4.4 (1)
By Jonathan Roseland

I'm not a doctor, medical professional, or trained therapist. I'm a researcher and pragmatic biohacking practitioner exercising free speech to share evidence as I find it. I make no claims. Please practice skepticism and rational critical thinkingYou should consult a professional about any serious decisions that you might make about your health. Affiliate links in this article support Limitless Mindset - spend over $150 and you'll be eligible to join the Limitless Mindset Secret Society.

Biohacker Review5 dark sides of the Smart Drug and why a quarter of Biohackers dislike it...

This is top-of-the-line pharmaceutical-grade Modafinil, from Sun Pharmaceutical in India. People get confused by all these names -- Modafinil, Provigil, Armodafinil, Adrafinil, Vigia, Modalert, Artvigil, etc.

Modafinil is its own branch of the smart drug category tree

There are a few varieties of it with a shared mechanism of action and since it's such a popular pharmaceutical that's sold in drug stores across the world it has a lot of brand names. What you want to pay attention to is the variety (Modafinil, Armodafinil, Adrafinil) and dosage (usually 100 milligrams or 200 milligrams). By my assessment, is the best source of smart drugs in this category.

I did a detailed 17-minute video encapsulating what the human studies that have been done on Modafinil are saying practically. I encourage you to watch that before ordering or ingesting anything. In this review, I'm going to share some reservations I have about Modafinil...

My experience

I've done Modafinil probably over a hundred times in the last few years, I would do it more but I have a lot of other smart drugs to trial.

Apps vs Operating System

A smart drug like Modafinil is kind of a way of cheating on your personal development. I take an Apps vs Operating System approach to personal development. So if you think about your mind using the metaphor of a computer or smartphone you can do personal development either by installing apps or upgrading the operating system...

Installing Apps

  • Learning a second language.
  • Acquiring a new career skillset.
  • Reading books.
  • Studying philosophy.
  • Getting coaching.
  • Writing daily.
  • Or getting into entrepreneurship, pickup, or social dynamics.

The more apps you have the more you can do. Or you can do personal development by...

Upgrading the Operating System

  • A meditation practice.
  • Optimizing your diet.
  • Brain training with Dual N-Back (which is a very precise metaphor because it's literally like upgrading the RAM of your mind).
  • Practicing memory systems.
  • Heart rate variability training.
  • Getting outside of your comfort zone.
  • Doing aerobic exercise 90 minutes a week to stimulate neuroplasticity.
  • Habituating your heuristic reactions.
  • Getting outside of your comfort zone.
  • Practicing arbitrary discipline.
  • Taking Nootropics that feed your brain the nutrients it needs.
  • Quitting your addictions or managing your vices.

There's a lot of debate as to whether Apps or OS is more important...

Should you focus on the inner game or the outer game? I'm not sure...

While there is some overlap between some of these apps and improving the operating system, we've all met people who were into personal development but were overly biased towards Installing Apps, while they were always studying things or starting new projects they just didn't have enough discipline to accomplish much. They occasionally go through a bout of depression and then announce to the world (probably on Facebook) that they are starting yet another project.
So it's important to habituate on both sides of the spectrum. I did an article and podcast on this that you may want to check out...

Modafinil is neither.

It's a wakefulness agent and a short-term cognitive enhancer, it doesn't feed your brain any nutrients that help it in perpetuity. It just gives you 8-12 hours deep in the focus zone.
There's kind of this dubious case that people make about smart drugs like Modafinil that they teach you that your brain can focus and push you out of your cognitive comfort zone so you can focus better even when you are off them, I'm not so sure about that. It's kind of a cool idea but there are no good studies or data I know of that substantiate it.

Since it is so effective at temporarily boosting your operating system for 8-10 hours, it could become a crutch for your personal development. Why do all the hard work of learning to meditate, teaching yourself to practice discipline, or getting outside of your comfort zone when you can just drop a pill and kick ass?

