forums talks about his experience seeking out the modafinil high.
He’s a regular modafinil user and generally takes either 100mg or 200 mg modafinil to help him at work.
As a web developer, he tends to work long hours stretching into the early hours of the night as he tries to stay on top of his projects.
He usually takes modafinil 3 or 4 times per week when he needs to pull an all-nighter to finish his work projects.
He reports that on a few occasions, he felt slight euphoric effects during the peak hours of the drug and became curious about how he could get this feeling more often.
After doing some research, he discovered that people often report feelings of euphoria around the 800 mg dose. So one afternoon he decided he was going to try it.
At about 3 pm, when he started to feel the onset of fatigue from the day as he normally does, he took four tablets of 200 mg Modalert.
At roughly 5 pm, he started to really feel the effects, which continued to build over the next 2 hours.
By 7 pm he was absolutely wired.
He felt a mild euphoria, and describes himself as becoming a “coding machine”.
He not only finished an entire project in one night but had achieved the euphoric feeling he was searching for.
As all of these case studies go, however, he then reports that the comedown was less than ideal.
Starting at about 12 pm, he started to feel very fatigued, and the euphoria had gone.
Over the next 3 hours, he kept working but became less and less productive as time went on. He started to develop a headache and some mild nausea.
He went home and tried to sleep, but wasn’t able to fall asleep until about 10 am the next day.
He slept through the entire next day and was back at work as normal the day after.
Analyzing These User Reports: What is the Modafinil High Like?
Taking a look at these user reports, you can find a pattern of their experiences.
It appears as though you can produce a feeling of euphoria with modafinil. The high is usually described as being mild and can last anywhere from 2 to 6 hours.
Trying to push the effects past this doesn’t seem to be effective, even with very high doses (up to 4000 mg!).
All of these case studies report varying degrees of discomfort during the comedown from the drug, usually involving insomnia, exhaustion, nausea, headaches, and dehydration.
These are the most common side effects of the drug even in the normal dosage range, though not as severe judging by the way they’re described in the user reports.
Based on these user experiences, it appears that the 800 mg to 2000 mg dosage range is best for producing these effects, as long as you remember that the comedown isn’t going to be very enjoyable.
Both of these users got the euphoric state they were looking for, and were extremely vigilant and focused just like the drug is promised to do.
The second user report (the 4000 mg dose) was likely too much modafinil. The euphoric effects he describes were not any stronger than the smaller doses, and the comedown he experienced was extremely dangerous.
It took him a few days just to recover, and he almost had to go to the hospital for dehydration. His experience sounds absolutely terrible and not something most people would want to put themselves through.
Stick to the sub-2000 mg dosage range if this is something you’re thinking about trying and be aware of the side effects.
Optimizing the Modafinil High
Based on what we know about modafinil’s effects on dopamine levels, and the anecdotal reports of feeling euphoric highs on the drug, it’s reasonable to assume that there is, in fact, a ‘high’ that can be produced from modafinil.
There are a lot of ways to do it wrong, however, some of which can be very dangerous.
We don’t recommend ever taking doses over 2000 mg, and in fact, should remain at a max of about 800 mg.
Based on our forum research, 800 mg is the magic number when it comes to the modafinil high.
It provides the euphoric state many people are looking for, with only a mildly uncomfortable comedown. Higher doses often bring more risk of developing side effects and often brings a very uncomfortable comedown that can last as long as an entire day, sometimes even more.
Enhancing The High With L-Theanine
L-Theanine is a naturally occurring compound found in the leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis).
It offers some key benefits when used in combination with modafinil which can be used to enhance the modafinil high.
L-Theanine relaxes the mind without causing us to become sleepy… which would counteract the effects of modafinil.
Instead, L-theanine allows us to remain calm and focused, reducing the chances of developing anxiety or insomnia while on higher doses of the medication.
It doesn’t negate the benefits of the modafinil, only makes side effects less likely to happen, and more manageable when they do.
With these side effects less pronounced, it’s likely that the high will be much clearer, and may even last longer.
L-Theanine also has a mild ability to increase dopamine, but through a different pathway in the brain. This may further enhance the effects of the modafinil on dopamine.
There are a lot of reports online about people using modafinil for the high it produces. Although these reports have not been backed by clinical research, and it’s unclear about the safety of high dose modafinil, it’s hard to deny the copious amount of user reports discussing their experiences with the modafinil high.
These reports range from taking 800 mg of modafinil to 2000 mg, all the way up to 4000 mg in a single day. To be clear, that’s 20 regular doses in a single day!
Most of these user experiences start talking about the feeling of being ‘high’ around the 800 mg and up mark.
As we get into ranges involving 2000 mg or more, the euphoric effects appear to be about the same intensity, but the comedown is much worse.
Therefore, if seeking out the modafinil high, we urge you to stay informed, and never exceed 2000 mg. For optimal results, stick to the 800 mg range and take something like L-Theanine to optimize the experience.
- Volkow, N. D., Fowler, J. S., Logan, J., Alexoff, D., Zhu, W., Telang, F., … & Hubbard, B. (2009). Effects of modafinil on dopamine and dopamine transporters in the male human brain: clinical implications. Jama, 301(11), 1148-1154.
- Gold, L. H., & Balster, R. L. (1996). Evaluation of the cocaine-like discriminative stimulus effects and reinforcing effects of modafinil. Psychopharmacology, 126(4), 286-292.