Modafinil belongs to a class of meds known as nootropics, or “smart drugs,” that ameliorate memory and decision-making, foster creativity, and improve brain performance. As a cognitive enhancer, this medicine is used by healthy people off-prescription. However, apart from this usage, it is approved for medical use, particularly for the therapy of excessive sleepiness due to several sleep disorders. Also, it’s often taken off-label to treat some health issues like depression, fatigue in multiple sclerosis, and others.
Little is presently known about the characteristics of off-label cognitive ameliorating med users or their perceived everyday experience with these meds. Since modafinil is the most commonly used off-prescription nootropic, various studies aimed to give a detailed profile of “smart tab” consumers, their experiences & perceptions of this med.
Modafinil Consumer Market
The market for modafinil is anticipated to get augmented by factors such as the increasing demand for brain fosters owing to the competitive work environment across various domains. With the rising number of “smart drug” users, more recently, modafinil (available under the brand name Provigil®) has been the cognitive enhancer of choice. It is intended to ameliorate wakefulness in patients with sleep disorders such as narcolepsy. But when individuals take modafinil without these factors, it has been associated with changes in several cognitive effects including decision-making.
Regarding “smart tab” off-prescription use, North America holds the highest market share in this industry with the highest number of cognitive enhancer consumers in the region . The reasons are the cost-effectiveness factor responsible for driving the “smart drugs” market growth and the availability of e-pharmacies that allow a robust means to buy modafinil safely online.
The number of Americans using modafinil has accelerated almost 10-fold over the past decade. That’s because this med is still good in appropriate clinical circumstances. Between 2002 & 2009, the number of patients receiving the med marketed as Provigil proliferated from around 58,000 to 556,000. Prescriptions rose the fastest – up to 15 times over – among those who did not have one of the issues for which the drug is approved. Overall, 89% of all individuals who received the “smart tab” during the study period were prescribed the medication off-label .
Multiple Surveys of Modafinil Usage
An online survey, targeting cognitive augmenting med users & students, was advertised on various forum websites. The info was received regarding demographic data, illegal med consumption, psychiatric diagnosis as well as experience of modafinil. Out of the 404 respondents, 54.2% reported using the “smart tab.” Most of those taking modafinil were male, British or American, university-educated & presently employed, with an average age of 27 .
In another survey, 10% of Cambridge students admitted to using the “smart tab” without a prescription to help them work. The Varsity survey revealed that 1 in 10 Cambridge students has taken meds such as Adderall, modafinil, and Ritalin . In a study done in 2015, 1.3 million individuals across the globe aged 12+ have misused stimulants, with 57,000 having used Provigil .
Although there’s no exact number of people taking the nootropic off-prescription, its usage is known to be on the rise. Today, thousands of people are shopping for it online over the counter, and it’s difficult to fathom the exact figure of those taking it. This is also due to the advent of online pharmacies providing the swiftest way to get modafinil without a prescription. In a 2017 survey of tens of thousands of people, 14% reported using stimulants such as modafinil at least once in the preceding 12 months, up from 5% in 2015 .
- Nootropics Market To Reach USD 5.32 Billion By 2026 | Reports And Data. Published: February 19, 2020. Globenewswire.com.
- “Off-label” use of anti-drowsiness drugs skyrockets. By Genevra Pittman, Reuters Health. Published: March 18, 2013. Reuters.com.
- The off-prescription use of modafinil: An online survey of perceived risks and benefits. By Rachel D. Teodorini, Nicola Rycroft, and James H. Smith-Spark. Published: February 5, 2020. Journals.plos.org.
- One in ten takes drugs to study. By Natasha Lennard. Published: March 6, 2009. Varsity.co.uk.
- Prescription Drug Use and Misuse in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. By Arthur Hughes, Matthew R. Williams, Rachel N. Lipari, et al. Published: September 2016. Samhsa.gov.
- Use of “Smart Drugs” on the Rise. By Arran Frood, Nature magazine. Published: July 6, 2018. Scientificamerican.com.