Drug Interactions, Kratom Guides

What Happens When I Mix Kratom and Modafinil?

It may be tempting to combine your modafinil with kratom — but there are some significant risks to be aware of first. 

Both substances are potent stimulants. Doubling down on multiple stims can lead to a serious risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, or seizure. 

Here’s everything you need to know about kratom and modafinil and why you should give this combination a hard pass. 

Last updated 5 months ago by Wade Paul

What Happens When I Mix Kratom and Modafinil?

Does Kratom Interact With Modafinil?

Yes, kratom and modafinil have a high chance of interacting. 

Due to the broad spectrum of effects that the kratom plant can produce, the psychoactive interaction between the two compounds can either stimulate the same effects (agonistic) or work towards offsetting each other (antagonistic)

What this means is that if you take low doses of kratom (stimulating effects) with modafinil, you may experience a heightened risk of side effects from both substances. 

If you take a high dose of kratom (sedative effects), you may completely negate the effects of the modafinil. 

Both outcomes are undesirable and potentially dangerous.

Metabolic interactions are also likely when combining kratom with modafinil.  

Modafinil has also been shown to cause induction of the CYP1A2, CYP2B6, and CYP3A4 enzymes [1]. This means modafinil increases the activity of these enzymes in the liver. 

We also know that the CYP3A4 enzyme is the most active player in the metabolization of kratom [2].

We can then reasonably infer that modafinil promotes a faster metabolization of kratom — resulting in faster elimination from the body. 

Related: Will Kratom Interact With My Medication?

Modafinil Specs:

Drug Name Modafinil
Trade Name Provigil, Alertec, Modavigil, etc.
Classification Eugoric
CYP MetabolismAmide hydrolysis and CYP2C9
Interaction With Kratom Agonistic or antagonistic depending on kratom dosage
Risk of InteractionModerate to High

Is it Safe to Take Kratom With Modafinil?

No, it’s unwise to combine kratom with modafinil or any prescription stimulants

On their own, kratom and modafinil have a relatively high level of safety. Neither substance is likely to lead to overdose on its own. 

This doesn’t mean there aren’t any risks when combining these compounds, however.

There is some doubt as to the logic of taking both kratom and modafinil. Modafinil, as we have seen, increases the metabolization of kratom, which would also lower the effectiveness of kratom’s benefits.

Additionally, if kratom is taken at medium to high doses, the psychoactive effects would essentially negate each other entirely (while likely still resulting in side effects such as headaches, nausea, or stomach discomfort). 

There’s really no good reason for combining these substances in the first place. 

What is Modafinil?

Modafinil is a prescription medication used for the treatment of narcolepsy.

Modafinil is usually considered a stimulant. However, it’s best classified as a eugeroic (a class of drugs that boost wakefulness).

In the United States, modafinil is classified as a Schedule IV Controlled Substance, which means it does have a limited potential for abuse.

The precise mechanism through which modafinil works remains unknown. However, modafinil is a selective, atypical and weak dopamine reuptake inhibitor and orexinergic. This leads to feelings of increased wakefulness [4].

Modafinil is not approved for children because of a higher incidence of adverse dermatological side effects (Steven Johnsons Syndrome). 

What is Modafinil Used For?

Modafinil (Provigil) has been approved for the treatment of daytime sleepiness disorders, including: 

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Excessive daytime sleep
  • Narcolepsy
  • Shift work sleep disorder

Modafinil also has a number of off-label uses [5]:

  • Attention-deficit disorder [6]
  • Acute unipolar and bipolar episodes
  • Cocaine dependence
  • As a cognitive enhancer [7]

It’s important to note that modafinil does not cure sleep diseases; it only treats the symptoms. Additionally, modafinil should not be thought of as a substitute for regular sleep.

Generic & Brand Name Versions

Modafinil is sold under the following brand names:

  • Provigil
  • Alertec
  • Modavigil
  • Altasomil
  • Aspendos
  • Forcilin
  • Intensit
  • Mentix

What Are the Side Effects of Modafinil

Modafinil is widely regarded as a drug that is usually well tolerated.

Common side effects of modafinil include [8]:

  • Headaches
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Severe rashes
  • Erythema multiforme
  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis
  • DRESS syndrome

These are all skin-related conditions. If you’re taking modafinil, immediately stop treatment if you discover any sort of skin reaction — especially involving the mucous membranes around the mouth, nose, and genitalia.

Additionally, there is no evidence modafinil causes tolerance within the body, even with long-term treatment [9].

What is Kratom?

The kratom plant (Mitragyna speciosa) is native to Southeast Asia. It’s been used and cultivated there for centuries by the indigenous people for its many benefits: much like coffee or the coca leaf.

Kratom’s benefits are derived from the two main alkaloids: mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine — however, there are about a dozen others with known pharmacological activity as well. 

