Posted 28 October 2008 - 04:45 PM
My 2 cents.
Unfortunately, I've exhausted my desire for an in-depth review of my experience and research on this topic because I've spent the past year on similar message boards in similar discussions. Therefore, you'll just have to take my advice at face value.
My background: I've extensively tried Modalert, Modiodal (from manufacturer of Provigil - Celphalon), Modvigil (NOT Modavigil! Modvigil is an Indian brand from Hab pharm), and Ritalin. *All of these were acquired over the Internet.
Throughout the past year, I've experimented with every combination and dosage I could imagine (even sub-lingual delivery). I've researched patents, particle sizes, read expert analysis' written by people who obviously are much more knowledgable than I will ever be, and even reviewed legal documents/agreements between Sun and Cephalon in regards to Modafinil. My conclusion after 3 months was probably much different after 6 months, which was then the opposite at 9 months, which was then different than today.... get the picture? To save everyone from the usual rant with details, I'll sum it by concluding - Modalert by Sun is the best deal "financially speaking". But, if you want a broader perspective, keep reading until the end.
About Modalert: This is a strange beast. You name it - I've tried it. 25mgs a day. 50mgs a day. 100mgs a day, 200mgs, 300, etc. There are so many small details involed in the Modalert/Provigil debate that I don't think we could ever get to the bottom of this unless we had board-certified members from Cephalon and Sun right here in the message board. For example, are most people aware that Modalert is a "coated" tablet and Provigil is not? Does this change or delay the onset? Maybe. Maybe not. Again, that's just one small piece of a giant puzzle. Anyway... It wasn't until recently that I personally "learned" how to use Modalert. All of us serve as our own individual chemcial factories - that's what the human body is. And, we all respond different when a chemcial is added to the mix. With Modalert, there was a time when I gave up. The headaches were too brutal, the effects were non-existing, and the side-effects were too anxiety-provoking. By educating myself and experimenting, I've learned how to get this product to work for me. I don't want to chance the topic of my overall message, so for anyone interested, I'll briefly explain "what" I do now, but I won't explain the "why" and "how". My recipe: I take 150mgs of Modalert first thing in the morning... on an empty stomach... and I do NOT eat for at least 2-3 hours. About 2 hours after my first meal, I take another 100mgs, and then I don't eat again for at least 2 hours.
About all of them - Modalert, Modvigil, and Modiodal: In one way or the other, they're all the same. What I mean is... some days you think they're working, other days you don't. Some days you think you feel bad, other days you don't. The one consistency has ironically been a lack of consistency. What does all of this mean? It means that you have to take a step back and understand your objective and put it into perspective. I'm sure there are a lot of people like me - we don't have energy in life, we're always fatigued, and we want to take this magic pill and suddenly become these extremely motivated workaholics and rise amongst our peers. Well, it CAN happen, but you need to rethink your approach. From everything I have researched, two resources have had the most impact because they both offer a theory that I discovered to be more true than most (one source was a reputable psychiatrist and the other was a study from Oxford).
Here is what I have learned: Modafinil will help you focus - that's a fact. But, that's all it does. Stop and think about that for a moment. It will help you focus. But, helping you focus doesn't equate to giving you "energy". Improving your focus doesn't metabolize into "motivation". If you focus on whether or not the Modalert you took 2 hours ago is working, you'll be pretty good at continually diagnosing yourself every 10 mins. If you focus on possible side-effects you think you're feeling, you'll be pretty good at paying attention to the smallest abnormalities, and maybe even "think" yourself into a real panic-attack. If you focus on the TV show you're watching... you'll do a great job at watching the show. If you focus on talking on the phone, you'll be highly engaged in a conversation. If you focus on laying on the couch and being lazy, you'll be the best couch potato in town. And likewise, if you submerse yourself into a project or work, you'll become obsessed and do a great job. The point is - I had to stop seeing Modafinil as a body "stimulant", and start seeing it as a "focusing stimulant" because that's exactly what it is. Getting modafinil to work as good as advertised requires a balance between different factors: the product itself (dosage), your diet, and your attitude. Once you can find the balance between those three, modafinil, such as Sun's Modalert, will do it's job. But, if you think you're going to take a pill and suddenly come to life, you're taking the wrong thing. For those who do claim that modafinil performs this miracle, I would say it's initially a placebo effect that creates a change of attitude, and then the modafinil will improves their focus on whatever it is they are doing. Essentially, it's up to your own will power to cause yourself to begin doing what you want to do, and let modafinil assist you. Think of modafinil as the gasoline in your car. Even with a full tank of gas, a car just sits along a street. It's useless. It doesn't move. It doesn't respond. It does nothing. But, if you get inside and start the engine, you then allow the gasoline to do it's job and the car becomes very beneficial.
