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Modafinil Headaches- Cause And Treatment (Complete Guide)

Modafinil Headaches- Cause And Treatment (Complete Guide)


Modafinil headache is a predominant side effect and occurs in almost 34% of users. It may be dose-dependent or arise from several factors, such as dehydration and overstimulation. The chances of experiencing a Modafinil headache can be reduced with preventive measures. 



You have taken Modafinil in the middle of a hectic day, and after a few hours, you start experiencing aches behind your eyes and underneath your neck. If this has happened to you, then you are not alone. Modafinil headache is one of the most common side effects reported by users. But it doesn't need to be!!

Modafinil headaches can be treated to either ward off the pain or eliminate the sign of the headache. This comprehensive blog emphasizes acknowledging the causes and treatment options for Modafinil headaches. 


Modafinil Headache- Causes



Modafinil is identified to cause “Tension-type headaches.” It is a type of headache that causes tightness around the forehead causing mild to moderate pain in people. 

The signs to determine Modafinil headache [1]-

  • There should be no sign of nausea associated with your headache.

  • The feeling of tightness from the forehead may migrate to your neck.

  • Your headache is persistent and dull.

  • A sense of pressure around the eye.

  • The pain remains constant and does not go away with head messages or naps. 

So, what causes Modafinil headaches?



Information at a Glance-

  • Modafinil headaches do not arise for the first few hours of administration. 

  • After 2 to 3 hours after ingestion (at its peak), Modafinil has the maximum effects, including headaches. 

  • Modafinil headaches may last as long as their effects wear off, around 10 to 12 hours from the administration time.  



The FDA reports the following causes for patients who may experience headaches after taking Modafinil 200mg. 

Dose-Dependent Adverse Effect-

Clinical trials reported by FDA showed Modafinil headaches are dose-dependent [2]. Improper dosing such as administering Modafinil by snorting, breaking, or crushing can cause rapid release of the compound causing headache. 


The best way to fix dosage-dependent headaches is by taking the dose recommended by your physician. 


Modafinil is reported to cause dehydration by enhancing the user’s focus on the task, making them forget to stay hydrated. Another cause of Modafinil dehydration is the primary process of elimination through the kidney, which is done through frequent urination. And dehydration is one of the most common causes of headaches in general. 


  • Stay hydrated by drinking more fluid while under Modafinil 200 mg treatment. Anyone on Modafinil 200 mg should take about 3 liters of water daily. 

  • Adding a pinch of salt to your water will help in water retention in your body. 

  • Try to replenish your electrolytes. 


Modafinil 200mg works by functioning on the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) to stimulate the brain. This section of the nervous system is essential to regulate our flight response or is activated when we are in danger. Therefore, our body is not designed to have an activated SNS for too long, as it usually lasts 30 minutes to 1 or 2 hours [3]. Modafinil activates the SNS for about 22 hours which may result in headaches. 

Clinical studies indicate that migraine is associated with SNS disorder; thus, overdosing on Modafinil can also elevate the risk of experiencing migraine [4]. 


  • Try breathing techniques that will assist in keeping you calm and relaxed, further avoiding overstimulation. Breathing techniques help in slowing down the SNS. 

  • When you take Modafinil dosage, ensure that you take periodic breaks and do not work constantly. 

Depletion of Magnesium-

Modafinil causes brain stimulation that can deplete nutrients such as Magnieusm, which may develop headaches. The depletion of the mineral is further compounded by the appetite-suppressing effect of Modafinil, which prevents the repletion of magnesium in the body. 

Magnesium deficiency headache is usually accompanied by other signs, including palpitation, insomnia, muscle tension, anxiety, and fatigue. 


  • Taking magnesium supplements

  • Consumption of food rich in magnesium, such as nuts and dark green leafy vegetables. 

Muscle Tension-

Headaches related to muscle tension arising from Modafinil intake are prevalent. It arises from magnesium deficiency and dehydration caused by the Nootropic. 

Headaches associated with Modafinil may also occur from over-activation of the nerves (since it works on the CNS) controlling the muscle. The condition may worsen by prolonged sitting, bad posture, and appetite.  


  • Stretch if you are at work.

  • While working on your laptop or desktop, sit upright and maintain your posture. 


Modalert and Provigil Headache- Is There A Connection?

