Q. Is it advisable to take Modafinil to enhance cognitive performance?

Answered by Dr. Aida Quka and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.


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Hello doctor,

I have been diagnosed with chronic tension headache. Next, to the headache, I have observed a decline in my cognitive skills (learning, concentration). I can take care of the headache using meditation techniques, however, I am not able to deal with the decline, which is causing degradation of my private and work-related performance. Apparently, there is a medicine available that can enhance cognitive performance- Modafinil. I wanted to ask you for an opinion, how to take the medicine, what should I pay attention to (dosage, cycles).

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Is it advisable to take Modafinil to enhance cognitive performance?

Dr. Aida Quka


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I understand your concern and would explain that Modafinil is a drug used in other medical conditions, but I do not think that this drug is appropriate in your clinical condition. This drug is usually indicated in persons suffering from increased daily sleepiness or sleep apnea. I do not think that this is the case. You should know that chronic tension headache does not lead to cognitive decline, especially at your age. The cognitive decline in your case could be attributed to the lack of concentration due to accumulated psychological stress.

When you cannot concentrate, you cannot learn, and this makes you think that you suffer from a cognitive decline, which is not true. The good news is that this is quite a reversible situation, with the proper therapy. That is also the main cause underlying tension-type headache. Coming to this point, I would recommend starting SSRI (Fluoxetine, Paroxetine, Sertraline, etc.), which can help reduce the tension-type headache and also improve your concentration and your cognitive skills. Yoga can also help improve your situation.

The Probable causes:

Psychological stress.

Differential diagnosis:

Troubles with concentration.

Probable diagnosis:

Tension-type headache and troubles with concentration.

Treatment plan:


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