In Brief
Modafinil is a drug currently prescribed for narcolepsy, but according to a new study, it has a key off-label use: it improves decision-making and problem solving.
  • Although the Harvard and Oxford researchers who performed the comprehensive review of the drug and its side effects aren’t sure about long-term use, they did indicate the drug is safe to take in the short-term and doesn’t have addictive qualities.
  • Many believe that Modafinil can be taken by healthy people to improve cognitive performance. Some people currently take Modafinil without a prescription for its nootropic qualities. After reviewing 24 recent studies, the study’s authors concurred with anecdotal evidence. Modafinil has been found to enhance attention, improve learning, and even helps some people think creatively.
  • Modafinil isn’t a straight stimulant, like other “smart drugs” like Adderall, and it has many fewer side effects. In fact, scientists aren’t totally what makes Modafinil work as a smart drug. Currently, the leading theory is that it increases blood flow to areas in the brain which serve attention and learning.