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Modafinil For Weight Loss- Does It Cause Appetite Suppression?

Modafinil For Weight Loss- Does It Cause Appetite Suppression?


Modafinil weight loss is caused due to its ability to suppress appetite. The intake of Modafinil 200 or 400 mg can cause a decrease in calorie intake by 18% to 38%. 



Wondering if Modafinil weight loss is a real thing? We have you covered. 
Modafinil is a Nootropic available in popular brand names such as Modalert and Provigil. The FDA approves it for treating excessive daytime sleepiness associated with Narcolepsy. 
There are reports on using Modafinil for weight loss, but is it meant for weight loss? This blog investigates Modafinil appetite suppression ability and scientific answers to does Modafinil cause weight loss. 


Modafinil For Weight Loss | An Overview

Before we get into the nitty gritty of Modafinil weight loss, let us understand the science behind how a body loses body fat. 

The fundamental reason for weight loss is lowering your calorie consumption. Thus, you begin to lose weight when your calorie consumption is lower than how fat you burn every day. 

In simple words,



The Cleveland Clinic described the pathway of fat loss in a nutshell [1]. 

"The body disposes of the fat through a series of metabolic activities.

It eliminates it as water through your skin when you sweat or as urine by your kidney. It may be removed as carbon dioxide through your lungs. 

The breakdown of the body fat also generates heat that helps to maintain the body temperature of the person."

The other factors that play a key role in weight management are exercise and the quantity and quality of food. 

Now let's address the million-dollar question you have been keenly waiting for, Does Modafinil cause weight loss? 

Modafinil is a brain stimulant and is not officially approved by the FDA for weight loss. According to the product monograph by the FDA [2], 

"No clinically significant differences in body weight are reported in patients treated with Provigil (Modafinil) compared to placebo."

However, reports suggest weight loss from Modafinil is often experienced by most users. The factors that contribute to Modafinil weight loss are listed below.

Appetite suppression

The possible reason for Modafinil appetite suppression may be due to its ability to increase the production of numerous neurotransmitters [3]. 

  • Dopamine- Modafinil increases the secretion of Dopamine, which leads to heightened motivation, and helps people stick to their exercise and diet plans.
  • Histamine and Orexin- An increase in both these neurotransmitters results in appetite suppression. 

Modafinil also affects the central nervous system; to be more precise, it acts on the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). 

The SNS is responsible for boosting the person's energy and slowing down the essential organ system to prevent any damage. It may involve the immune system as well as the digestive system. Thus, this results in slowing the digestive system, thus suppressing the appetite. 

Boosts Motivation

Another explanation that supports why and how does Modafinil cause weight loss is due to its enhanced focus and concentration. Modafinil results in 8 to 12 hours of undivided attention and concentration that can have two outcomes in association with one's dietary intake and calorie burn. 

  1. The individual gets so engrossed in the task that they often forget to munch on snacks while working. 

  2. The Nootropics cause an increase in energy level; thus, such users are more likely to get a large amount of work done throughout the day. This helps burn more calories than usual, thus contributing to Modafinil weight loss. 

 Modafinil Increases Metabolism

Metabolism is responsible for the breakdown of food, which helps flow energy. The extra energy is stored as fat when you overeat and do not do enough physical activity. Thus, the use of Modafinil helps in increasing the level of energy, thus allowing proper workouts to avoid any additional storage of energy as body fat. 


Is Modafinil Weight Loss A Good Idea?


Is Modafinil Weight Loss A Good Idea?


Modafinil is NOT a magic fat-burning pill, nor is it approved for weight loss by the FDA. 

While taking Modafinil for weight loss, it is important to remember that it is effective in assisting in making lifestyle changes that help in weight loss- 

  • Higher energy levels enable more physical activity for weight loss.
  • Enhanced focus and concentration to adhere to the diet plan.
  • Uninterrupted sleep.
  • Improves Mood, as research indicates that mental health issues and depression can cause weight gain [4]. 

Taking Modafinil for weight loss is not a good and safe idea in the following condition. 

  • If you are a lactating mother.
  • People with kidney, liver, and heart disorders.
  • Not recommended for people above 65 years and below 18 years. 


Modafinil Appetite Suppression- Clinical Study 

Modafinil's appetite suppression ability is supported by a study stating that loss of appetite and weight loss is one of the notable adverse effects of Modafinil [5]. 