The most common uses of kratom include boosting energy levels, increasing productivity and focus, alleviating pain, and enhancing mood.

What’s the Dose of Kratom?

As with most other drugs, dosage recommendations can vary according to several factors, such as the method of consumption and treatment goals.

In general, it’s never a good idea to take a formulaic approach to kratom dosage recommendations. 

General kratom dosage recommendations include: 

  • Low dose (1-5 g) 
  • Medium dose (5-10 g) 
  • High dose (10-15 g) 

First-timers should never exceed 5 grams of kratom.

Related: Can You Overdose on Kratom?

What Are the Side Effects of Kratom?

Kratom comes with its fair share of side effects, too, the most common being nausea, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Most of these effects can be avoided by going low and slow with the dose. These side effects are much more common if too much kratom is consumed. 

The side effects of kratom may include:

  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Itchiness
  • Loss of muscle coordination
  • Tremors or muscle contractions
  • Insomnia
  • Low libido
  • Poor appetite

What Are the Different Types of Kratom?

There are several types of kratom strains

These are thought to arise from differences in the harvesting methods used by local farmers in Southeast Asia. The strains have contrasting alkaloid profiles, which account for the difference in their effects.

If you’re looking to try kratom for a specific reason, such as chronic pain, then it’s a good idea to take a little time to research all the strains that are out there. 

Finding the perfect strain for your kratom goals will allow you to experience the benefits you want while minimizing any drawbacks. 

A) White Vein Kratom

If you’re looking for an energy boost, increased mental activity, or just a mood enhancer: then white vein kratom is what you want.

This strain is quite popular with people who work long hours or those who enjoy stimulating creativity.

In the kratom community, it’s known as the ‘mind-based strain.

B) Red Vein Kratom

Red vein kratom strains are the ideal option for anyone who is experiencing chronic pain but does not want to turn to pharmacological pain killers.

Red vein kratom also has anxiolytic benefits, and it’s popularly used as a sleeping aid. 

C) Green Vein Kratom

In the kratom spectrum, green vein kratom sits right between white and red.

This means that green-veined strains have a balanced alkaloid profile that contains both the analgesic and anxiolytic properties, as well as the mind-based effects.

However, this means that you won’t experience the targeted nature of a white or red kratom strain.

D) Yellow Vein Kratom

Yellow vein kratom is thought to be a mixture of red and white strains. It is, for this reason, it is generally not considered to be one of the three main types of kratom.

Yellow vein users report this strain is comparable to green kratom strains. This makes sense considering the mixed nature of yellow-veined strains.

Key Takeaways: Is it Safe to Mix Kratom & Modafinil?

Kratom and modafinil are both central nervous system stimulants and, therefore should not be combined together. 

When two drugs work in similar ways and produce effects that are agonistic, this can usually increase the incidence of adverse effects.

In this sense, combining kratom and modafinil could lead to a higher risk of side effects, but it would be very rare for a serious event to occur.

Speak to your doctor about taking kratom first if you’ve been prescribed any supplements or medications. 


References

  1. Robertson, P., & Hellriegel, E. T. (2003). Clinical pharmacokinetic profile of modafinil. Clinical pharmacokinetics, 42(2), 123-137.
  2. Kamble, S. H., Sharma, A., King, T. I., León, F., McCurdy, C. R., & Avery, B. A. (2019). Metabolite profiling and identification of enzymes responsible for the metabolism of mitragynine, the major alkaloid of Mitragyna speciosa (kratom). Xenobiotica, 49(11), 1279-1288.
  3. Ujváry, I. (2014). Psychoactive natural products: an overview of recent developments. Annali dell’Istituto superiore di sanita, 50, 12-27.
  4. Gerrard, P., & Malcolm, R. (2007). Mechanisms of modafinil: a review of current research. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 3(3), 349.
  5. Greenblatt, K., & Adams, N. (2020). Modafinil. StatPearls [Internet].
  6. Arnold, V. K., Feifel, D., Earl, C. Q., Yang, R., & Adler, L. A. (2014). A 9-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, dose-finding study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of modafinil as treatment for adults with ADHD. Journal of attention disorders, 18(2), 133-144.
  7. Gilleen, J., Michalopoulou, P. G., Reichenberg, A., Drake, R., Wykes, T., Lewis, S. W., & Kapur, S. (2014). Modafinil combined with cognitive training is associated with improved learning in healthy volunteers–a randomised controlled trial. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 24(4), 529-539.
  8. Murillo-Rodríguez, E., Barciela Veras, A., Barbosa Rocha, N., Budde, H., & Machado, S. (2018). An overview of the clinical uses, pharmacology, and safety of modafinil. ACS chemical neuroscience, 9(2), 151-158.
  9. Nasr, S., Wendt, B., & Steiner, K. (2006). Absence of mood switch with and tolerance to modafinil: a replication study from a large private practice. Journal of affective disorders, 95(1-3), 111-114.