Many people suffer from insomnia, which means the inability to fall asleep. Surprisingly, there are quite a few of us, who suffer from the exact opposite of this syndrome, excessive fatigue and sleepiness. Reasons for this could be varied, such as, stress at home, long hours at work, rushing back and forth between your kids’ classes, getting bogged down by the daily routine and overworking oneself to the point of exhaustion.
However, all is not lost. Today, there is a drug that can help you overcome this problem and assist you in staying awake and alert during the day. Adrafinil, available as an over-the-counter medication, is prescribed for those who need alertness enhancers. Typically, those in the line of security, police duty, construction activity and people who travel frequently on business would find this drug very useful.
How it works:
The dominant theory behind how Adrafinil works its magic is connected to the brain. The drug supposedly increases the production of hypocretin, a neurotransmitter in the brain, which is directly responsible for increased activity and alertness, together with appetite.
People who need improved mental performance in a crunch situation can take these drugs. Even patients diagnosed with ADHD have shown marked improvement after taking the drug. Those who swear by the benefits of Adrafinil testify that it improves memory and the cognitive process effectively.
This feature supposedly makes Adrafinil better to take than performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids, which are known to cause medical complications. Relatively speaking, Adrafinil is a much safer drug, with the range of side effects falling on the normal scale.
Although it is available readily, taking Adrafinil without the advice of a doctor is not recommended. Self-medication is completely out of the question. Generally, the safe dosage limit is between 150 and 300 mg.
Typically, Adrafinil must not be ingested by pregnant or lactating mothers, as there is a possibility of harm befalling the mother and/or the fetus. Similarly, if you or anyone you know suffers from the following conditions, it is inadvisable to take Adrafinil:
Heart complications/ pacemakers/ heart risks
Neural disorders/ Alzheimer’s
A history of taking physical and mental stimulants
As with any drug, there is the standard list of side effects that one must watch out for. Some of them are harmless and cause no need for alarm such as insomnia, irritability, feeling of light headedness and anxiety. More serious side effects which may necessitate a visit to the doctor could include heart racing, vomiting and hallucinations. However, these serious effects are rarely seen in Adrafinil users.
While partaking of Adrafinil, ensure that you do not mix any stimulants or alcohol. Similarly, if you are on medication that helps to elevate heart rate or blood pressure, do not take adrafinil. In both scenarios, the outcome can be less than desirable. Although not conclusively proved, there is a risk of adrafinil interfering with birth control pills. So, if you are on them, don’t start on adrafinil.
As with any drug, it would be prudent to err on the side of caution. It can be very easy to get hooked onto a drug that improves mental function. Take as and when required and not as a habitual pill.
Anna Mathews is a freelance writer and a stay-at-home mother. She writes on subjects as varied as parenting, health, peak nootropics, technology and fashion. Her background in teaching has helped provide insight on the topics that she covers. In her spare time, she likes to read, swim, play badminton and teach music.