What Is Modafinil Used For?
At this time, it is not known exactly how modafinil works to promote wakefulness. It does not work like other stimulants. Modafinil is known to affect certain brain chemicals, but this does not seem to be the way that the drug works, since blocking modafinil's effect on such chemicals does not stop it from working.
Modafinil has not been shown to be safe and effective for any use in children younger than 16 years old. Studies in younger children showed an increased risk of side effects (some dangerous), without any real benefit for treating narcolepsy.
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend modafinil for treating something other than the conditions discussed in this article. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, modafinil is sometimes used off-label for the following uses:
- For treating fatigue due to other causes (such as chronic fatigue syndrome or multiple sclerosis)
- For treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- To help treat depression (when used along with antidepressants).
There are also a few less legitimate off-label modafinil uses, such as:
- Improving brain function (such as before tests or exams)
- Improving athletic performance
- Suppressing the need for sleep
- Helping people lose weight.