Does Modafinil Cause Weight Loss?

Stimulants have a reputation for decreasing appetites and improving weight loss, but does that mean Modafinil will make you lose weight?

Modafinil does always cause weight loss compared to other stimulants like Adderall. While decreased appetite is an uncommon side effect that could lead to weight loss, it does not happen for everybody.

Does Modafinil Cause Weight Loss?

Many people think that Modafinil works similar to Adderall. Adderall often causes weight loss. However, you should know of a few stark differences, especially when it comes to weight loss.

Adderall is a mixture of four amphetamine salts. Amphetamines often cause weight loss along with other side effects like loss of appetite.

One study shows that children with ADHD who take stimulants (which usually is Adderall) had lower BMIs than unmedicated children with ADHD (Schwartz et al., 2014). While there are no long-term studies focused on the subject, low BMIs in medicated children with ADHD are common.

However, Adderall was originally a weight loss drug called Obetrol made by a company called Rexar. However, the FFDCA made the company withdraw the weight loss drug from the market because it was ineffective.

That eventually led to Rexar creating the stimulant we know today. They reformulated the drug to treat issues like sleeping disorders and ADHD.

As for Modafinil, it has similar benefits, but it often has milder side effects compared to Adderall.

The Side Effects of Modafinil

While not everyone experiences the same side effects, typical side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Nervousness

Some less common side effects include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Indigestion

As you can see above, a possible side effect of Modafinil is a loss of appetite. It is a less common symptom, but it is still possible.

Prolonged loss of appetite, plus other factors like increased physical activity, could lead to weight loss. Therefore, Modafinil can cause weight loss, but that is not always guaranteed.

One study showed that people who took Modafinil consumed less food (Markis et al., 2004). However, it is essential to note that the study focused on a small group and all the individuals were healthy.

The same group that took Modafinil did not show any increased energy intake, so it did not change the number of macronutrients consumed. The study showed that high doses of Modafinil did not increase the heart rate.

Modafinil often increases dopamine levels and stimulates your brain’s reward center. Some people eat more to feel better because food can stimulate the brain’s reward center, so Modafinil could decrease that effect by making you feel content. Pain killers like Percocet work a similar way.

However, it is still important to remember not to take more than the prescribed amount despite that study. Taking more Modafinil that what your doctor prescribed to you can still lead to very uncomfortable side effects.

Can I Use Modafinil to Lose Weight?

You should never take Modafinil to lose weight unless a doctor specifically prescribed it to aid weight loss. Modafinil can be associated with weight loss, but not everyone who takes it will lose weight.

It is not always guaranteed that you will have a decreased appetite when you take it since people can experience different symptoms. Decreased appetite is a less common symptom, so taking Modafinil just for weight loss may not be worth it.

As mentioned earlier, Modafinil does not increase heart rate like other stimulants. So, it does not help you burn more calories. It does not always mean you will lose weight if you get a decreased appetite. Ideally, you should also ask a doctor first if Modafinil is the right choice for you. People with certain conditions like high blood pressure should avoid Modafinil because it can make it worse.

Some doctors may prescribe Modafinil to you if they think you are a candidate for it and that it could work. However, you will likely have to do other things to encourage weight loss, like dieting and exercise, if you take Modafinil.

Luckily, your mood tends to improve when you take Modafinil , and you often have more motivation. It may encourage you to work out and stay busy, which could help you lose weight quickly.

Keep in mind that Modafinil is not a solution for weight loss. It could help aid weight loss, but it will likely not be the main reason for your weight loss. Effective weight loss will depend on your diet and exercise. Solely relying on Modafinil may not work out for you.

Should I Take Modafinil Even If I Want to Gain or Maintain Weight?

It may be difficult for some people to want to take Modafinil for other reasons like narcolepsy, especially if they do not want to lose weight. Luckily, you can try to avoid losing weight while taking Modafinil. Just switch to a high-calorie diet and eat frequent meals.

How to Prevent the Side Effects of Modafinil

While this will not guarantee that you will not have side effects, it can decrease your chances of experiencing them.

Take It in the Morning

Modafinil enhances wakefulness and can treat sleeping disorders like narcolepsy. It can keep you alert and awake for 10-15 hours. Therefore, taking it right after breakfast would be ideal to avoid having trouble sleeping at night.

Not sleeping enough causes many health problems, including weight problems. Lack of sleep can cause weight gain or weight loss, so be sure to take the stimulant in the morning.

Eat Properly

Some people may experience nausea and stomach pain from Modafinil. Eating a big breakfast before taking it in the morning and eating a decent meal at night could curb that side effect.

Eating properly is especially crucial if you want to avoid weight loss. Be sure to eat healthy meals at least three times a day.

Stay Hydrated

Some people get headaches and notice that their mouths feel dry when they take Modafinil. You can easily curb that by drinking more water to stay hydrated.

You may also want to refrain from dehydrating drinks like alcohol, soda, tea, and coffee.

Stimulants That Can Make You Lose Weight


Caffeine can speed up your metabolism by a small amount. However, caffeine is still not helpful if you want to lose weight.

Caffeine can help slightly suppress your appetite. The effects may not last for a long time, but a cup of coffee can curb your cravings until your next snack or meal.

Bacopa Monnieri

If you notice that you have a bit more belly fat when you feel stressed, then this nootropic might be helpful.

Stress is a huge reason why many people have “unexplained weight loss.” Your body usually creates more cortisol when it is under stress. High cortisol levels often cause people to gain more abdominal fat.

Plus, stress can disrupt sleep patterns. Poor sleep quality can make it harder for people to lose weight.

Luckily, Bacopa Monnieri helps manage stress levels. It can give you the boost you need to lose weight. Ashwagandha can also help.

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