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Modafinil hair loss: Can this brain stimulant cause alopecia?

Modafinil hair loss: Can this brain stimulant cause alopecia?

Modafinil hair loss is gaining significant attention from all the possible adverse effects of the Nootropic. And why wouldn’t it? Hair loss is not just a physical condition but is an emotional journey for most people. 

Drug-induced alopecia (hair loss) can be a deal breaker for most people. Some people (mostly men) are genetically predisposed to hair loss or alopecia, while others are worried about hair thinning. 

Several anecdotes and reviews on “Does Modafinil Cause Hair Loss?” are available online, but there are no definitive answers to date. I have always advocated for drugs working differently in different people. And this holds for “Modafinil hair loss” as well. The internet is packed with mixed results, making it hard for most people to conclude. 

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the science of alopecia and answer all your concerns about Modafinil hair loss. 

 

Modafinil and Hair Loss | An overview

The first step to understanding the association between Modafinil and hair loss is to be aware of how hair fall or alopecia begins in the first place.

Research from Harvard Medical School contributes several factors to hair thinning -

Illness

Health issues such as vitamin deficiency, thyroid disorder, and hormonal imbalance may contribute to causing hair loss.

 

Side effects from medication- 

Blood thinners, cancer treatments, amphetamines, etc., can result in alopecia.

 

Androgenic alopecia (hereditary pattern baldness)-

This condition primarily affects men. Factors such as hormones, age, and genetics may contribute to this condition. Androgenic alopecia is characterized by thinning hair on the top of the head or a receding front hairline. 

Each of these factors interferes with the regular hair cycle, thus causing alopecia. 

 

NOURISHMENT-OF-HAIR-FOLLICLE-VIA-BLOOD-SUPPLY-ENABLES-HAIR-GROWTH

 

Modafinil is a novel wake-promoting agent approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration as a schedule IV agent to treat excessive daytime sleepiness. It is categorized as a psychostimulant due to its wake-promoting properties.

Now that we have a rough idea about the hair cycle and loss, let us address whether Modafinil causes hair fall. 

Does Modafinil Cause Hair Loss?

Is there any science-backed data about Modafinil and hair loss? Even with increasing queries on “Modafinil hair loss,” there are limited research papers or studies on the topic. Thus suggesting that very few aspects of Modafinil’s activity are connected to alopecia. 

The most trusted website does not list hair loss as a side effect of Modafinil

Modafinil-hair-loss-scientific-data

An online platform hosted by physicians reports no drug-drug interaction between Modafinil and other hair-loss medications [1]. However, there are reports of hair loss associated with Modafinil.

Hair-loss-from-Modafinil

DrugInformer, a platform for the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs, claims that about 89 official FDA reports have been submitted for Modafinil hair loss

The graph below from the same website showcase Modafinil Related Alopecia in patients of different age group and gender. Most women and people aged 50 to 60 are affected [2]. 

Modafinil-hair-loss-study

 

Report date 

Indication

Country

Gender

Age

2015-06-04

Alopecia

US

Female

56

2015-05-29

Alopecia

US

Female

63

2015-05-27

Alopecia

US

Female

-

2015-05-24

Alopecia

US

Female

57

2015-05-12

Alopecia

US

Female

50

 

To summarize, we can state that so far, no reliable medical evidence is available supporting the notion of Modafinil hair loss, apart from a few notable websites. This indicates that Modafinil may be associated with hair loss and alopecia, but the chances are slim. 

Why is Modafinil thought to cause hair loss?

 

Why-is-Modafinil-thought-to-cause-hair-loss

 

Stress factor-

Most Modafinil users work in a high-stress environment and require Nootropics for a higher level of focus and productivity. 

Stress is a common contributor to hair loss and is often mistaken for Modafinil. Alopecia areata is a stress-induced hair loss. In such conditions, the hair falls out within a week. It can improve with proper care and medication [3]. 

