[CQ-Contest] modafinil

Jim Rhodes rhodes at evertek.net
Wed Dec 5 12:41:43 EST 2001

OK, here goes. My comments on this is as a pharmacist, however I am just 
going off the cuff as I don't have any literature handy right now. Both 
modofinal and pemoline (mentioned in another post) are available in the US 
only by prescription and the both are DEA schedule IV controlled 
substances. Meaning they come under the narcotic laws. As far as 
contraindications go, I would avoid them if you have high blood pressure 
(controlled or not) as they will raise blood pressure or any kind of heart 
disease or arrhythmia as they are cardiac stimulants. If you are of the 
gender and age that you might be using any for of hormonal birth control 
(oral, injectable or implant) modafinal can reduce their effectiveness. 
They are mood and judgement altering drugs and can cause anxiety, 
nervousness, etc. They both are habit forming.

Personally I wouldn't want to have people driving on the same roads as me 
while taking this stuff to stay awake. Yes, they can help you stay awake 
but can alter judgement and would probably increase error rates. And in my 
opinion, the military would be just asking for trouble using this stuff in 
pilots in combat situations. Sounds like something they will try though. 
Having a hopped up pilot flying a billion dollar plane in a combat 
environment would make me nervous.

At 02:52 PM 12/5/01 +0300, you wrote:

>    A day or two ago someone mentioned that a US television network had 
> done a brief story on modafinil, a drug that appears to
>improve alertness during prolonged periods without sleep.
>    I had just read a much more detailed articled about modafinil in "The 
> New Yorker" magazine of 2001 December 3, beginning on page
>52.  (This is a classic case of US copy-cat feature journalism, by the 
>way.  Someone does an interesting story and other media pick
>up on it immediately thereafter.)  I am not a medical specialist, but the 
>article's description of tests by the military (pilots on
>very long missions, for example) and with narcoleptics certainly seemed 
>very promising.  The results appear to match requirements of
>those of us who aspire to operate a complete 48-hour contest in a fully 
>alert state.
>    I would be interested to hear from medical professionals who can 
> evaluate the more technical research reports (if any) that have
>been published... could comment constructively on the suitability of this 
>drug for contesting... and could point out risks.
>    73,
>-- Eric R3/K3NA
>p.s.:  I now expect a lengthy thread of messages containing at least the 
>following points:
>    -- drugs provide an unfair advantage to those who can acquire them and 
> care to use them.
>    -- the introduction of drugs into contests is a continuation of the 
> 'horrible' trends set by packet and SO2R.
>    -- drugs should be banned.
>    -- the need for drug testing of winners.
>    -- the best and most highly-respected ops do not need drugs.
>    -- drugs are not prohibited by the rules, and anything which is not 
> explicitly prohibited is OK.
>    -- the rules are the rules, and anything which is not explicitly 
> permitted is not OK.
>    -- caffeine is a drug, and contesters have been using it without 
> limitation since the dawn of contesting and even the dawn of ham
>    -- contesting should be on par with other Olympic sports and meet 
> Olympic standards of avoiding drug-enhanced performance.
>    -- the Olympic banned substance list includes caffeine, as well as 
> several other common stimulants found in, for example, cold
>and flu medications [to offset drowsiness].
>    -- alcohol is a drug and is used in contests like Field Day.
>    -- Field Day is not a contest.
>    -- alcohol is not a performance-enhancing drug.
>    -- operators who use drugs should be in a separate class, or annotated 
> in the results with an asterisk*.
>    -- this annotation would be inconsistent with past results, where some 
> operators were know to have used certain "recreational
>chemicals" as stimulants to fight sleep or improve the illusion of 
>performance, and whose results were never annotated with *.
>    -- that contesting is its own drug.
>    Having now sprinkled gasoline liberally around the reflector's 
> landscape, I wonder who will throw the first burning match?
>-- E.S.
>CQ-Contest on WWW: http://lists.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
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Jim Rhodes K0XU
jim at rhodesend.net

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