Subjective Effects of Modafinil in Military Fighter Pilots During Deployment

Yara Q. Wingelaar-Jagt*, Thijs T. Wingelaar*, Wim J. Riedel, Johannes G. Ramaekers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Fatigue has negative effects on flight safety, especially in military aviation, where missions are often performed under challenging conditions. Modafinil is a relatively new pharmaceutical able to counter the symptoms of fatigue, but efficacy has not yet been studied in operational military aviation. This study aims to establish effectiveness and safety of modafinil in military operations. METHODS: This field study was conducted during deployment in the Middle East by the Royal Netherlands Air Force fighter pilots. Prior to use operationally, pilots had to complete a 24-h ground test in which modafinil was administered during a nonflying period using a questionnaire to screen for duty-relevant side effects. If no side effects were reported, operational usage was allowed. In addition to registration of modafinil's effects, relevant data prior to and after administration were recorded, including caffeine consumption and sleep afterwards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-745
Number of pages7
JournalAerospace medicine and human performance
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • aviation
  • fatigue
  • wakefulness-promoting agents
  • sleep
  • human performance

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