Alcohol, alcoholism, and modafinil

The drug manufacturers warn against using modafinil with alcohol, and drug-drug interactions are always a concern. There is inadequate information, and the manufacturer has to cover its rear end, so authorities recommend staying off alcohol when you are on modafinil. Alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns, too, so mixing the two together probably wouldn’t be a pleasant effect anyway.

There is some interest in modafinil as a therapy for helping people to quit drinking. The federal government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse is sponsoring a study to investigate the viability of using modafinil (the ingredient in Provigil) in combination with naltrexone to treat addiction. Other studies are investigating modafinil for treatment of cocaine addition. Many cocaine users also have alcohol dependencies. Naltrexone is used in treatment of alcoholism. This study plans to look at the use of both drugs to fight the dual addictions to cocaine and alcohol.

A Dutch study found modafinil helped improve response times of drunk people. Another study seems to support the idea that modafnil has potential for treating alcohol dependence.

A previous study showed “chronic cocaine users exhibit decreased sleep, impaired vigilance and sleep-dependent procedural learning, and spectral activity suggestive of chronic insomnia.”

A National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism pilot study published in 2009 found modafinil increases dopamine levels in the nucleas accumbens are of the brain, suggesting it could become an addictive drug.