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Health Effects of Modafinil Abuse on the Liver

Modafinil (Provigil) is a psychostimulant that is often prescribed for narcolepsy because it promotes wakefulness. In addition, Modafinil can sometimes be prescribed for shift work sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnea, fatigue, and ADHD. The exact mechanism of action is not known, but researchers believe modafinil works by stimulating certain neurotransmitters in the brain like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

How Can Modafinil Effect Your Liver?

Modafinil is considered a Schedule IV controlled substance by the DEA. Schedule IV drugs are considered a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence; however, those with a history of drug abuse are cautioned against using this medication. One of the rare side effects of Modafinil is inflammation of the Liver (hepatitis). If taken properly, it has been shown to increase liver enzyme levels slightly but has not shown to cause any apparent acute liver injury.

More About How a Modafinil Can Effect Liver

Modafinil is primarily metabolized by the Liver, so abusing the medication could cause serious damage to a person’s Liver. Especially if an individual has abused the medication chronically. Anyone with liver disease should use extreme caution when taking Modafinil, and alcohol should be avoided when taking the drug. Although Modafinil is considered to have a low potential for abuse, it is abused. This medication is a stimulant. It is not considered an amphetamine, but it does have similar effects. Modafinil is commonly abused by those trying to fight fatigue, stay awake longer, and enhance their concentration and focus.

Modafinil As a Lifestyle Drug?

“Environmental Health and Toxicology” reported on the use and risks of Modafinil:

Availability of Modafinil as a lifestyle drug is increasing, namely as a non-prescription medicine for healthy people. More students or hard-working professionals will use it for late night’s work to easily be purchased. It is sold illegally on online shopping sites. Modafinil is distinct from other psychostimulants in that it does not seem to accompany any side effects, which might encourage healthy people to use it whenever they want to. However, prolonged sleeplessness induces stress responses and impairs immune functions. Sleep deprivation translocates microbes from the gut to the bloodstream. Animals observed in sleep-deprivation experiments eventually became victims of a massive bacterial infection in the blood. (NLM)

Modafinil also has a low risk for dependence compared to other substances; however, it can certainly be addictive. The chemical mechanisms of the drug are just like other more addictive stimulants. Despite studies finding that it does not produce addictive behavior at low to moderate doses, it can lead to addiction at very high doses.

Signs and Side Effects of Modafinil Abuse

Modafinil abuse can cause serious side effects. Some of these side effects can include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Excessive thirst
  • Muscle pain or tightness
  • Blisters
  • Skin peeling
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Anxiety

One of the most serious and concerning side effects of Modafinil abuse is the risk of addiction. Especially in someone that has a history of substance abuse issues. Also, abusing Modafinil could have serious effects on one’s health.

Get Your Modafinil Treatment at Evoke Wellness at Cohasset

If you or someone you love struggles with an addiction to Modafinil or another stimulant, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Stimulant addiction can be difficult to treat, but recovery is possible. However, it is best done in a structured treatment environment. Evoke Wellness at Cohasset offers evidence-based treatment programs to cater to the individual needs of each patient. So call us today to get your life back on track and achieve lasting recovery. Our addiction specialists are available around the clock and all calls are free and confidential.