Drug Tests - Will Modafinil/Provigil show up?

Will Modafinil show up on a drug test? If you have to take a pre-employment drug screening, should you worry if you’ve taken Provigil?

For most drugs tests taken by most people, the answer is “no”. Sure, Provigil/Modvigil/Modalert/Artvigil can be detected in your blood and urine, but a typical employment drug test does not include a screening for modafinil. This medicine is typically not something the drug tests are trying to pick up. The most common drugs tests look for are Amphetamines (a class of compounds), THC (active ingredient in marijuana), cocaine, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP). Also, most tests look for barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methaqualone (Quaaludes), methadone, and propoxyphene (Darvon pain reliever).

Even if the test does include a screening for Modafinil, the medicine is not illegal, so in the large majority of cases, there will be no negative consequences. This is a prescription drug, not an illegal one.

You might wonder that after taking Modafinil you will test false-positive for another drug, such as an amphetamine. This is unlikely. False positives show up when a substance is chemically similar to the screened substance. Modafinil and amphetamines are chemically dissimilar. They are not likely to act the same in any chemical reaction or to show up on a mass spectroscopy or liquid chromatographic analysis.

Some users may worry about how long will Modafinil stay in your system and if that will affect their drug test. Modafinil has a fairly short half life in the body, but the drug tests can be calibrated to detect Provigil for up to several days after you take it.

The question is: does it matter? For most people, the answer is no.

Now, if you are an athlete and taking a drug test related to competition, then you might have a problem. Modafinil is now banned by many governing bodies. Famously, sprinter Kelli White had her gold medal from the World Championships revoked because she tested positive for modafinil.

Sprinters Calvin Harrison, Chryste Gaines, Chris Phillips, Eric Thomas, and Sandra Glover all had their places at the 2003 US Track and Field championships revoked when they tested positive for modafinil. Also, some strength athletes have got into hot water. Kevin Toth (shot put) and John McEwen (hammerthrow) were both stripped of their 2003 national championships after testing positive for modafinil.

The 2004 Olympics Games in Athens were the first Olympics for which modafinil was prohibited, and the drug was put on the list in August 2004, less than two weeks before the games started.