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Modafinil Personality Change: Is It Possible?

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Modafinil is the most renowned nootropic around the globe. It’s known to treat several sleep disorders plus other health conditions, but healthy individuals can use it as a robust cognitive augmenter. However, like any medicine, modafinil comes with various side effects, and some of them may cause personality change. Indeed, your personality can gradually transform throughout your life. Changes in mood from time to time are regular. Nonetheless, distinctive personality changes may be a symptom of a medical or even mental condition.

Modafinil Personality Change

In this guide, we’ll discuss why modafinil can cause personality change after taking it and the tips you can use to lessen or bypass this condition.

Modafinil Features

Created in France from the ashes of a narcolepsy medicine known as adrafinil, modafinil is a pharmaceutical med dubbed a “smart tab” by scientists & nootropic enthusiasts. It’s the best-known nootropic pill on the market, especially in online pharmacies. Adrafinil was unpopular because it took a long time to take effect once ingested.

With a significant turn of events, chemists discovered they could cut down the adrafinil’s waiting duration by synthesizing the chemical born out of metabolized adrafinil — which turned out to be the famous active ingredient modafinil. Because of that, the production of adrafinil was terminated in 2011.

Modafinil is considered to be a safe & well-tolerated cognitive augmenter if used by healthy people. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of modafinil as a prescription to treat sleep disorders such as narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, & obstructive sleep apnea.

Off-label, physicians can prescribe modafinil for other sleep disorder-related conditions & for certain health concerns, including weight loss, myotonic dystrophy, cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, jet lag, multiple sclerosis-induced fatigue, depression, age-related memory decline, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), idiopathic hypersomnia, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, everyday cat-napping, post-anesthesia grogginess, & other related conditions.

The original maker of modafinil is Cephalon, Inc. The company markets the drug under the brand name Provigil®. However, various generic versions are available today, and they are extremely cheap.

Because of its safety profile, modafinil can be used by any healthy person for productivity or cognitive boost. It helps users be productive for extended hours, heighten cognitive responses, & stay open-eyed during lengthy missions or tasks. Modafinil is a stimulant-like med, & according to Scientific American, it has passed diligent stringent tests of cognitive advancement [1][2].

Side Effects of Modafinil Causing Personality Changes

Grief, disappointment, & bad news can make a joyful individual downtrodden. Occasionally, the mood may be changed for weeks or months after getting the bad news. Regardless, mood shifts aren’t the same as personality changes.

Mood Shifts

Yet, some individuals may experience unusual behavior for years, which may transpire due to a sickness or injury. You may undergo a change in behavior after experiencing a traumatic situation or just witnessing an undesirable circumstance.

Some changes in behavior may result from certain mental illnesses like anxiety and bipolar disorder. Anxiety occurs when you feel nervous or apprehensive about a situation. It’s normal to undergo some anxiety, but when it transpires regularly without provocation, it may be a manifestation of generalized anxiety disorder.

Also, panic attacks are times of intense fear. Periodically, the fear appears to be irrational. Post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD) is also a mental health disorder marked by excessive fear, flashbacks, & hallucinations (in some circumstances). PTSD is usually caused by recollections of trauma, i.e., a car accident.

Furthermore, bipolar disorder induces an individual to have serious fluctuations in mood. Mood changes can include extreme depression & euphoria and may change the way an individual responds to certain interactions or situations, based on their mood state. Additionally, schizophrenia makes it challenging to think clearly, effectively understand situations, conduct normally in society, & discern between what is & isn’t real.

On the other hand, personality changes may occur from the use of the medication. In this case, from the use of modafinil. A single tab of modafinil can induce various side effects based on the individual’s health and adherence to prescription. Typically, a high percentage of people don’t experience serious side effects, but if they occur, they usually fade away after some time.

Always make it a priority to consult a physician to assess your health and determine if modafinil is right for you to use. Sometimes, based on your health analysis, some dosage modifications are necessary.

Some of the modafinil’s side effects that may cause personality changes are given below.


There are a few different ways the “smart tab” can induce irritability. One of them is sleep deprivation. Take note that the main effect modafinil has on the human body is heightening the sensation of wakefulness. So its major side effects are insomnia & mood disturbances (e.g., irritability).


The longer sleep is bypassed, the more probable it’s that you’ll begin to experience negative effects like confusion, depressive symptoms, difficulty focusing, and irritability.

When you feel irritable, small things that would not usually bother you can make you feel agitated or annoyed. The consequent tension can make you more sensitive to stressful situations, hence personality change, especially when people interrupt you.

Mood Swings

Mood swing is an unexpected or intense shift in an emotional state. During a mood swing, you may swiftly switch from feeling happy & upbeat to feeling unhappy, angry, or irritable. In this case, when you ingest modafinil, it may disturb your sleep (not getting enough sleep) and also suppress your hunger, making you not eat healthily. This can lead to mood swings.