 

Association with Narcolepsy-

Another reason for Modafinil to be considered a reason for hair loss is its association with Narcolepsy. Alopecia areata was first associated with Narcolepsy in the year 1992. Since Modafinil is often prescribed for excessive daytime sleepiness associated with Narcolepsy, people assume their hair loss is related to Modafinil intake. 

 

Loss of appetite- 

One side effect of Modafinil is loss of appetite, thus causing vitamin and mineral deficiency in the body. Research shows that a lack of Vitamin D in the diet can cause hair loss. One of the significant roles of Vitamin D in the body is to stimulate the old and new hair follicles. Thus, a lack of vitamin D in the body can stunt hair growth in people. Therefore, people on Modafinil dosage should pay extra attention to their diet. 

Expert's reviews on Modafinil hair loss 

Most physicians do not consider hair loss a common side effect of Modafinil. On an online advisory website, experienced medical professionals debunk the misbelief of Modafinil hair loss and state that it has no association with the Nootropic [4]. 

Modafinil-hair-loss

Modafinil-and-hair-loss

Modafinil Hair loss - A phase IV clinical study of FDA 

eHealthMe, analyzing and examining real-world drug use outcomes, found that 233 patients out of all 20,270 experienced Modafinil hair loss (1.15%). According to their research, this is more prevalent in a particular demographic. 

A phase IV clinical study suggests hair loss from Modafinil is prominent in females around 50 to 50 years old. This study also highlights this condition is more common in long-term use of Modafinil (people taking it for 5 to 10 years) [5].

Number-of-Modafinil-and-Hair-loss-reports-submitted-per-year.JPG

Another case study by the website ehealthme on reports of Modafinil hair loss in 34-year-old women highlights the following data [6]. 

  • Among females aged 34 (±5) taking Modafinil: 0.57% (17 of 2,971)

  • Among people regardless of gender or age: 0.56% (228 of 40,403)

According to FDA data-

  • Among females aged 34 (±5): 1.49% (17 of 1,143) 

  • Among people regardless of gender or age: 1.36% (228 of 16,747)

Anecdotal Reports and testimonials on Modafinil and Hair Loss

While the internet is divided on the relevance of “Modafinil hair loss” as one of its implausible adverse effects, there is plentitude of social media reviews and testimonials. 

modafinil-hair-loss-reddit

Modafinil-for-hair-loss-reddit

Modafinil-and-hair-loss-review

Modafinil-hair-loss-review

Provigil for hair loss

Provigil and Modalert are the two popular brand names of Modafinil. They are formulated with Modafinil as their active compound, showing similar benefits and effects. People looking for a Modafinil alternative can get Provigil or buy Modalert 200mg online

Since Provigil and Modalert have a significant amount of Modafinil in their composition, the possibility of Modalert and Provigil hair loss cannot be overlooked. 

Provigil-for-hairloss

Provigil-and-hair-loss

Provigil-hair-loss

How to Combat Hair Loss While Taking Modafinil?

 

How-to-Combat-Hair-Loss-While-Taking-Modafinil

 

The causes and individual responses to treatment may differ. Therefore, we do not claim that these strategies will significantly reverse any possible hair loss by Modafinil. 

These factors have helped several Nootropic users and, however, have no scientific database to back its claims or benefits. 

Limit your Modafinil use-

Most Modafinil users notice hair fall with long-term use. Even if we put aside the issue of hair loss, consistent use of the Nootropic can lead to tolerance. Such people will require a higher dose of Modafinil to feel the same effect. 

So, if Modafinil hair loss is a concern, here are some dosing recommendations.

  • Discontinue the intake after 2 to 3 weeks of continuous use 

  • Take Modafinil or Modalert 100mg once each day

  • Do not buy Modalert online if you have hyper or hypothyroidism without consulting a doctor.

  • Other health and medical conditions should also be considered before taking the Nootropic to avoid hair loss. 

 

Optimize your sleep quality-

Sleep per se does not directly contribute to hair loss but can elevate your anxiety issues, thus causing stress. To optimize your sleep with Modafinil, it is best to take the dose in the morning. Taking the Nootropic later in the day can affect your sleep cycle. 