The answers to that rhetorical question are twofold...
First of all, you don't always have access to these drugs and you don't want to be dependent upon them for your state. The objective is to be a robust gangster in life in any setting - a master of one's own mind - and taking drugs to reach a particular state is counter-intuitive to that.
Second, if you focus on holistic personal development, you are going to get a whole lot better ROI from the smart drugs and you will appreciate their effects a whole lot more.
So I hope that if you choose to take advantage of this shortcut to productivity that is Modafinil, you balance it with the daily habituation of an Apps and OS approach to the rest of your personal development.

Which should choose?

Modalert 200 - 200 milligrams of the classic Modafinil. But 200 milligrams may be too much for some people, so you can cut it in half if you need to. The taste is bad - even with water, it's a tablet so you are tasting the Modafinil when you take it. I suggest washing it down with an equally strong-tasting beverage.


Artvigil 150 - this is Armodafinil. I couldn't tell a big difference between the two. Armodafinil is pretty intense and anecdotally, is may cause some subtle paranoia, which some people strangely like. I experienced this myself to an extent a couple of times when I was on it. For this reason, I would not recommend starting with a full capsule of Armodafinil, especially to someone who is in an emotionally fragile state.


My favorite Modafinil stack is

Coffee - Modafinil takes a while to kick in, so if I'm having a Modafinil day I begin it with coffee. I don't find the two overwhelming.

L-Theanine - Modafinil can be intense and L-Theanine takes the edge off. Modafinil is also not particularly great for creativity, which L-Theanine makes up for. So I like L-Theanine stacked with Modafinil.

Nicotine - The creativity smart drug and my favorite Modafinil cofactor. Here's why.

Speaking of creativity

If you depend upon your creativity, you have a process for creativity (as do I), so even when I don't feel a muse of inspiration kissing the back of my neck, I can still be creative - pound out a couple of hundred words. In that respect, I'm able to be creatively productive on Modafinil.
However, some people need that muse or to be in a creative state to face the blank page and make something beautiful out of it. For those people, Modafinil might not be the best drug and you may need to fill your swimming pool up with green tea and go swim in it to get enough L-Theanine in your system.

Modafinil is a slower burn

Sometimes it takes about 2-3 hours to kick in, sometimes I would take it around 9 AM, and by 10 AM I'd be feeling a little more energetic but not noticeably enhanced. However, by noon I would be deep in the concentration zone. I get as much as 10 hours of productivity out of a single Modafinil tablet. In the past, I seem to recall working sometimes as much as +12 hours on Modafinil, which hasn't happened this go around which is probably because I'm getting more reasonable with my working day. I had no exhaustion-induced hallucinations on either of these, which I did with Vigia.

I'm an open-source website developer and I feel like the gods of computer code, or the ghosts in the machine inspired the Modafinil molecule specifically for technical or development tasks. It really gets you in the zone to knock out a big programming task or fix a bug that's been causing you problems on a website. A lot of times there would be a particularly persistent bug or development task, that I'd been kind of procrastinating on for several weeks, then I will go down the Modafinil rabbit hole and kick its ass in a matter of just a few hours.

Meditation is a bit of a challenge; I found myself slipping back into problem-solving mode when I was trying to focus on the blue sky - clearing my mind and objectively watching thoughts drift past.

Usually, I require audio amusement while I'm working; music, podcasts, audio programs about history, or audiobooks. When I'm on Modafinil I will find myself going 45 - 60 minutes in silence listening to nothing while working.

Armodafinil vs Modafinil

Modafinil is comprised of an R-isomer and an S-isomer whereas Armodafinil is just the R-isomer. To quote a 2009 study comparing the two:

Despite similar half-lives, plasma concentrations following armodafinil administration are higher late in the day than those following modafinil administration on a milligram-to-milligram basis.

This would suggest that Armodafinil is the stronger version, at least when it comes to wakefulness.

Tolerance and addiction

While most of the experts and research papers say that Modafinil has exceptionally low addiction risk and a very gentle tolerance curve, I'm not sure I agree.

For me, if I do Modafinil more than three times a week, I start running into a tolerance curve. There were a couple of times I did it like 4-5 days in a row and by the final day, it was just not delivering that focused, productive headspace that Modafinil is so associated with.
I found it somewhat addictive because I'm a workaholic and it increases my productivity sharply. I would have a kick-ass day getting stuff done on Modafinil and then I would wake up the next morning and want to repeat that.