A study designed to evaluate the effects of Modafinil on weight gain shows that Modafinil treatment results in significant weight loss in patients [6]. The use of Modafinil as monotherapy for atypical depression found that it causes significant weight loss and treats the condition in 12 weeks [7]. 

An animal study also suggests appetite suppression and a visible decrease in food intake by laboratory animals and clinical trials. The study states [8]-

“Modafinil (200, 400 mg) dose decreased total caloric intake by ~18% and ~38%. The sense of “Hunger” was significantly decreased.” 

The graph below from the same study indicates the impact of Modafinil 200mg and 400mg on people's total calorie intake. 



Modafinil Appetite Suppression- Clinical Study


The graph is a visual representation indicating that the use of Modafinil significantly lowers people's food intake in shift work. It also lowers the rate of eating occasions.  

According to a randomized controlled trial that was published in 2016, 


“Modafinil was effective in the impulsivity in healthy individuals and therefore had a bigger effect on food addicts, who lack dopamine level... It can help people who crave food after being on a diet... Modafinil improves self-control that can help in managing obesity [9]."


The use of Modafinil can further help overcome weight gain associated with other medications prescribed for mental health issues: 

  • Modafinil use can cause weight loss when taken with Clozapine (a medication prescribed for schizophrenia) [10].
  • When co-administered with Olanzapine, It can prevent weight gain compared to the combination of Placebo and Olanzapine [11].
  • Weight gain is common in people with atypical depression. The use of Modafinil can cause significant weight loss along with improving the symptoms of depression [12]. 

Adding to the clinical studies supporting Modafinil weight loss is another scientific data based on Modafinil review in patients with schizophrenia. The study shows that the mean weight loss in people taking Modafinil was 0.84 kg [13]. 


Modalert and Provigil For Weight Loss- Is It As Effective As Modafinil?

Modafinil is available as popular brand names, Provigil and Modalert 200 mg. Similar to their generic name, Provigil and Modalert is effective in causing weight loss in people. Clinical studies suggest that the ability to reduce the appetite of Provigil or Modalert is equivalent to amphetamines. However, the manufacturer of Provigil, Cephalon, states that-

Provigil is not associated with significant weight loss [14]. The same study suggests that people on Provigil can lose up to 40 lbs within one year of the treatment. 


How To Use Modafinil For Weight Loss?


How To Use Modafinil For Weight Loss?


It is not advisable to use Modafinil just to lose weight. It is a prescription drug for Excessive daytime sleepiness and helps improve your cognitive abilities. While using the Nootropic, it is essential to ensure the following administration protocols. 

  • It is an oral medication and should be taken by mouth.
  • Breaking, crushing, and snorting Modafinil is not advised.
  • Using the medication with alcoholic beverages can affect its effectiveness and increase the risk of drowsiness and dizziness. 
  • Coadministration of the Nootropic with other medications can cause drug interaction, thus elevating the risk of experiencing side effects. 

For better results, incorporate other lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Set an achievable goal for your weight loss journey. As often, people set high goals and lose interest when they are not able to meet these goals. 
  • Plan your meals well. Since taking Modafinil can cause loss of appetite thus, it is very important to eat well and healthily. A loss of appetite with unhealthy food can cause weakness. 
  • Modafinil workout is often beneficial for people as it helps boost their energy level, thus further aiding in weight loss.


Modafinil Weight Gain- Is It An Possibility?

As Modafinil weight loss is not an approved medical use, there are disagreements on its ability to help you shred your extra kilos. One study evaluating the use of Modafinil in narcoleptic patients observe an increase in the body mass index (BMI) regardless of the dose taken [15]. 

Another study demonstrated that in patients taking antipsychotic medications along with Modafinil, the baseline weight and the weight after 12 weeks of treatment were almost the same [16]. 

However, it is essential to note that not many studies support weight gain from Modafinil, thus indicating its higher potency in helping people lose weight. 


Does Modafinil Cause Weight Loss- User View

Now that we know the scientific causes of Modafinil weight loss, let us look at user views on the correlation between Modafinil and weight loss. 

Depending on the person, It can have a mild appetite suppression side effect. However, It's not a weight-loss drug [17]. 


Modafinil is not a diet miracle pill. It does help, but it is not a replacement for exercise and diet. It just makes it much easier [17]. 


I've lost 20 pounds on Modafinil in 2 months [17].


Many people report feeling less hungry when they take Modafinil. It reduces hunger, and its effect is similar to amphetamine. When you feel less hungry, it is more likely that you'll consume less food, thus leading to weight loss [18].


