Modafinil and Blood Pressure | Should You Be Concerned?

Modafinil, or Provigil is a drug used for the treatment of narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder. It works by increasing levels of dopamine in order to improve wakefulness and alertness. However, some people use it recreationally as an alternative to traditional stimulants like Adderall to increase focus and productivity during the day,.

Modafinil and Blood Pressure | Should You Be Concerned?

Modafinil and Blood Pressure | Should You Be Concerned?

Many users of nootropics wonder whether “Modafinil blood pressure” is a serious concern.

In other words, they want to know whether there’s a link between High Blood Pressure and Modafinil.

Even if a smart drug user is young and healthy, they don’t want to cope with unpleasant side effects like hypertension. If they take Modafinil and develop high blood pressure as a result, this adverse effect may be enough to convince them to stop using it.

This is why we’ve decided to write this piece:

To demonstrate all you need to know about Modafinil and blood pressure, including the findings of several research.

We’ll also check into any possible interactions between blood pressure drugs and Modafinil, and let you know if there are any Modafinil interactions with the meds you’re already taking.


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What exactly is Modafinil?

Let’s speak about why this prescription medicine is so popular among young people before we get into what the research says about Modafinil and blood pressure.

Modafinil is classified as a “central nervous system” stimulant, although its mechanism of action is so different from that of amphetamines that it has no effect on the body.

Modafinil was approved by the FDA in 1998 under the trade name “Provigil” as a therapy for narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder in 2003, and obstructive sleep apnea in 2004 [1] due to its ability to cure excessive daytime drowsiness.

The improved alertness and decreased weariness seen in narcolepsy patients was one of the reasons why Provigil was viewed as a revolutionary treatment in sleep therapy. The normal stimulant side effects of misuse and reliance were noticeably missing.

Provigil’s wakefulness-promoting characteristics and capacity to increase cognition in healthy persons who were not sleep-deprived were found by several nootropic users.

CEOs, Wall Street executives, grad students, and others started using the smart pill to boost their mental performance. Modafinil had considerable cognitive improvements for these people, such as [2]:

  • Enhanced concentration
  • Long-term durability (10-12 hours)
  • Memory and retention have improved.
  • A perception of increased motivation

Modafinil’s capacity to deliver “superhuman energy” was rapidly recognized by anybody looking to increase their mental performance.

Many individuals from all areas of life are using smart medications like Modafinil to help them earn more money, improve their grades, or just operate at a higher mental capacity.



The Basics of Modafinil and Blood Pressure

So, what exactly is blood pressure, and what factors might cause it to rise or fall?

Blood pressure is the force that causes blood to move through your circulatory system, providing oxygen, nutrition, antibodies, and harmful waste products while also removing them from your body [3].

The blood that enters your heart is forced out every time it beats (contracts). Blood can flow through your arteries and reach every region of your body due of the DIFFERENCE in pressure.

The heart has the greatest blood pressure, whereas the arteries keep the pressure constant. The arteries themselves may constrict or dilate, causing blood pressure to rise or fall (respectively).

Blood Pressure UK, a UK organisation committed to treating blood pressure concerns, describes how blood pressure is measured and represented in the following way [4]:

“Blood pressure is expressed as two numbers and is measured in’millimetres of mercury’ (mmHg). Your blood pressure is ‘120 over 80’ [normal levels] if your result is 120/80mmHg.

Your systolic blood pressure is the first (or top) number. When your heart beats [heart muscles are strained], your blood pressure reaches its greatest point.

Your diastolic blood pressure is the second (or bottom) number. As your heart relaxes between beats [heart muscles relax], your blood pressure drops to this level.”

When blood pressure is too high or too low These conditions are known as “hypertension” (>130/80 mmHg) and “hypotension” (<90/60 mmHg) [5]:

“Too much blood is pushed into your arteries,” according to hypertension, which may lead to life-threatening diseases including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol. Chest discomfort, trouble breathing, and an irregular pulse are all symptoms.”

“…blood is not flowing adequately to your brain, arteries, and organs.” Unless blood pressure decreases rapidly and the brain is deprived of sufficient blood flow, chronic low blood pressure without symptoms is usually never reason for alarm… Dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting are common symptoms.”

This is when Modafinil comes into play: The following signs and symptoms may be found in any authoritative list of Modafinil adverse effects [6]:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Breathing problems
  • Heart beating quickly
  • Excitement or agitation

While Modafinil is not officially a “stimulant,” it is considered “stimulant-like,” which is enough to cause worry among cardiologists treating heart patients [7]:

“Although the cardiovascular effect of stimulant use in healthy populations is low, with slight increases in HR and BP, there is still worry about usage in individuals with prior cardiovascular disorders.”

In individuals with reduced cardiovascular function, adrenergic stimulation produced by stimulants and stimulant-like medications may have a greater influence on autonomic control.”

