Eugeroics (originally, "eugrégorique" or "eugregoric"), also known as wakefulness-promoting agents and wakefulness-promoting drugs, are a class of psychoactive substances that promote wakefulness and alertness. The best-known member of this class is modafinil.
Modafinil and armodafinil are each thought to act as selective, weak, atypical dopamine reuptake inhibitors (DRI), whereas adrafinil acts as a prodrug for modafinil. Other eugeroics include solriamfetol, which acts as a norepinephrine–dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI), and pitolisant, which acts as a histamine 3 (H3) receptor antagonist/inverse agonist.
Eugeroics are medically indicated for the treatment of certain sleep disorders including excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in narcolepsy or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). They are also often prescribed off-label for the treatment of EDS in idiopathic hypersomnia, a rare and often debilitating sleep disorder which currently has no official treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Subjective effects include wakefulness, focus enhancement, motivation enhancement, and stimulation. Although they share many effects with stimulants, they do not produce much euphoria and therefore have less abuse potential. They are sometimes used as a substitute for prescription stimulants by young students/professionals to aid in studying and productivity.
Eugeroics have low abuse potential. Chronic use does not produce physical dependence, but may produce psychological dependence in some individuals. Studies indicate they are physiologically well-tolerated; however, it should be noted that the long-term effects are not well-studied as they are relatively new.
It is highly advised to use harm reduction practices if using these substances.
- Flmodafinil (CRL-40,940)
- Fluorafinil (CRL-40,941)
- Selective H3 receptor antagonists/inverse agonists
- Selective orexin receptor agonists
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