Additionally, depression affects your mood & everyday life. You may experience several episodes of low mood during your life. Nonetheless, you may have periods of happiness & also a good mood in between. Research shows that modafinil causes great increases in psychological anxiety & aggressive mood [3].

According to the study, modafinil may have general mood-elevating effects followed by increased anxiety [4]. Misusing modafinil can also induce irritability, anger, & mood swings. Also, bad sleep hits your productivity, focus, & mood.


Anger can lead to personality changes. Although not statistically significant, there are trends for lessened anxiety, reduced fatigue-inertia, as well as heightened vigor-activity & decreased anger-hostility on modafinil if taking the correct dosage [5]. Anger is induced by an underlying disorder, e.g., alcoholism or depression. However, anger itself isn’t regarded as a disorder, but it’s a major symptom of several mental health conditions.


Insomnia is a sleep disorder. It’s trouble falling and/or staying asleep. It can be short-term (acute) or can last for a long period (chronic). Insomnia may also come & go. In this case, acute insomnia lasts from just one night to a few weeks. However, the condition is considered chronic when it transpires at least 3 nights a week for 3+ months.


Certainly, a lack of sleep can change your mood immensely. It may induce irritability & anger and may also reduce your capability to cope with stress. Sleep-deprived individuals experience an increase in negative moods (frustration, sadness) & a reduction in positive moods. Besides, sleeplessness is frequently a manifestation of mood disturbances such as anxiety & depression. If you take modafinil and experience insomnia, you may see your personality changes.

Tips to Reduce Side Effects of Modafinil

Now you get hints on modafinil personality change due to some of its negative effects. Here are some tips you can apply to minimize the chances of the personality changes induced by modafinil.

Eat a Well-Balanced Nutritional Diet

Certainly, there are many distinct ways modafinil can contribute to irritability, a side effect that may lead to personality change. This includes direct & indirect effects including nutrient depletion.

To solve irritability problems, always eat a well-balanced nutritional diet with adequate carbohydrates throughout the day. Certainly, eating the right fuel will undoubtedly offer your body the prime macro- and micronutrients & vitamins required to aid neurotransmitter function.

Additionally, it may be beneficial to supplement some of these more specific micro- and macronutrients to be sure you don’t burn through them too quickly. The best examples include vitamin B12, vitamin B6, zinc, & also magnesium. It’s advisable to have meals at regular times & drink 2 to 4 liters of water throughout the day.

Keep Neurotransmitters in Check

To manage irritability induced by the neurotransmitter imbalance, consider using the best supplements like 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), L-theanine, L-tyrosine, L-tryptophan, & gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). L-theanine is thought to help reduce anxiety, while 5-HTP has a positive effect on mood, sleep, and anxiety. Certainly, such supplements can be beneficial in keeping your neurotransmitters in check.

Take Modafinil Responsibly

The most suitable way to bypass irritability, insomnia, anger, & mood swings is to start with the responsible use of modafinil. In particular, it’s advisable to avoid an overdose & take it at the appropriate time when you don’t need to sleep. Take note that modafinil’s half-life is 12+ hours.

Take Modafinil

Don’t pop the “smart tab” in the evening if you aren’t planning to work the night shift because modafinil lasts long and may keep you awake throughout the night. Take the drug in the morning hours and make sure you have adequate sleep after taking it when its effects have diminished.

Make Lifestyle Changes

To resolve mood swings, have good lifestyle changes. Consider that lifestyle changes, whether alone or in the mix with other techniques like a healthy diet, can ameliorate mood. You may also see benefits from creating a sleep schedule & aiming for 7 to about 9 hours of sleep every night.

So, Can Modafinil Cause Personality Changes?

Some side effects of modafinil can cause personality changes. However, we hope this in-depth guide was remarkably informative in showcasing how to manage this condition when taking modafinil. Overall, it’s a safe and well-tolerated nootropic, and its adverse effects aren’t alarming if it’s used as prescribed. By adhering to the discussed tips on how to bypass personality changes due to some modafinil’s side effects, you’ll experience a more productive time and boost your cognition without any disturbance. You’ll be able to manage your mood, irritability, anger, anxiety, and insomnia.


  1. A Safe Drug to Boost Brainpower. By Melinda Wenner Moyer. Published: March 1, 2016.
  2. Modafinil for cognitive neuroenhancement in healthy non-sleep-deprived subjects: A systematic review. By R. M. Battleday & A.-K. Brem. Published: November 2015.
  3. Modafinil affects mood, but not cognitive function, in healthy young volunteers. By Delia C. Randall, John M. Shneerson, Komal K. Plaha, and Sandra E. File. Published: April 2003.
  4. A randomized, double-blind, crossover trial of modafinil on mood. By Indu Taneja, Kirsten Haman, Richard C. Shelton, and David Robertson. Published: February 2007.
  5. Modulatory Effects of Modafinil on Neural Circuits Regulating Emotion and Cognition. By Roberta Rasetti, Venkata S. Mattay, Beth Stankevich, et al. Published: September 2010.