The consumption of coffee with Modafinil can enhance its activity, thus making it more likely for the user to stay wide awake in the middle of the night. So, refrain from taking excessive caffeine with Modafinil unless you want to pull an all-nighter. 

Taking supplements before going to bed when you take Modafinil can help. Try supplements such as Melatonin and Organic Tart cherry juice for the best results. These will ensure you are rested and get enough sleep after taking Nootropics. 

 

Use hair loss supplements-

Users have reported using certain hair supplements to combat Modafinil hair loss. Test subjects from a study by the website Modafinil report the following combination can slow down androgenic alopecia from Modafinil.

  • Dissolvable Extra Strength Biotin

  • Rogaine Foam

These will not completely stop your hair fall but will help to slow down the process. 

Our final take on Modafinil Hair Loss 

The diligent study shows that Modafinil-induced hair loss is a rare phenomenon that occurs in a small percentage of users. So far, no scientific evidence has established a direct connection between the two. 

Two important topics that keep getting the limelight in all the discussions on the subject are-

  • The connection between dopamine overload and hair loss

  • An overwhelming number of Modafinil users are males in their 30s with highly stressed careers and more susceptible to hair loss. 

So, what can we conclude from these?

“Modafinil hair loss” is improbable for 99% of people taking it. It is often more common in men with balding issues. 

Modafinil-and-male-pattern-baldness

A brief outline that can be drawn from the user reviews on the subject is that most cases with people experiencing Modafinil hair loss have underlying health issues that can critically contribute to alopecia. It also exhibits the following factors that may contribute to the condition.

  • Modafinil use can cause histamine imbalance in the body, causing hair loss in users. 

correlation-between-Modafinil-hair-loss-and-histamine

  • Numerous people taking Modafinil dosage have hyperthyroidism, which also potentially causes hair loss in people. However, there are no scientific reports on the effect of Modafinil on the thyroid. 

Following the recommendations and dosing tips will help you control Modafinil hair loss, if there is any. However, it is essential to consult a doctor to ensure your hair fall is not from other underlying health concerns. 


FAQ's

Excessive use of any medication can result in hair fall. However, the prominent drugs thought to cause hair loss are Antidepressants, Cholesterol-lowering drugs, Birth control pills, Acne medications containing vitamin A, Anti-clotting drugs, Adderall, etc.

The side effects of Modafinil include Nausea, Dizziness, Vomiting, Thirst, Frequent urination, Tarry stool, Blurry vision, Drowsiness, Agitation, Palpitation, etc.

Modafinil may increase the level of histamine in the body, which may play a key role in hair loss. But there are no definitive scientific evidence and studies to evaluate the potency of Modafinil hair loss in people.

Drug-induced hair loss can be reversed by discontinuing the treatment. The severity of alopecia depends on the drug and predisposition in the individual. People can take Rogaine or Minoxidil to see hair growth in 3 to 6 months of usage.

Armodafinil is enantiopure of eugeroic Modafinil while making it possible for people to experience hair loss from Armodafinil dosage.

Long-term use of Modafinil may cause dependency and addiction. The prolonged sleepiness induces stress responses and impairs the immune response. Users reviews indicate Long-term use of Modafinil can cause hair loss in people.

Sudden hair loss may stem from several factors. It can be due to hormonal changes, aging, medical condition, or even hereditarily. Other possible causes of hair fall can be poor diet and stress. Everyone experiences hair loss; however, it is more common in men. In general, most people lose 50 to 100 hairs per day.

Nuvigil is the brand name of Armodafinil which is an enantiopure of Modafinil. Thus, there is a subtle risk of facing Nuvigil hair loss from long-term use of the Nootropic.


References-

  1. Can I use modafinil and finasteride at the same time? realself. 

  2. Modafinil Related Alopecia, druginformer

  3. The Link Between Stress and Hair Loss, verywellmind.

  4. Can Modafinil cause hair loss or hair thinning? Healthtap. 

  5. Modafinil and Hair loss - a phase IV clinical study of FDA data, ehealthme. 

  6. A study for a 34-year-old woman who takes Modafinil, ehealthme.