I'm no scientist, but I'm smart enough to have understood one thing from all of the research of I have read - all of the stimulants stimulate your brain in different areas and in different ways. Without getting technial (because I'm not smart enough to speak that jargon anyway), Ritalin will stimulate your brain and improve your concentration, but it actually lessens your "creativity". Therefore, many stimulants will enhance some areas of your brain, but decrease activity in another area. It happens to be that Modafinil is pretty good at stimulating areas that are great for concentration and attention, and not the areas responsible for over-exciting the CNS.
The other factor I'll briefly touch on: Diet. Is is also a fact that if I eat an entire bag of cookies at this moment, a chemical process will occur in my body within the next hour, and it WILL effect the way I feel - 100% fact. The spike of simple sugar in my blood will cause my pancreas to over-compensate with the production of insulin. The insulin will then lower my blood sugar level fast and efficiently. I will then have a lower blood sugar level than before I ate the cookies. Why is this important? Because the brain lives off of glucose (which isn't in cookies by the way). Unlike other areas in your body, your brain cannot "store" glucose, so it relies on a consistent level of glucose in your blood. Your brain needs glucose so much that each brain cell uses twice as much glucose as any other cell in your body! Therefore, after experiencing a significant drop in glucose, your brain begins to starve and malfunction because it's primary and only source of energy is glucose. By the way, intense mential activity will cause your brain to rapidly burn glucose. So, I'm not giving a lecture on diet, but I'm trying to plant that seed to some people that there IS a balance involved in the human body. And because we don't get modafinil for free, if you want to get the most out of the product, try your best to keep your body in a healthy state that will create a better probability for positive results.
And finally, caffeine. Caffeine is truly a unique substance. And, I'm not referring to your morning cup of coffee. By the way, a coffee with sugar is a recipe for a mental and physical crash due to the combination. Anyway, what I'm referring to is "caffeine" - the unadulterated chemical. Brain scans have revealed that caffeine, unlike expensive and popular drugs like ritalin and modafinil, act as a true "global" brain stimulant. Imagine that huh? Caffeine actually stimulates your brain in more areas than those expensive drugs. That's precisely why it provides a global response in varying effects - some people feel great, some can concentrate, some get jittery (CNS), etc. The truth is, if used properly, caffeine can be your best friend. Some will find this hard to believe, but the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research conducted a study and found caffeine to be equally as effective as modafinil. Don't believe me? Most of us are tolerant to the effects of caffeine because we consume so much coffee each day, but take this challenge! Stop all caffeine products for two weeks. Wake up one morning, swallow a 200mg pill of caffeine, and let me know how you feel. I tried it - and the result was amazing! Modafinil could not come close in the comparison to caffeine in that instance. If you exhaust your supply of modafinil but need a lift for a big day at work - Try this... caffeine is used best if taken in small doses throughout the day. Purchase some 200mg caffeine pills and a "pill-spliter". Take 1-2 pills, divide each pill up into 4 separate pieces (should contain approximately 50mgs of caffeine each). Then, take each piece every 40 mins. Within approximately 1.5 hours, you will notice a sustaned and very defined mental high and clarity. You'll be on fire. You won't crash. You'll be able to think clearly and be heavily involved in your work. In fact, I would argue it's better than modafinil (definitely more stimulating and noticeable), but the only problem is that humans build up a tolerance to caffeine very fast.
Anyway... that's my 2 cents on my year of experiementation with researching and using modafinil.