Modafinil Vs Phentermine For Weight Loss

Phentermine is a prescription appetite suppressant medication that aids in weight loss. The medication is prescribed to people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. Studies indicate that Phentermine causes a weight loss of 3% after 3 months and 5 to 7% after use for 6 months [19]. 

  • Both Phentermine and Modafinil function by acting as an appetite suppressants. 
  • Even though Phentermine is primarily used for weight loss, Modafinil which is approved for treating Excessive Daytime sleepiness, is a better and safer choice. 

A phase IV trial used to evaluate the side effects and effectiveness of Modafinil and Phentermine shows Modafinil to be a much safer option [20].  

Modafinil Vs Phentermine For Weight Loss

The drug effectiveness based on the study is listed below. 




Not at all: 2.56 %

Not at all: 2.58 %

Somewhat: 17.7 %

Somewhat: 19.26 %

Moderate: 33.65 %

Moderate: 36.64 %

High: 32.64 %

High: 29.51 %

Very high: 13.46 %

Very high: 12.01 %


Weight Loss | The Verdict

To summarize the correlation between Modafinil and weight loss, here are a few takeaways from the entire discussion.

  • Modafinil is NOT approved for weight loss.
  • It does not directly cause weight loss by increasing the metabolic activity of the person, nor does it have a unique pathway to target the body's fat specifically.
  • Modafinil weight loss is aided by appetite suppression, a side effect of the Nootropic. 

To explain Modafinil weight loss in simple terms, let's break it down for one last time. 

  • While taking Modafinil (Provigil or Modalert 200) dosage, do not think of it as a "Fat-Burner." It helps boost your motivation and stay focused on your lifestyle modification and diet plans. 
  • The Nootropic helps you avoid food cravings, thus helping you live a healthy lifestyle.
  • Modafinil appetite suppression is considered a side effect of the Nootropic caused due to the increase of secretion of a few neurotransmitters, thus resulting in weight loss. 


Yes, using Modafinil can suppress appetite, thus aiding in weight loss. 


Yes, Modafinil causes appetite suppression, thus causing weight loss, and is considered a side effect of the Nootropic. 


Similar to Modafinil, Provigil can also cause weight loss. 


Anorexia is an eating disorder that causes weight loss. Modafinil can have an anorexic effect, thus causing appetite suppression. 


Yes, the use of Modafinil is very effective in boosting a person's energy. 


A few clinical studies suggest Modafinil weight gain. 


There are no studies supporting an increase in appetite from Modafinil. 



  1. Where Does Body Fat Go When You Lose Weight, Cleveland clinic. 
  2. Provigil (modafinil) Tablets [C-IV], FDA. 
  3. How is it possible to lose weight with Modafinil, abouttimemagazine
  4. Does Depression Cause Weight Loss, or Weight Gain, madisonavetms. 
  5. A review of modafinil film-coated tablets for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents, Tandfonline. 
  6. Modafinil-associated weight loss in a clozapine-treated schizoaffective disorder patient, PubMed. 
  7. Modafinil for Atypical Depression- Effects of Open-label and Double-blind Discontinuation Treatment, lww. 
  8. Modafinil decreases food intake in humans subjected to simulated shift work, NCBI. 
  9. Drug for narcolepsy could help food addicts lose weight, ScienceDaily. 
  10. Modafinil-associated weight loss in a clozapine-treated schizoaffective disorder patient, PubMed.
  11. An exploration of the effect of modafinil on olanzapine-associated weight gain in normal human subjects, PubMed.
  12. Modafinil for atypical depression: effects of open-label and double-blind discontinuation treatment, PubMed.
  13. A review of modafinil and armodafinil as add-on therapy in antipsychotic treated patients with schizophrenia, sagepub. 
  14. Provigil (Modafinil) & Weight Loss: How It Works, mental health daily. 
  15. Decreased body mass index during treatment with sodium oxybate in narcolepsy type 1, wiley. 
  16. Study of effects of modafinil add-on therapy on excessive daytime drowsiness and  weight gain in patients on atypical antipsychotics, sagepub. 
  17. Expected Weight Loss, Reddit. 
  18. Does Modafinil help with weight loss, Quora. 
  19. Does Phentermine Work for Weight Loss, Healthline. 
  20. Modafinil vs. Phentermine: side effect and effectiveness comparison - a phase IV clinical study, ehealthme.