In summary, there is no mention of modafinil and blood pressure in the context of hypotension. The major cause for concern is when a user’s “Modafinil blood pressure” (blood pressure after taking Modafinil) rises to dangerously high levels.


High Blood Pressure and Modafinil

So what does the science have to say about High Blood Pressure and Modafinil? Does Modafinil’s theoretical effects match with what is seen in clinical studies?

Modafinil was declared safe to use in individuals with controlled hypertension in a 2004 evaluation of seven placebo-controlled trials investigating the drug’s on-label usage [8]:

“In patients with excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy, [obstructive sleep apnea/hypopnea syndrome], or [shift work sleep disorder], including in patients with controlled hypertension or elevated [blood pressure], modafinil therapy was not associated with clinically relevant changes in [blood pressure] or [heart rate].”

Another study published in 2012 confirmed similar findings, stating that Modafinil-induced elevations in blood pressure were normal and mild when compared to typical stimulants [9]:

“…clinical investigations have revealed slight but persistent increases in mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as average pulse rate, in individuals using armodafinil… As a result, greater blood pressure monitoring may be necessary in individuals taking these medications.”

“The changes in heart rate and blood pressure were minor; nonetheless, adrenergic reuptake blockers are widely recognized for modestly increasing blood pressure and heart rate.” These findings show that modafinil may not enhance adrenergic signaling in humans at standard therapeutic dosages.”

But this doesn’t necessarily mean a connection between High Blood Pressure and Modafinil is non-existent.

Modafinil does not seem to influence blood pressure considerably in sleep apnea sufferers until they are under mental and physical stress. In other words, no significant increases in blood pressure are noticed if the patients do not engage in physical exercise or any activity that requires great mental attention [10].

Modafinil substantially elevated blood pressure in a 2005 clinical research including 12 healthy adults using 400 mg of Modafinil per day [11]:

“Modafinil increased resting heart rate (9.2+/-2.0 bpm; mean [+/-SE]; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.7 to 13.6; P=0.001), resting systolic blood pressure (7.3+/-3.2 mm Hg; 95% CI, 0.2 to 14.4; P=0.044), and resting diastolic blood pressure (5.3+/-1.7 mm Hg; 95% CI, 1.4 to 9.1 mm Hg; P<0.012)”

“…This suggests that modafinil should be used with care in people with cardiovascular illness or those who engage in severe physical activity.” In view of these findings, close monitoring of modafinil users for potential cardiovascular problems becomes sensible.”

It’s worth noting, though, that the average Modafinil user takes 200 mg or less per day, 1-3 times per week.

Going over and beyond this dose suggestion (+400 mg) — as well as utilizing other blood pressure-raising medicines — has been linked to undesirable cardiovascular events such tachycardia, hypertension, and tremors [12, 13, 14].

We only found one research that showed Modafinil might reduce blood pressure by acting as a vasodilator (i.e. relaxing blood vessels) [15].

To summarize the scientific findings:

High Blood Pressure and Modafinil do have a connection, but only in people who are overdosing Modafinil, using Modafinil with other drugs that increase blood pressure, or have existing heart problems [16].


Modafinil and Blood Pressure Pills

Let’s examine what happens when Modafinil and Blood Pressure Pills are taken together. [17] reports:

“Medications for high blood pressure (e.g., beta blockers such as atenolol/metoprolol, clonidine, guanabenz, methyldopa, prazosin), “blood thinners” (e.g., warfarin)” are some of the items that may interact with this medicine.

“By influencing specific liver enzymes [such as propanolol, an anti-hypertensive medicine used to treat high blood pressure and irregular heart rate], modafinil might speed up or slow down the clearance of other drugs from your body.”

This is significant because when Modafinil is used with anti-hypertensive medications, it might cause “resistant hypertension” [18]:

“High blood pressure that does not respond well to rigorous medical therapy is known as resistant hypertension… Someone is taking three different blood pressure drugs at their maximum tolerable dosage, yet their blood pressure is still higher than the target.”

An interaction between Modafinil and blood pressure medicines clearly occurs, whether it’s by reducing the quantities of these drugs in your body or just changing how effective they may be.

The same may be stated with blood thinners like Clopidrogel, which prevents platelets from sticking together and causing blood clots [19]:

“…modafinil may reduce the efficacy of clopidogrel.” This might make a person more likely to have a stroke or heart attack as a consequence of a blood clot.”

Modafinil, like other stimulants and some psychotropic drugs, may cause synergistic increases in blood pressure and heart rate [20].



Modafinil’s Common Side Effects

Headaches, nausea, dizziness, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and diarrhea are the most prevalent Modafinil adverse effects recorded in clinical practice and research investigations [21].

