Does Modafinil Need to Be Tapered?

Modafinil is a prescription medication used to treat narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder. It causes a person to feel awake and active. Modafinil goes by the brand name Provigil and is a central nervous stimulant. Central Nervous stimulants cause addiction and will also cause withdrawal symptoms if a person suddenly stops taking them. 

Most people who get addicted to Modafinil are looking for upper-type drugs and may already have an addiction or history of methamphetamine or prescription stimulant use like Adderall or Ritalin. Modafinil is addictive and must be used with caution.  

Does Modafinil Need to Be Tapered?

Modafinil is Addictive Prescription Medication

The Federal Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Agency consider Modafinil addictive, and it is a controlled substance. Medical professionals will always recommend a drug treatment program for Modafinil addictions. The individual will attend a medically supervised detox first. Even though Modafinil is acquired from a medical or psychiatric doctor, addiction still occurs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that at least 18 million people currently abuse prescription medications. The most commonly abused prescription medications include opioids prescribed for pain, central nervous system stimulants, and anti-anxiety medications. 

The three classes of medication most commonly misused are opioids—usually prescribed to treat pain, central nervous system depressants—used to treat anxiety, and stimulants prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and other conditions related to alertness. In 2017, an estimated 18 million people misused such medications at least once in the past year. Misinformation about the addictive properties of prescription opioids and the perception that prescription drugs are less harmful than illicit drugs are other possible contributors to the problem. In addition, although misuse of prescription drugs affects many Americans, certain populations such as youth and older adults may be at particular risk (NIDA).

Not Everyone on Modafinil is Just Trying to Get High

Some people are not seeking Modafinil to get high but still need professional medical care to reduce their intake or stop altogether. The detox symptoms that Modafinil will cause includes: 

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Body Aches and Muscle Cramps
  • Sweating
  • Increased Blood Pressure
  • Severe Exhaustion
  • Heartbeat Irregularity
  • Inability to Relax
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Paranoia 
  • Stress and Panic

The amount of time it takes for someone to detox Modafinil from their body will depend on the amount used, how long, and what the status is of their physical, mental, and emotional health. For some individuals, their withdrawal symptoms from Modafinil will be unnoticeable- for others, they will feel shaky and tired or depressed. Physical symptoms from an addiction to Modafinil will require at least ten days to become more stable. After two weeks, most people addicted to Modafinil or other prescription simulants will feel better.

How Tapering Modafinil is Important?

To answer whether or not Modafinil needs to be tapered is most certainly, YES. People taking Modafinil will need to gradually reduce their drug intake not to notice the detox symptoms. People admittedly addicted to Modafinil will need a doctor to determine if a taper is the safest way to help them get off the Modafinil. 

Please first reach out to our specialists to learn how to enter a medically supervised taper detox for Modafinil. Once you speak to one of our Modafinil detox representatives, they will guide you on what doctors are available and the rehab or detox center closest to you. 


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