Let’s not beat around the bush here. A Modafinil headache is one of the most common side effects of the smart drug. Outside of stomach issues and sleeplessness, a headache is the most common issue nootropic users report.
But why? Modafinil is a nootropic designed to promote cognition and increased focus. The smart drug shouldn’t be causing headaches in up to a third of regular users. Yet, it does.
The Modafinil headache is so common that regular users have developed schemes and regimens in attempts to ward off the pain. It can be a serious issue for some. I’ve even heard horror tales of regular users stopping use due to migraines.
P.S: I am not a doctor. This is not medical advice. Always consult with a doctor before taking any supplements or pharmaceutical drugs. This article is for entertainment purposes.
My Modafinil Headaches
Personally, I’ve only experienced Modafinil headaches on a handful of occasion. Luckily, I found a few quick fixes and the problem went away.
I typically deal with minor side effects like stomach issues and sleeplessness when taking Modafinil. But we are all different. Pharmaceutical drugs will always react differently in different people.
With that in mind, I wanted to detail the science behind headaches from Modafinil and why we get them. Towards the end of the article, I share my quick remedies to get rid of a Modafinil headache once and for all.
What is a Modafinil Headache?
A Modafinil headache isn’t too difficult to explain. If you develop a tension-type headache after taking Modafinil, then you might suffer from this ailment. It’s pretty common.
Generally, there are four types of headaches one can get:
Most agree that a Modafinil headache stems from tension (Source). These headaches are not a major issue and most cases will not require any medical attention. A headache is a minor side effect of Modafinil.
If your headache stems from Modafinil, you probably notice:
A tightness in the head that may migrate down to the neck area.
A pain that doesn’t throb.
Pain doesn’t change whether you’re about to take a nap or hit the gym.
No nausea associated with the headache.
That’s what we know about a Modafinil headache. While we all have our theories on why we get headaches after taking a smart drug, the reality of the situation is this…
We don’t know much about headaches. Headaches are still a relative mystery in the scientific community. What we do know is most Modafinil headaches are derived from tension.
This means that Modafinil probably overstimulates certain neurons. Once these neurons are aggravated, they quickly create extra tension in certain areas of the head. Thus, you get a Modafinil headache on occasion.
Another theory states that Modafinil headaches come from glutamate. Modafinil affects glutamate molecules in the brain. Excess glutamate in the brain has been shown to cause headaches.
Thus, many believe those who get a headache from Modafinil produce too much glutamate when using the smart drug on a regular basis.
How I Get Rid of a Modafinil Headache
Now that you understand a little more about head pain after taking Modafinil, let’s look at some solutions.
Here’s how I’ve successfully gotten rid of Modafinil headaches in the past:
First and foremost, being dehydrated will often cause a headache – with or without Modafinil. As such, you should get hydrated before looking into other things when suffering from a headache after taking smart drugs.
It’s easy to forget about drinking water or electrolytes when using smart drugs, as your completely focused on your work.
To combat this, I often fill up a blender bottle with 32 ounces of water and mix it with this. I set the mixture on my desk and take a sip whenever I think about it. I’ve yet to have a Modafinil headache since starting this.
I’ll be honest. I almost always skip meals when taking smart drugs. I eat a breakfast, then attempt to work for 8-12 straight hours before eating, again. It’s best to let the smart drugs work on a near empty stomach for maximum effect.
This isn’t necessarily healthy. If you’re suffering from headaches after taking Modafinil, make sure you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. You need all the nutrients you can get. This should help you minimize the pains from a headache.
Getting 2-3 hours a sleep a night is horrific for your overall health. If you do so one night, that’s alright. Only getting a few hours of sleep every day? That’s never going to workout well for your overall health.
While Modafinil promotes wakefulness, you must dose the smart drug to ensure you can get to sleep each night. This means taking it as early in the morning as possible.
The combination of these supplement should naturally lower anxiety, and potentially eliminate your smart drug headaches.
If you’ve found Modafinil headaches to be an issue, try adding a workout in the morning before you take the smart drug. Just make sure to stay hydrated. Just look what this study found.
Exercises has been proven to relieve stress, which can lower anxiety, too. While this is purely anecdotal evidence, a quick 30-minute lift or jog should help ward off Modafinil headaches just a little.
Modafinil, Choline, and Headaches
Many claim that Choline supplements can be a cure for the average Modafinil headache. While Choline can help relieve headaches for other supplements, the evidence suggests there’s no such link with Modafinil.
The reality is Modafinil does not directly affect Choline metabolism or Acetylcholine in any which way. As such, there’s no evidence to suggest that Choline would help eliminate a headache from Modafinil.
If nothing else works for your headaches, maybe test Choline. I didn’t have much luck with it, so I’d suggest only ordering it as a last resort.
Modafinil and Headaches 101
Overall, Modafinil headaches can be rough. Some find the headaches eliminate all the positive cognitive benefits of the smart drug, as the pain doesn’t allow them to work or study.
Others don’t have issues with any tension, anxiety, or headaches when taking Modafinil. If you’re suffering, start by following the advice above.
Personally, the benefits of Modafinil far outweigh the minor side effects I struggle with. So I still use the smart drug even if I get a minor headache every now and then.
Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel – one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.