Modafinil side effects can be serious, and it is critical that one is aware of these side effects and pays attention to any symptoms that may appear. Needless to say, consult with your doctor before taking modafinil.
The medication guide for Provigil (brand name for modafinil) especially highlights the possibility of rash or severe allergic reaction that may affect parts of the body including the liver or blood cells. Although rare, the warning for serious rash includes Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS). Rare cases of serious or life-threatening rash, including Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, and Drug Rash with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms have been reported in adults and children in worldwide postmarketing experience. Angioedema and multi-organ hypersensitivity reactions have also been reported in postmarketing experience.
It is very important to note that hormonal birth control methods are known to lose efficacy while taking modafinil. Therefore, if you use birth control pills, shots, implants, vaginal rings, intrauterine devices, etc., note that you increase your chance of getting pregnant while taking modafinil. Also, note that these pregnancy risks remain for a certain period even after completely stopping modafinil use.
Any of the following modafinil side effects should be taken seriously and reported to your doctor:
• Skin rash, hives, sores in your mouth or your skin blisters and peels
• Swelling of your face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat
• Trouble swallowing or breathing
• Fever, shortness of breath, swelling of the legs, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, or dark urine.
You may also experience psychiatric side effects from modafinil use, such as:
• Suicidal thoughts
• Aggressive behavior
Also, immediately consult your doctor if you notice any cardiovascular changes including chest pain, abnormal heartbeat, and breathing issues.
More common modafinil side effects include:
• Back pain
• Feeling nervous
• Stuffy nose
• Feeling anxious
• Trouble sleeping
• Upset stomach
• Bad-smelling pee
• Weight loss
Lastly, the nootropics community has commonly reported that modafinil in combination with caffeine can greatly increase anxiety. Some members of this community have also experimented with using modafinil to forego sleep over extended periods. Please be warned that there are reports in these communities that extended modafinil use may permanently damage sleep-wake cycles. Foregoing sleep is ill-advised and can have serious consequences.
Be informed. Be safe.