What Biohackers are saying about it

I do Biohacking consultation calls a couple of times a week and about a quarter of the people I talk to have not glowingly positive experiences to report from Modafinil...
They get brain fog
They get headaches
They get paranoid
Its effect is inconsistent
They run into a steep tolerance curve
So it's not my favorite smart drug, it's far from the first thing I recommend to new Biohackers.

However, a friend of mine who is a pretty successful entrepreneur told me that he makes something like an extra $100K a year as a result of his Modafinil habit. So for the people who it does work for, it really works. There's a reason why it's a favorite of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and Wall Street types.

Some other negatives of Modafinil

  • My spelling sucks while I'm on Modafinil, it increases my typing speed but not necessarily the accuracy. My fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Woods, would (still) be ashamed.
  • One thing I dislike about it is that it makes me sweat, which is a little weird especially if I'm just sitting there at my computer not doing something physically excruciating.

About ModafinilXL


  • I found their e-commerce website very intuitive and easy to use.
  • Overall their customers are very pleased - 86% of reviewers recommend ModafinilXL on
  • They ship discretely worldwide with package tracking.
  • Free express shipping on orders over $150.
  • They accept and offer generous discounts for using Bitcoin and cryptocurrency (which I strongly recommend!) 
  • And they actually offer a free 10-Modafinil sample package for those who want to try before they buy.

As you can see in the photos the packaging is very no-frills, Modafinil is one of the Nootropics that I carry everywhere in my wallet. Most of my other Nootropics are these suspicious-looking white powders, I lived in South America, so even though they are clearly labeled, carrying them around on my person is just asking for trouble. Whereas Modafinil, just looks like generic medication.

A cool idea...

MODVIGILThere are some pretty decent savings as you increase the quantity, you can get 300 Modafinils for about $300. But it would probably take a couple of years to do 300 Modafinils, and frankly, I would be concerned about transporting 300 of any drug through airports, in a car, or across international borders.

What I would suggest is finding a couple of buddies who are ambitious, Lifehacker, or entrepreneurial types and splitting the cost of the largest quantity available with them. This would cost you just a little more than $100; you would have a super productive Modafinil day every third day for a year and you would have a secret society; a syndicate-mastermind group with your friends who are doing the same thing. If the added productivity and group accountability doesn't make you at least an extra $10,000 in the next year I would be seriously surprised!

Make sure to send your friends my Modafinil video with the stealth fighter when you propose this...

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ARMODAFINIL - Artvigil 150


5 dark sides of Modafinil and why a quarter of Biohackers dislike it... ?Biohacker Review

Editor review

1 review
Pharmaceutical grade Modafinil
(Updated: July 27, 2018)
Overall rating
Good value
Makes you feel 'Limitless' - Improves memory
Ability to focus
Energy and productivity
Wakefulness and alertness
Social Confidence
Verbal ability
5 dark sides of Modafinil and why a quarter of Biohackers dislike it... ?Biohacker Review
#1 Reviewer 248 reviews
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User reviews

1 review
Overall rating
Good value
Makes you feel 'Limitless' - Improves memory
Ability to focus
Energy and productivity
Wakefulness and alertness
Social Confidence
Verbal ability
Very strong
Overall rating
Good value
Makes you feel 'Limitless' - Improves memory
Ability to focus
Energy and productivity
Wakefulness and alertness
Social Confidence
Verbal ability
It definitely has a very strong and noticeable effect. I feel very focused throughout the day in fact the effect is so strong is may be a little too strong, I took 1 pill at noon and was not able to fall asleep until 5 in the morning that night, I also felt a mild sense of paranoia as I worked through the day - a feeling that I needed to get more stuff done faster, but I couldn't really pinpoint a reason why it would be so pressing. I do not think it would be great for your typical social situation, I feel a little too direct and pointed for a relaxed conversation. I also had a dry mouth that day and the next.

But if you have a large amount of work that needs to get done in a small time period, like a day, and want to make sure you have a mental boost to go into zombie mood and get everything done then this pill will probably be a good solution for you. But I would not be interested in taking it every day.
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