Updated: Aug 10, 2022
Modafinil is a medication that is typically used to treat narcolepsy and other sleep disorders.
However, the drug has also been shown to have cognitive-enhancing effects, and as a result, it has become increasingly popular among students and professionals who are looking for a way to boost their productivity.
Modafinil is now on the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned substance list, with many companies, sports authorities, and universities are now using drug testing to identify performance-enhancing drug use.
This has some Modafinil users worried that they will fail a drug test and lose everything they've worked for.
So the question remains: will Modafinil show up on drug tests? Unfortunately, the answer is not completely clear. We'll dig into this in more detail over the course of this article so be sure to read until the end!
Now lets get into it...
What is the benefit of using Modafinil anyway?
Modafinil is a powerful prescription drug that is prescribed by doctors to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. It is classified as a eugeroic drug, which is defined as a compound that promotes the neurological activity associated with wakefulness.
Modafinil is similar to caffeine in that it works on specific receptors on the brain that make us feel awake when we would otherwise feel sleepy. However, Modafinil is significantly more potent than caffeine and actually stimulates the brain.
In addition to its use for treating ADHD and narcolepsy, Modafinil is occasionally prescribed for other conditions like depression. Off-label use of Modafinil is much more variable, and this powerful drug has been known to be used as a cognitive enhancer by healthy individuals who are looking to improve their memory, focus, and concentration which makes it useful for individuals that are looking to perform at the peak - hence why it is becoming increasingly more popular among employees, athletes and university students who want an edge against everyone else.
What type of drug tests are being done?
One of the most common types of drug tests is the urine drug screen, which can detect common drugs like marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and amphetamines. Urine tests are generally accurate, but can be subject to false positives if the urine sample is contaminated.
Blood tests are more expensive and invasive than urine tests, but can provide a more precise measurement of drug levels in the body. Blood tests are often used to confirm the results of a positive urine test.
Finally, hair tests are the most expensive and invasive type of drug test, but can detect drug use over a longer period of time than other methods. Hair tests are often used to screen for employment or child custody situations.
In conclusion, there are a variety of drug tests available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The best type of drug test for any given situation will depend on the needs of the individual or organisation.
Are they looking for Modafinil in drug tests?
The short answer is "no," but there are some exceptions...
When corporations order drug testing for their employees, they usually include anywhere from 4-12 different drugs on the panel of tested samples (and it's extremely unlikely that Modafinil will ever make that list). The reason being is that Modafinil is a beneficial medication that can make employees more productive. It’s not harmful or addictive, so there's no reason to worry about it negatively affecting your productivity at work! If anything it would be beneficial for employees to be taking it.
On the other hand, Athletic commissions may test you specifically to see if any compound shows up during an examination with unknown origins or characteristics—a so called 'offending' substance!
It is much more likely and possible that the athletic commissions test for Modafinil, especially since Modafinil is now on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of prohibited substances and methods list.
High level athletic commissions will employ more specialised drug testing methods like gas chromatography, mass spectrometry and immunoassays. These types of tests are likely to identify compounds they aren’t specifically looking for - including Modafinil.
Highly trained experts in this field can often tell when something has been ingested because it shows up on their screen as an unknown compound or “altered test".
Outside of high level competitive sports, it is unlikely that Modafinil will be tested for or even picked up when the medical assessments is done.
Modafinil testing in Athletics
Modafinil is now explicitly mentioned on the list of banned substances by the NCAA whereas it wasn't in the past. The entire class of “stimulants” are banned in general, and Modafinil falls under this category.
Drug screening is highly subjective, meaning that if something is found, it will be up to the board members to decide what actions are to follow. If caught using a drug in one of these tests, the Commission can decide whether it wants to take action or not. This is done on a case-by-case basis.
In general, however, the use of Modafinil would likely lead to some sort of disciplinary action by the NCAA, so it would be better to err on the side of caution if you're an athlete that risks getting tested at all.
Is drug testing changing the face of professional gaming?
In recent years, professional video gaming (E-Sports) has seen a huge increase in popularity, with an estimated 427 million viewers worldwide. As the industry continues to grow, so too has the debate around the use of cognition-enhancing drugs like Adderall and Modafinil to boost performance in professional competitions.
Earlier in 2015, the Electronic Sports League (ESL) announced plans to start random drug testing their players. It’s likely that they’ll be using a range of drug testing methods, including urine and blood tests, to detect the use of banned substances.
While ESL is the first major gaming organisation to implement drug testing, it’s likely that others will follow suit. This could have a big impact on the use of Modafinil in professional gaming, as well as the wider E-Sports industry.
Modafinil testing in the workplace?
As the use of Modafinil becomes more widespread, it's important to understand how the drug is likely to be tested in the corporate and government workforce too.
Drug testing among these industries are unlikely to ever screen for Modafinil. It just isn’t an issue in these industries, and it isn’t a common addition to any of the reagent or immunoassay drug tests available.
Although the drug might come up on other tests like gas chromatography or mass spectronomy, this testing is far too expensive to be done on all employees, if any at all.
Whether or not this changes in the future, we can’t be sure, but at the moment it’s not likely Modafinil will cause anybody to fail their drug test at work.
Where to buy Modafinil
While Modafinil can be purchased from your local pharmacy with a valid prescription, it can also be purchased online easily enough without a prescription.
That being said, it isn't obvious to know where to purchase from and which vendor you can trust. This is why we've prepared some detailed vendor reviews to help you find a supplier that best suits your needs based on how much you're looking to spend and what country you live in.