Adrafinil for post-breakup fatigue

An unexpected breakup can lead to anxiety and depression, especially during the first few weeks following the breakup. However, you may continue to suffer from the traumatic event even once the immediate shock resides and life starts to return to normal. Common long-term effects of an unexpected breakup include mental confusion, memory problems, difficulties concentrating, mental and physical fatigue and daytime sleepiness.

These conditions could be symptoms of major depression or an anxiety disorder but they may also just indicate a slight imbalance in neurotransmitters, which can be regulated with an over-the-counter dietary supplement. I mentioned Mucuna Pruriens seed extract as a way of restoring neurotransmitter levels in an earlier post. Mucuna Pruriens seed extract can help increase motivation and the ability to feel pleasure. It is particularly effective if your symptoms are mostly physical rather than mental. If your symptoms are mostly related to memory, concentration and wakefulness, the dietary supplement adrafinil may be more effective in treating your condition.

When ingested, adrafinil breaks down into modafinil, a central nervous stimulant commonly used to combat narcolepsy. Unlike modafinil, however, adrafinil is not currently regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means that it currently is legal in the US to purchase and possess adrafinil without a prescription.

Adrafinil, like modafinil, increases mood and energy levels by affecting adrenergic receptors in the brain. When the chemical binds to these receptors, the brain produces norepinephrine, which helps combat fatigue and problems with motivation and centration. Adrafinil is also believed to suppress the brain’s levels of GABA and increase the levels of glutamate. GABA is the brain’s main depressive neurotransmitter, whereas glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter. The effects of adrafinil on the GABA and glutamate systems help speed up thought-processes and stay focused on the task at hand. It can also prevent daytime sleepiness and general fatigue.

As adrafinil is a mild central nervous system stimulant, it could interfere with other medications you may be taking. So even though adrafinil is currently unregulated, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start taking it.

Reference

Milgram, NM, Callahan, H, Siwak, C. (1999). “Adrafinil: A Novel Vigilance Promoting Agent”, CNS Drug Reviews 5: 193-212.

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