We tried modafinil

It’s the study drug which could save your degree. Here’s everything you need to know about buying and trying modafinil

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Forget Red Bull, Ritalin and Adderall, the Big Names in Chemistry are all talking about Modafinil: the non-addictive ‘wakefulness’ drug even the army are using. 

This isn’t like drinking a lot of caffeine, modafinil (there’s no street name yet) temporarily improves your memory and problem solving skills. Scientists are hailing it as a potential wonder drug, and there is already talk of Olympic-style drug tests for students.

Is it bad for your health? Does it present a moral problem? Who cares! We tried it and this is what it’s like.

What it does

Modafinil gives you tunnel vision. You can concentrate for hours on reading a book, taking meticulous notes, not looking up once. You don’t eat, you don’t really talk to people. In fact the only thing you will leave your work to do is poo, which modafinil makes you do almost hourly.

Normal procedure is this: Set your alarm clock for some ungodly hour, take two 100mg tablets and then go back to sleep. One hour later you wake with an urgent need to empty your bowels and what the drug’s manufacturers call “a sense of wakefulness.”

Modaff pills

After that, hit the books. You might find your mood goes a little bit up and down, but generally you will feel akin to some kind of super-human, ploughing through work like a fully-functioning Stephen Hawking. After about 14 hours it wears off and you become a useless twat again, but you should be able to sleep fine.



• You can concentrate for hours and get lots of work done, and remember it all afterwards.

• It helps you wake up early.

• Quite subtle: this isn’t an overwhelming experience.



• Makes you unsociable and even, as your mum might say, ‘a bit snappy’ when people talk to you.

• You can become too focused and do things like miss your bus stop because you’re engrossed in a game of Angry Birds. Be careful when crossing the road too.

• Your mood tends to swing a little bit up and down while you’re on it.

• Lots of trips to the loo.


Where to get it

Modafinil available on Gumtree

Unless you have narcolepsy, your doctor won’t prescribe you modafinil. You can find it on Gumtree in London and other big towns, and having used this method we can confirm not all of them are scams. Alternatively there are a number of look-dodgier-than-they-are websites which sell it. Search for brand names Modapro, Modalert and Provigil. It sells for anywhere between 50p and £1 per pill.

Warning: Modafinil decreases the effectiveness of the pill and other contraception, so take extra precautions.

Want to know more? Comment below and we’ll answer your questions.