Provigil and Modalert are the brand version of Modafinil, showcasing a similar mechanism of action and efficacy. Thus, the chances of Modalert and Provigil headaches are high. In a clinical trial reported by the FDA, 34% of the volunteers suffered from headaches. It is also one of the most prevailing factors for treatment discontinuation [2]. Users with a history of abuse, kidney, and renal disorder and above the age of 65 should not buy Modalert or Provigil without consulting a physician. Such p[opular are more vulnerable to experiencing headaches. 


Modafinil Headaches- Treatment Options 

Along with lifestyle changes, a few more effective measures may help resolve the issue of Modafinil headaches. 





Tension headache is often due to inadequate sleep [5]. Since, Modafinil stimulates the brain to promote wakefulness and alertness, sleeping on Modafinil is essential. To avoid insomnia, take the dosage in the morning and avoid taking it later in the day. 

Correct dosage-

The standard dose of Modafinil is 200mg. In the hope of getting better results, most beginners take higher doses of the Nootropic. It may result in Modafinil overdosing, often characterized by headaches [6]. 

It can be prevented by avoiding higher Modafinil doses without consulting a doctor or splitting your doses into halves. 

Do not mix Modafinil doses with other medications or stimulants-

The intake of Modafinil in conjugation with stimulants such as caffeine can result in headaches [7]. So, you can try to avoid administering other stimulants with Modafinil to see if it helps. 

Anxiety medication-

Anxiety is a notable side effect of Modafinil. Suffering from anxiety can often lead to headaches worsening Modafinil headache [8]. Thus, anxiolytic supplements (anti-anxiety medicine) can help manage Modafinil headaches. 

You can also eliminate your Modafinil headache related to stress by taking melatonin before bed, consuming an L-Theanine supplement after meals, and rubbing Magnesium Oil on your body. 


Modafinil And Headache- User Verdicts And Testimonials 

The Modafinil headache Reddit reviews are anecdotal and primarily based on user experiences. 




Choline Supplement is an anecdotal recommendation for treating Modafinil headaches. The Modafinil headache Reddit reviews suggest using choline to improve headaches in people. 


Since we have meticulously discussed the treatment options for Modafinil headache, so we wanted to provide an explanation for using choline. 

Clinical evidence suggests the association of cluster headaches with lower levels of choline [9]. One can try taking Modafinil concurrently with Choline and Alpha-Glycerol Phospho Choline (Alpha GPC). 


Modafinil And Headache- Our Final Thoughts 

Modafinil headache is one of the common adverse effects of the Nootropic, affecting 34% of the people taking it. Many people experience severe headaches that often lead to discontinuation of the medication or elimination of the benefits of the Nootropic to the point where the person is unable to work. 

Treating Modafinil headaches may be difficult, but it is preventable.

 Employing the correct preventive measures and treatment options will help reduce the chances of headaches. The first step would be to identify the cause of your headache, and then making certain lifestyle modifications is all one needs to keep the condition at bay.

A detailed overview of all the other notable Modafinil side effects is mentioned in a separate blog. 



Yes, with proper treatment, getting relief from Modafinil headaches is possible.

No, using Modafinil 200 mg is ineffective in helping with migraine. It can improve fatigue and excessive sleepiness in users.

Some effective ways to deal with Modafinil headaches include staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, avoiding mixing stimulants, and overdosing on Modafinil. Certain lifestyle changes such as exercising, relaxing, and taking certain supplements can also prevent Modafinil headaches.

Modafinil headaches may arise from numerous factors, such as dehydration, overdosing, overstimulation, muscle tension, and depletion of minerals such as magnesium.

Modafinil acts on the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) to cause it to stay active for a long time resulting in migraine.

No, the use of Modafinil does not help with headaches.


  1. Migraines and More: Four Types of Headaches, Relinque.

  2. Highlights of prescribing information, FDA.

  3. FACT SHEET: Stimulants, psychrights.

  4. Migraine: a chronic sympathetic nervous system disorder, PubMed. 

  5. Sleep deprivation headache, PubMed.

  6. Overdose of drugs for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: clinical presentation, mechanisms of toxicity, and management, PubMed. 

  7. Caffeine Withdrawal Headache Explained: Your Brain On - And Off - Caffeine, ScienceDaily. 

  8. Anxiety and depression in probable migraine: A population-based study, PubMed. 

  9. Erythrocyte choline concentrations and cluster headache, PubMed.