A Randomized, Double-Blind, Crossover Trial of Modafinil on Mood

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Abstract

Modafinil, a medication for the excessive sleepiness associated with narcolepsy, has been hypothesized to improve not just alertness but mood as well. The purpose of this study was to determine how treatment with modafinil affects mood in healthy volunteers. Normal healthy volunteers (n = 12, 10 men and 2 women; 30-44 years) underwent a 3-day, counterbalanced, randomized, crossover, inpatient trial of modafinil (400 mg daily) versus placebo with 4-day washout period between 2 treatments. Mood was assessed daily using both the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule and a general mood scale, which consisted of 10 bipolar adjective ratings based on a severity scale ranging from 1 to 10. Modafinil increased general mood and Negative Affect scales relative to placebo and had a significant effect on Positive Affect scales. These results suggest that modafinil may have general mood-elevating effects accompanied by increased negative affect (anxiety). The findings may have implications for clinical practice, in particular for the adjunctive use of modafinil in treatment-resistant depression.

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