The Modafinil adverse effects linked to high blood pressure are serious, however they only happen once in a while. Nonetheless, the official product monograph advises doctors to keep a close eye on patients using Modafinil’s heart rate and blood pressure. [22].

When their patients are on Modafinil, doctors will look for several limitations [23]:

“In individuals who develop arrhythmia or moderate to severe hypertension, modafinil should be stopped and not reintroduced until the situation has been properly examined and managed.”

“If the diastolic blood pressure is 100 mmHg or above before therapy, modafinil should not be administered.”

High blood pressure is not a frequent adverse effect of Modafinil, to cut a long tale short. Modafinil use and the resulting blood pressure elevations are quite uncommon.


The Verdict on Modafinil and Blood Pressure

Any health enthusiasts who are concerned about “Modafinil blood pressure” should relax.

Assuming they aren’t combining Modafinil with other powerful stimulants or other blood pressure pills, they will not have to worry about High Blood Pressure and Modafinil.

After all, any stimulant may raise blood pressure, particularly if the person is predisposed to cardiovascular problems.

Modafinil and blood pressure shouldn’t be a major problem if you’re a healthy adult under the age of 45.

People with a history of hypertension or cardiac issues, on the other hand, should see a doctor before starting Modafinil.

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  1. Monographs on MODAFINIL. (accessed June 3, 2020).
  2. How many Provigil-addicted Silicon Valley startup CEOs are there?, retrieved 1 June 2020.
  3. What is the definition of normal blood pressure?, retrieved 1 June 2020
  4. What is the definition of blood pressure? (accessed June 2, 2020).
  5. Blood Pressure’s Highs and Lows: Hypertension vs. Hypotension, retrieved 1 June 2020.
  6. Side Effects of Modafinil (accessed June 3, 2020).
  7. The Effects of Stimulant Medication on Patients with Cardiovascular and Arrhythmia. (accessed June 4, 2020).
  8. J. Sackner-Bernstein, G. Neibler, and C. Q. Earl. Modafinil’s Cardiovascular Profile: Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Effects CHEST, 126(4 Suppl):729S, 2004. doi:10.1378/chest.126.4 MeetingAbstracts.729S
  9. Chapter 6 – Stimulant Pharmacology. Therapy in Sleep Medicine. 2012:85-98. Sakai N, Nishino S. doi:10.1016/B978-1-4377-1703-7.10006-4
  10. Does short-term therapy with modafinil influence blood pressure in individuals with obstructive sleep apnea?, Heitmann J, Cassel W, Grote L, et al. 65(3):328-335 in Clin Pharmacol Ther. doi:10.1016/S0009-9236(99)70112-8

  11. Modafinil triggers sympathomedullary activity, according to Taneja I, Diedrich A, Black BK, Byrne DW, Paranjape SY, and Robertson D. Hypertension, 45(4):612-618, 2005. doi:10.1161/01.HYP.0000158267.66763.63

  12. CJ Kinslow, SD Shapiro, MF Grunebaum, EC Miller. Acute hypertensive crisis and severe headache after taking armodafinil and tranylcypromine together: a case report and literature review 2018;393:13. doi:10.1016/j.jns.2018.07.023

  13. Chapter 1: Central nervous system stimulants and appetite suppressants, Sequeira RP. Annual of Drug Side Effects. 2011;33:1-24. doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-53741-6.00001-5.
  14. SD Carstairs, A Urquhart, J Hoffman, RF Clark, and FL Cantrell. A review of supratherapeutic modafinil exposures in the past. 2010;6(3):307–310 in J Med Toxicol. doi:10.1007/s13181-010-0017-6

  15. H Lee, KC Kim, MS Cho, SH Suh, YM Hong Monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension in rats is improved by modafinil. 2016;80(1):119127. doi:10.1038/pr.2016.38

  16. “Does Short-Term Treatment with Modafinil Affect Blood Pressure in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea?,” Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics (US National Library of Medicine), accessed March 24, 2021, Heitmann J, Cassel W, Grote L, Bickel U, Hartlaub U, Penzel T, Peter JH.
  17. Oral Modafinil, Provigil (accessed June 2, 2020).
  18. Hypertension that persists. (accessed June 4, 2020).
  19. Modafinil: Drug Interactions & Side Effects. Retrieved June 3, 2020.
  20. Modafinil. (accessed June 1, 2020).
  21. Side Effects of Provigil and Nuvigil (accessed June 3, 2020).
  22. Modafinil is a stimulant (By mouth). (accessed June 2, 2020).
  23. Modafinil – A stimulant used to treat narcolepsy and cataplexy. (accessed June 3, 2020).



Modafinil is a drug that has been used to treat narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, and obstructive sleep apnea. It is also sometimes used as a cognitive enhancer. In the United States, it is not approved for treating hypertension. However, some people have reported that modafinil can lower their blood pressure in certain cases. Reference: is modafinil bad for your heart.

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