Neurology

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Modafinil’s effects on dopamine

KEY POINT

Modafinil (Provigil—Cephalon) is increasingly used off label for cognitive and psychiatric disorders and diverted for nonmedical uses. A small pilot study showed that modafinil at therapeutic doses of 200 mg or 400 mg acutely blocked dopamine transporters and increased dopamine levels in the brain, effects which can potentially increase the abuse potential of this agent in vulnerable persons.

SOURCES

Volkow ND et al. Effects of modafinil on dopamine and dopamine transporters in the male human brain. JAMA. 2009;301:1148–54.