Its mode of action isn't identical to that of Adderall (amphetamine) and Ritalin (methylphenidate) but then again neither is that of caffeine, but it is still a stimulant. Adderall and Ritalin increase extra-cellular concentrations of dopamine and norepinephrine. Modafinil has been shown in many studies to elevate dopamine and norepinephrine concentrations in certain regions of the brain. It may not accomplish this as directly as Ritalin or Adderall, but the effect is there. There are additional glutamate-enhancing and GABA-reducing effects to Modafinil as well, which is perhaps where the "Modafinil is not a stimulant" misconception comes from. Still, administering a dopamine antagonist diminishes some of Modafinil's effects, much in the same way it diminishes the effects of Adderall or Ritalin.
But even without delving into the pharmacology of Modafinil, how you can you possibly not call Modafinil a stimulant? It promotes wakefulness, increases concentration, and substitutes for Adderall and Ritalin in narcolepsy treatment. It is also a Schedule IV controlled substance (FYI, do not attempt to import a controlled substance, but Adrafanil is a Modafinil precursor and is not scheduled.) indicating there is even a risk of abuse.
From the prescribing information:
In addition to its wake-promoting effects and ability to increase locomotor activity in animals,
modafinil produces psychoactive and euphoric effects, alterations in mood, perception, thinking, and
feelings typical of other CNS stimulants in humans. Modafinil has reinforcing properties, as evidenced
by its self-administration in monkeys previously trained to self-administer cocaine. Modafinil was also
partially discriminated as stimulant-like.
And from the safety information label:
PROVIGIL is a Schedule IV drug. PROVIGIL produces psychoactive and euphoric effects, alterations in mood, perception, thinking and feelings typical of other CNS stimulants. Physicians should follow patients closely, especially those with a history of drug and/or stimulant abuse.
Modafinil feels very different from the legal speeds, crank, coke, or other heavy stimulants... not that I know that from experience or anything. Just from reading posts on HN and Slashdot and shit. And movies. And ex-girlfriends. And doing drugs. Oh wait.
So I don't sound like I'm in love with modafinil: I have seen a person react unfavorably on it, although I can't be certain it was the modafinil that caused the unfavorable reaction. I have not had any side effects I can tell. Besides the new hairs on the tip of my nose and severe tooth vibrations. [Just kidding, obv.]
It has its place, and it just helped me on a trip to China considerably.
Serious question, not trying to sound flippant.
IIRC, the exact mechanism for piracetam isn't fully understood either (something involving acetylcholine) - they decided to create the "nootropic" designation for it rather than classify it as a stimulant. The general consensus is that it's safe (no known LD-50, relatively mild side-effects) and makes orange juice taste horrible.
Modafinil is not a typical stimulant, but it provides stimulation, increases brain activity, increases self-reported measures of aggression, restlessness, and anxiety in double-blind testing, is a controlled substance with recognized abuse potential, and many of the stimulating effects are blocked by the same drugs that block the effects of stimulants.
Cephalon marketing is probably eager to get away and "stimulant" moniker, but this is an argument over semantics rather than pharmacology.
Modafinil is, by all measures and effects, a stimulant.
The Physician's Drug Reference (PDR) is the last word on this, legally. That is why I keep saying it is not a stimulant. It isn't until the PDR says it is, to any medical professional.
I have taken a lot of Provigil, and I understand why it has not been classified a stimulant. It does not have the physical effects of other stimulants.
With the education and intelligence level being so high here on HN, I'm surprised to see inaccurate information being posited so confidently. It is NOT medically correct, and I'm not sure what the value of the non-medically correct "definition" of stimulant you are giving is supposed to be.
The following is taken directly from the FDA's website for Modafinil ( http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2007/020... ). This information is also included in the product information sheet you receive with your prescription, and on the Provigil website. To say that Modafinil does not have the physical effects of other stimulants is not true. They are present to a lesser degree, but still exist.
In addition to its wake-promoting effects and ability to
increase locomotor activity in animals, modafinil produces
psychoactive and euphoric effects, alterations in mood,
perception, thinking, and feelings typical of other CNS
stimulants in humans. Modafinil has reinforcing properties,
as evidenced by its self-administration in monkeys previously
trained to self-administer cocaine. Modafinil was also
partially discriminated as stimulant-like.
Modafinil has been a help to me while stimulants have NOT been. I have a lot of experience with both, as I have talked about in various posts on this thread.
The difference between "stimulant" and "stimulant-like" is both small and vast. Think Uncanny Valley. "Human" and "human-like..."
Also, I am unsure what point you are trying to argue. I will give you stimulant-like, sure, although it does not make your heart race, a MAJOR PROBLEM with stimulants.
The FDA info you quote DOES NOT CALL MODAFINIL A STIMULANT!
I'm going to step out of this debate, as arguing semantics only detracts from the topic at hand at this point.